NoleGameday

Another early season test awaits the Noles in D.C.

 

The Seminoles (6-1) have had quite the week. They defeated Minnesota 65-57 back on Monday while also securing their highest ranked center commit since Solomon Alabi in Ikechukwu Obiago.

Now, they’ll head to Washington, D.C. to take on the George Washington Colonials (4-3) in the BB&T Classic. The game will be played inside the Verizon Center, home of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 4th.

Another early season test awaits the Noles. The game against George Washington will be the first of four games in seven days for Florida State. They’ll also play Southern Mississippi (Dec. 6), Nicholls State (Dec. 8) and cap the week off by taking on Florida (Dec. 11). This stretch of games is another chance for the Seminoles to improve on their record and their play in the games.

FSU was sloppy down the stretch against Minnesota, the Noles lead ballooned to as a high as 19 with just over five minutes left and then the Gophers began to chip into it. They used a few untimely Seminole turnovers, as well as poor offensive execution by a team that was attempting to milk the clock, to cut the lead back to single digits and to make their loss look not as a bad. Still, it was another late game breakdown, and failing to close a game is what hurt the Noles in Brooklyn against Temple. Overall, despite the last few minutes, it was still a good win for a program that had lost their lost eight games in the ACC-B1G Challenge.

Looking ahead to George Washington, the Colonials are 4-3 with a win over Harvard. So far on their schedule they’ve defeated the teams they were supposed to beat and lost the games where they were the less talented team.

George Washington has also been dealing with an injury to one of their best players. Yuta Watanbe, a 6-9 junior guard from Japan, suffered a calf injury last week in practice and he’s expected to miss the game against Florida State. Watanbe is averaging 13.4 points (second on the team), 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. His absence is big for GWU moving forward.

The Colonials are led by Tyler Cavanaugh, he’s averaging 18.4 points, eight rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. George Washington has three players who average double figures in points and eight players who average double figures in minutes per game. GWU has three players averaging 30+ minutes per game, those three players are the only ones on the roster scoring double figures per game. As a team, they average 72.1 points a game on 41.8% shooting from the field and a mere 30.1% shooting from three point range.

For Florida State, they are led by Dwayne Bacon. He’s putting up 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. Bacon has really showed a lot of progress on the defensive end and with his reformed jumpshot. Jonathan Isaac is averaging 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. The true freshman has impressed everyone that has had their eyes on FSU basketball this season. Bacon and Isaac are the only two players averaging double figures in points for the Noles, as well as the only players shooting over 40% from three point range on the Seminole roster. The team is recording 88.6 points per game on 51.4% shooting from the field and a below average 32.2% from three.

Projected Starters:

– FSU

PG: Xavier Rathan-Mayes

G: Dwayne Bacon

G: Terance Mann

F: Jonathan Isaac

C: Michael Ojo

– George Washington

G: Jaren Sina

G: Jordan Roland

F: Arnaldo Toro

F: Tyler Cavanaugh

C: Collin Smith

Prediction:

This is another game where the Noles are more talented and will be favored. These are the kind of games that you need to win so they can’t hold it against your resume in March. The Colonials already shoot below average percentages from the field and from three point range, I don’t see that changing against this long and athletic FSU defense. If the Seminoles can force turnovers and convert in transition like they’ve been doing most of the season, they’ll win this one by double digits. This game is the start of a big week for Florida State. Time to make a statement.

Dustin Lewis
Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in English Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Writer for FSView Sports and Hashtag Basketball.

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