NoleGameday

Nicholls State next up for FSU

 

The Florida State Seminoles (8-1) take on the Nicholls State Colonels (4-4) on December 8th at 9 p.m. The game will be played inside the Donald L. Tucker Center. Make sure to tune in to ESPNU to catch the game if you can’t be in the stands. This will be the last opponent the Noles face before playing Florida in a crucial rivalry game on Sunday.

Florida State and Nicholls last played each other in Dwayne Bacon’s regular season debut as a Nole back in 2015. FSU rolled to a 109-62 victory while Bacon and 2016 NBA Draft First-Round pick Malik Beasley lit up the scoreboard. Bacon finished with a team-high 23 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Beasley recorded 21 points, two assists and two steals while also going 3-4 from three point range. The win over Nicholls was just the start of getting to watch these two freshmen compete and succeed last year. Now, Beasley has moved on to the NBA after getting selected by the Denver Nuggets, and Bacon could very well be moving on to the NBA after this season.

This season, the Colonels head into Tallahassee with a 4-4 record. Most recently they fell to UL Lafayette 101-69 on the road. Nicholls does have a win over an ACC school this season, they defeated Boston College 79-73 on the road in their opening game of the year.

The Colonels are led by senior forward Ja’Dante’ Frye who is putting up 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Senior guard and North Texas transfer, DeAndre Harris, is averaging 14.1 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in less than 16 minutes of action. He’s rather inconsistent but could end up being the kind of spark plug that Nicholls State needs. Through eight games, you don’t know which Harris you’ll get. In five games, he’s scored at least 16 points but in the other three it’s been five points or under. He’ll need to have a big game if the Colonels are going to have a chance.

Nicholls State is averaging 77.3 points per game (110th in NCAA) while giving up 81 points per game (T-311 in NCAA). The Colonels are shooting 44.4% from the field and 35.4% from three point range, those numbers don’t bode well for success against FSU’s stifling defense.

Florida State is boasting one of top defenses in the nation so far, though we’ll need to see how these numbers change once they get into ACC play. The Noles are holding opponents to an average of 36.4% from the field, good for 15th in the country. FSU is also holding opponents to 29.2% shooting from three (37th). All in all, it’s been mostly positive for the Seminoles on the defensive end when it comes to contesting shots and that’s why they’re one of the top teams in the country when it comes to the oppositions shooting percentages.

Offensively, FSU is averaging 87.2 points per game on 51.1% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting from three point range. Dwayne Bacon is averaging a team-high 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and a steal per game. He’s one of three Noles (Jonathan Isaac and PJ Savoy, after last night’s performance) shooting over 40% from three on the year. Isaac is second on the team with 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game but he could miss the game due to a hip flexor injury that has kept him out against George Washington and Southern Miss.

Projected Starters:

– FSU

PG: Xavier Rathan-Mayes

G: Dwayne Bacon

G: Terance Mann

F: Jarquez Smith (2nd of the season)

C: Michael Ojo

 

– Nicholls State

G: Jahvaughn Powell

G: Tre O’Neal

G: Jonathan Bell

F: Ja’Dante’ Frye

C: Liam Thomas

Prediction:

This should be another game that the Seminoles control pretty easily. Florida State also is a lot taller than Nicholls State which should give the Noles even more of an advantage than they already have. Florida State has started off as 29 point favorites, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to cover if they continue to play great defense. This is another tuneup before the Florida game on Sunday, but the players still need to come out with focus and they need to execute.

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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