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Game Preview: Chicago State

FSU was again left out of the AP Top-25, this time by a total of two points, and are two spots behind Florida……

So let’s look at the KenPom Rankings.

Currently, Florida State is 17th, with the 41st best offense and the 8th best defense. They are now middle of the road in both Adjusted Tempo and Strength of Schedule, and tonight’s game will not help at all with the strength of schedule.

There are 353 teams in Division 1 college basketball. Chicago State is 353rd, with the 349th ranked offense, and the 353rd ranked defense (in case you were wondering, Central Connecticut has the worst offense). They’ve allowed more than 3 times as many points (492) through six games as they have Instagram followers (150).

This shouldn’t be close.

Chicago State Breakdown

Chicago State has 3 wins on the year: Judson College, Purdue Northwest, and North Park. They’ve lost by a combined 131 points to Loyola (MD), Eastern Illinois, and Purdue. This is a REALLY bad basketball team, and that’s putting it lightly.

A lot of their bad play comes from inexperience. Of the 11 players who have registered a minute this season for the Cougars, 8 are freshmen. The top 7 scorers and rebounders are all freshmen, and their average years of experience is 0.1. ZERO POINT ONE. That is remarkable.

As a team, they’re only above average in 3pt% at 35.1%, but even that isn’t good enough to be in the top 1/3rd of the nation. Their 2p% is abysmal at 47.3%, their normal FG% is below average at 43.5%, their FT% is really bad at 68.2%, but they’re middle of the road in PPG at 73.2 at least.

Three players are in double figured for them: Xavier Johnson, Andrew Lewis, and Jace Colley.

X. Johnson is averaging 17.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 1.7 SPG on a 40.2/45.9/76.7 shooting split, and is taking more than six 3s per game. Basically, don’t let him shoot from downtown and you won’t have too much to worry about.

Lewis is averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.5 APG on a 42.6/23.1/78.6 shooting split, and is really only doing his work from inside the paint, despite being 6’3″. He’s only taking 2 attempts per game from distance, and with his percentage, I wouldn’t expect him to be shooting a lot from outside.

Colley is their “big” man at 6’7″, averaging 10.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, and 1.3 BPG on a 46.2/16.7/60.0 shooting split. As long as he’s not getting easy looks inside, he shouldn’t be too much of a factor.

Michael Johnson and Ke’Sean Davis are both shooting 40% from 3 but on a combined 3.7 attempts per game. Amir Gholizadeh seems to be who they think their main 3-point threat is off the bench, given that he is shooting 4.2 attempts per game from downtown at a 36.0% clip.

Florida State Breakdown

The #ClasslessCaucasions got action for the second game in a row against St Francis PA, and should absolutely see action again tonight. I’m actually confident they could win this game if they started the game.

This will be a perfect game to see what the staff really has out of players like RayQuan Evans and Nathanael Jack, although Evans had a real solid outing against St. Francis.

Patrick Williams is no longer scoring double digits per game after only scoring 6 against St. Francis, and now sits at 9.4 on the season. I expect him to have a big game tonight.

Injury Report

Florida State

MJ Walker and RaiQuan Gray will both likely be sitting out again tonight as they recover from their injuries. They could and would likely play if this wasn’t the worst team in college basketball.

Chicago State

I couldn’t find anything, but that doesn’t mean no one is hurt like we saw with St. Francis.

Projected Starting Lineups

Florida State

G: Trent Forrest

G: Anthony Polite

G: Devin Vassell

F: Malik Osborne

C: Dominik Olejniczak

Coach Hamilton and his staff have been playing around with starting lineups because of injuries and matchups, so don’t be shocked if this isn’t the opening lineup.

Chicago State

G: Xavier Johnson

G: Rajeir Jones

G: Andrew Lewis

F: Ke’Sean Davis

F: Jace Colley

3 Keys to the Game

Don’t Overlook the Opponent

The last thing Florida State wants or needs is to be the team that lost to the worst team in college basketball. FSU has a 99.99% chance to win this game, but they don’t need to do things to make that 0.01% chance have legs. Come out with energy, attack early and often, and go as hard as they would against an ACC opponent.

Don’t Let Chicago State Get Hot From 3

St. Francis got hot on Saturday, and it allowed them to stay in the game longer. Defend the 3-point line tightly, as that’s the only way Chicago State has a fighting chance. They’ve seen on film how FSU can be attacked from 3 on occasion, and I guarantee that’s where they’ll try and make their money.

Beat Them Quickly

The faster the starters and bench unit run out to a huge lead, the sooner the walk-ons come in. FSU is playing in a huge tournament this coming weekend, and they can’t afford to have someone go down with an injury that costs them this tournament. Get the score run up quickly and there will be less chance of an injury.

Prediction

Florida State opened as a 40 point favorite. For college basketball, that is a really high line, but I feel pretty confident in saying Florida State should win by 50+.


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