Game Preview: Florida State Vs Temple

The #25 ranked Florida State Seminoles (4-0) take on the Temple Owls (2-2) at Barclay Centers in Brooklyn,NY. The game is at 12:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.  This game is apart of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament, West Virginia and Illinois will also be playing in the tournament. On Friday, FSU will take on either West Virginia or Illinois depending on the results of Thursday’s games.

The Noles improved to 4-0 with their 100-71 victory over Detroit-Mercy on Sunday night. Dwayne Bacon poured in 22 points and two steals, while Jonathan Isaac recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and ten rebounds. Trent Forrest also had a breakout game, he finished with 12 points, three rebounds, five assists and four steals. Forrest leads the Noles with eight steals on the season and has been great at reading passing lanes to create turnovers. The Seminoles used a 32-4 run in the second half to seal the blowout victory. The 29 point margin of victory is FSU’s largest since defeating Nicholls by 47, 109-62, on November 15th, 2015.

As a team, FSU is averaging 96.8 points per game, while allowing 75.5 points per game. For the first time since 1996, the Noles scored 100 points in back to back games during victories against Winthrop and Detroit Mercy. This team definitely knows how to score, they’re shooting 53% from the field as a team but only 27.8% from three point range. The Seminoles have had their most success while attacking the basket, so far the three pointers haven’t been falling. If the team is going to continue to shoot poorly from downtown then their defensive focus is going need to be at an all time high. Forcing live ball turnovers on defense that lead to fast break opportunities are where this team’s athleticism can be utilized.

The Temple Owls play the exact opposite brand of basketball. They want to play very slow and methodical to try to slow the game down. In fact, the Owls are currently ranked 261st in tempo, while FSU is ranked 31st. It’s going to be very interesting to see the pace this game ends up being played at, especially with the difference in tempo. If FSU can get out to an early lead, they may force the Owls to have to play faster to try and come from behind. Likewise, if the Owls lead early they could slow the game down and work the clock.

Temple’s top player is Obi Enechionyia, a 6’10” forward who can score from anywhere on the court. He’s averaging 20.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. He’s shooting 50.8% from the field and 50% from three point range. Obi is a legit player and it’ll be fun to see how Leonard Hamilton prepares the team to stop him. If FSU can keep him in check, they’ll be in good position for a victory.

Projected Starters:


PG: Xavier Rathan-Mayes

G: Dwayne Bacon

G: Terance Mann

F: Jonathan Isaac

C: Michael Ojo

– Temple

G: Alani Moore II

G: Shizz Alston Jr.

G: Daniel Dingle

F: Obi Enechionyia

F: Mark Williams


FSU doesn’t have as big as a size advantage as they normally do but they are simply more talented than the Owls. The Noles need to come out and play focused, falling into an early hole could be the one way Temple pulls the upset. If the Owls get too much of a lead they could slow the game’s pace down on their offensive possessions.

This is FSU’s first shot to prove they should be taken seriously, let’s see how this young team handles their first game as a ranked team against Temple and then how they handle the quick turnaround with a game on Friday. I see the Noles winning this game by 15 or more, I believe in their focus and ability. When this team plays, they have fun, and that passion is what’s going to help make a difference in big games.

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