Game Preview: Florida State Vs Winthrop

Florida State will take on the Winthrop Eagles inside the Donald L. Tucker Center tonight at 7 p.m. This will be the first game of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament for the Noles.

FSU improved to 2-0 on Tuesday with a 99-78 win over Iona. They absolutely ran over a team that won 22 games last year and made the NCAA Tournament. This was the kind of confidence building win that the Seminoles needed to achieve early in their non-conference schedule, it could really help improve their moxie down the line.

Two freshmen shined in the win, Jonathan Isaac poured in a team high 20 points, while also recording six rebounds and two steals. He was absolutely dominant, and showed the talent that could make him a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Isaac’s length allows him to score over defenders, and it’s harder for other players to contest his shots. He also showed off his jumper, even hitting a deep three late in the game that would’ve been good from NBA range. If Isaac can put these kind of performances together consistently, the Noles are going to be an extremely tough team to play against.

Trent Forrest glowed as well. He finished with ten points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Forrest showed off his defensive instincts by reading passing lanes, and then getting into those passing lanes to create two steals. He also showed off some of his craftiness on offense, he hit a few short jumpers around the rim on transition and was able to convert on a nifty floater in the second half. If Forrest can continue to grow and develop, he will be an absolute monster for FSU. This guy could be the player the program is built around for the next 3-4 years.

As a team, FSU has been very impressive so far. They have to continue playing with the same sort of energy and hustle as they head into this early season tournament. The teams they will play (Winthrop, Detroit, and Temple) aren’t very dangerous, and they should be handle all three if they don’t take their opponents for granted.

Winthrop is 2-0 with wins over Ferrum College (D3) and Manhattan (a team FSU will play on December 17th). Winthrop’s top scorer is Joshua Davenport, a 6’5” forward, he averages 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists per game. Davenport put up 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in the win over Manhattan. Right behind him is Keon Johnson, a 5’7” senior guard, who is averaging 13.5 points and four rebounds per game. Johnson recorded 22 points and six rebounds for Winthrop in their win over Manhattan.

The Eagles are a team who like to shoot it from deep, so if their shooters get hot, FSU could be in for some trouble. So far this season, they are shooting 12 for 47 from three point range as a team. Let’s hope that shooting slump continues tonight.

Projected Starters:


PG: Xavier Rathan-Mayes

SG: Dwayne Bacon

SF: Terance Mann

PF: Jonathan Isaac

C: Michael Ojo


PG: Keon Johnson

SG: Bjorn Broman

SF: Anders Broman

PF: Xavier Cooks

C: Duby Okeke


Once again, Florida State has a huge size advantage over Winthrop and that should lead to a lot of success for the Seminoles. Winthrop’s tallest players are a mere 6’8” (Dwayne Bacon is 6’7”), and there’s a big chance they’ll be absolutely harassed by the length they’re facing.

It’s impossible to simulate what you’ll face when you actually play against FSU. You can simulate the sets and how they play on defense, but you can’t fake the length that you’ll have to go up against.

The big, versatile guys are going to be mismatches tonight. Watch out for big performances from XRM, Bacon, and Isaac. They all have a big size advantage on their respective matchups.

Florida State wins this game by 15 or more and improves to 3-0. The Noles could make an appearance in the Top-25 as soon as next week!

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