Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Previewing Florida State

2009 Scouting Report/Schedule
2009 Game Plan
2009 Stats (pdf)
2009 Roster

Florida State Offense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate21.8228
Off Reb Rate33.4147
Florida State Offense 08-09
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate23.9300
Off Reb Rate36.862

After enduring the ugly affair that was NC State/Clemson, I flipped over to Duke/FSU hoping for something that was at least mildly entertaining, if not competitive. Instead, I got a game that was every bit as unpleasant to watch, as the two teams combined to shoot 24% in the first half and scored 33 points between them. (The UNC/Wake game on Sunday was so contrastingly beautiful, I nearly cried.)

I should have known better, because the Seminoles haven't done anything pretty all season. Now that Isaiah Swann, Jason Rich, and Ralph Mims are gone (along with the inimitable Matt Zitani), Florida State has little in the way of reliable contributors outside of Toney Douglas. They've transformed from one of the shorter teams in the conference to one of the tallest, and while that's paid dividends at the defensive end, their reliance on leftover spare parts and an unremarkable group of freshmen hasn't been so good for the offense, which is the ACC's worst.

Their shooting down across the board--inside, outside, from the line--and their turnover rate is awful. They're grabbing more offensive boards and drawing fouls more frequently with their forward-heavy lineup, but that's done little to compensate for those other deficiencies.


Toney Douglas (6-2, 200)
-- Out of necessity, Douglas's usage is way up in 2009--he's taking 30.2% of the shots, which is the highest figure in the ACC. And he's handled it about as well as anyone could expect. While there can be no doubt that he will carve us up, the good news is that the players to whom he dishes the ball aren't likely to make us feel too bad about it.

Jordan DeMercy (6-7, 208) -- Taking only 12.8% of the shots, which is good since he's shooting 43.7% and sports a turnover percentage north of 36%.

Chris Singleton (6-9, 220)
-- The bright spot among FSU's freshmen, Singleton has already established himself as a solid contributor. He's a versatile inside/outside scorer and a good offensive rebounder. The TO% is a little high, and his two-point shooting isn't where it needs to be, but in the context of this team, both figures are acceptable.

Ryan Reid (6-8, 235) -- It's astounding that Reid is third on the team in minutes. His usage is modest, but it's way up from the previous two seasons, and it's killed his scoring efficiency. He is and has always been a turnover waiting to happen.

Solomon Alabi (7-1, 241) -- The team's best rebounder and a big time shot blocker.


Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 180)
, Uche Echefu (6-9, 225), Luke Loucks (6-5, 205), and Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 195) are the bench players who average double-digits for Leonard Hamilton.

The Noles could really use a big senior season from Uche Echefu, but instead, his two-point shooting and rebounding have fallen off, and he's been somewhat lost in the shuffle of forwards.

Kitchen, a juco transfer who sat out the first nine games, has been pretty good since getting himself into the lineup. Taking 23.1% of the shots--second on the team to Douglas--Kitchen is shooting 56.4%, which is a team-high. Florida State desperately needs that sort of contribution.

Florida State Defense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate22.674
Off Reb Rate34.1227
Florida State Defense 08-09
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate23.163
Off Reb Rate34.3211

Although they probably aren't good enough offensively to get themselves into the NCAAs, the Seminoles play legitimately outstanding defense, and that's going to present them with a lot of winnable games in conference play. It won't be pretty, but they'll be in games. Take a look at what they've done against the top 30 offenses they've faced:

        AvgOffEff    OffEff vs.FSU
Cal 114.5 98.8
Florida 117.1 85.7
Pitt 116.4 83.8
Duke 114.3 98.0

All four usually shoot comfortably above 50%; none did so against Florida State. Only three FSU opponents have managed to shoot 50% or better, and only three opponents have managed better than a point per possession--none above 1.07.

FSU's disruptive D ranks in the top 25 in both steal percentage (22) and block percentage (6). Needless to say, they're going to be a big challenge for the Wolfpack.

(Check out James's take on the game also.)