FSU Basketball Game Preview: vs. Wake Forest

Here is a preview for FSU basketball and their next game of the 2016-2017 season, as they open ACC play against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. 

We are finally back, Florida State fans! After an eight day break for the players to go home and spend some time with their families, we’re finally ready to get the ball rolling again.

Just in case you forgot, your Seminoles are 12-1, which is their best start since 2003-04. After four rough years of NIT berths, and early season losses to inferior teams, FSU basketball is finally back to a level not seen since the 2012 ACC championship team.

Speaking of the ACC, the conference is absolutely stacked – and FSU’s schedule shows it. Five of the team’s next seven games are against top 25 opponents. We were kind enough to list the five hardest games left on the schedule. You can check that out right over here, if you’d like.

First up for the Seminoles, a home match-up against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. We preview Florida State’s conference opener.

Dec 19, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Terance Mann (14) dunks the ball during the second half of the game against the Samford Bulldogs at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 19, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Terance Mann (14) dunks the ball during the second half of the game against the Samford Bulldogs at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Last Time the ‘Noles Took the Court

But first, a quick recap of FSU’s last two games before the break!

Both games were against pretty terrible teams, and the Seminoles’ effort showed that they knew that. Regardless, they pulled out two wins, and avoided a disastrous loss at the end of their non-conference schedule.

FSU defeated the Manhattan Jaspers 83-67 behind 16 Dwayne Bacon points, and then took down the Samford Bulldogs 76-68, thanks a career-best Terrance Mann showing. The sophomore forward scored 19 on eight shot attempts.

Besides that, there’s really not much to analyze from either game. So let’s get to talking about Wake Forest.

Opponent Preview

Wake Forest opens ACC play with a 9-3 record. Their losses came to three great teams: #1 Villanova, #17 Xavier, and 12-2 Northwestern.

According to KenPom, the Deacs are top 20 in offensive efficiency, meaning that the Seminoles’ defense will have its work cut out for them. They have a whopping four players averaging double digit points, led by sophomore forward John Collins. He’s scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds a night. The athletic big man also blocks two shots per game, just for good measure. Collins is old-school, in that he likes to play in the post and has a nice back-down game. Here’s a clip:

Michael Ojo, Jarquez Smith and Christ Koumadje will all have a tough time slowing this guy down. Hopefully they’re up for the task.

Sophomore guard Keyshawn Woods is another player that Florida State must absolutely be wary of. He holds averages of 13 points, four boards and three assists, and is a 50 percent three-point shooter.

One aspect of the match-up that is favorable for the ‘Noles is that the Deacons are the 108th-ranked team defensively on KenPom. So although they boast a great offense, FSU should be able to light them up on the other end, as well.

This is a winnable game for Florida State. Vegas agrees, as the Seminoles opened up as a 7-point favorite (via OddShark). Expect a big night from Dwayne Bacon, as his last two outings before the break were rather forgettable. He almost always shows up for the big ones, though.

Interesting Fact

Wake Forest and Florida State have played countless times at basketball. So as far as something interesting, how about the fact that the Seminoles haven’t lost to Wake in Tallahassee since the 2008 season. Hopefully, the trend continues.

The game is at 5PM, and can be seen on ESPN2. Not much else to say but Go ‘Noles!

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