FSU Basketball Game Preview: vs. Iona

Here’s a preview of FSU basketball and their next game during the 2016-17 basketball season.

The season is officially underway for the Florida State Seminoles’ men’s basketball team. After a convincing victory over an overmatched Charleston Southern team, head coach Leonard Hamilton can build on plenty of good things as the non-conference schedule continues with three games over the next six days – all from the friendly confines of home.

Next up for the Seminoles will be a much tougher challenge against a team who did something last year that FSU basketball hasn’t done in five seasons – win their conference tournament and head to the big dance.

Here’s our preview of this week’s game between the Seminoles and the Gaels.

The Last Time The ‘Noles Took The Court

Facing a team that had gone 9-21 the season before isn’t exactly much to hang your hat on, but Hamilton and the ‘Noles will take it after getting an 88-67 victory over the Buccaneers. The highlight of the night – which will probably be the case for much of the season – was the play of Dwayne Bacon, who dropped 23 points on the night and came up just one rebound short of a double double.

For FSU basketball, it was also a chance to see other stars shine. Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 12 points on the night while freshman sensation Jonathan Isaac had 10 points in his first start. The defense held CSU to just 40 percent shooting from the field – including just 28 percent from behind the three point line.

Opponent Preview

It will be the season opener Tuesday for the Iona Gaels, who will start the year playing seven of their first eight games on the road – including taking part in the Great Alaska Shootout. Last season, Iona finished the year with a 22-11 record that included a MAAC tournament title (for the ninth time) and a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in school history, losing as the No. 13 seed to Iowa State.

While the Gaels did lose serious talent from last year’s team, the Seminoles need to keep an eye on senior forward Jordan Washington and junior guard Deyshonee Much. The duo can keep Iona in this game and make things interesting if the ‘Noles don’t keep their mind right.

Interesting Fact

It will be just the second all-time meeting between the two schools on Tuesday. The first came back in the 2009-10 season in what could only be described as a “defensive” battle – or just two God awful offensive nights in the gym. The Seminoles were held to under 37 percent shooting on the night and got over half their points from two players (16 from Derwin Kitchen and 13 from Chris Singleton) en route to a 54-49 win over Iona in Orlando during the Old Spice Classic.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Thanksgiving night win did start the ‘Noles on the right side of things in the tournament, beating Alabama and Marquette the following nights to capture the tournament crown in a season that would end with a NCAA Tournament appearance.

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