Preview: Men’s basketball at Florida State

Media Credit: Ethan Stoler | Contributing Photo Editor

Graduate student guard Patrick Steeves dribbles the ball up the court during the Colonials' exhibition game against Fairmont State Nov. 4.

What: Men’s basketball (1-0) at Florida State
Where: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

The Colonials head to Florida for their first road game of the year after defeating Howard in their home opener Friday night.

The Seminoles defeated GW by 19 points last December in the BB&T Classic at the Capital One Arena. The Colonials trailed by 16 at the halftime break and never led in the contest.

Case for the Colonials:
In GW’s victory over Howard, the Colonials spread out the scoring to five players who tallied double digits including 19 points from senior guard Yuta Watanabe and 17 points from sophomore guard Jair Bolden.

Only seven GW players found the floor against the Bison, but newcomers graduate student forward Bo Zeigler and freshmen guards Terry Nolan Jr. and Justin Mazzulla all contributed minutes. Zeigler scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and blocked two shots.

Florida State is the Colonials’ first challenge at the national level, but the Seminoles are without four of their five starters who led them to the second round of the 2017 NCAA tournament. Since Tuesday’s matchup is Florida State’s season opener, GW may benefit from potential growing pains in the Seminoles’ lineup.

The Colonials shot only 29.4 percent from behind the arc against the Bison, but will need to find ways to score outside the paint against a big Seminoles squad.

Case for the Seminoles:
In the team’s first game of the season, Florida State has a clear home court advantage. The Seminoles went undefeated at home last year and the Colonials finished 6-12 away from the Smith Center.

Despite losses in the offseason, Florida State returns junior guard Terence Mann, who averaged 8.4 points in the starting lineup last year, and five other members who played double-digit minutes on last year’s 28-9 team.

In two exhibition games over the past three weeks, the Seminoles defeated Central Missouri by 48 points and Thomas by 70 points.

In those games, the starting lineups were made of entirely returners and Florida State shot well over 50 percent from the field both times.

Once the season begins, the Seminoles will utilize their deep lineup and rely on Mann to carry a large portion of the scoring load early on. Expect them to utilize their size to create problems for GW inside the paint.

Bottom Line:
Although both teams lost a majority of their previous contributors in the offseason, Florida State comes into the matchup with the advantage. The Colonials will have to continue their scoring success and stop the Seminoles big men from controlling the paint in order to pick up a win.

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