The Daily Nole

Preview: FSU to Face Jaspers in Orange Bowl Classic

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Florida State’s contest against Manhattan in the Orange Bowl Classic will be the final tune-up away from home for FSU before the Seminoles open ACC play later this month. FSU comes in red shot, riding a 6-game winning streak capped with an 83-78 victory over rival Florida on Sunday.

Manhattan on the other hand, is just 3-7 for the year and 0-2 in MAAC play. Manhattan did beat Fordhman its last time out, 60-53. FSU won in 81-66 in the last meeting between the schools, which happened to be the 2014-15 opener in Tallahassee. Overall, Florida State has won six straight in the Orange Bowl Classic, although it struggled last season in a 64-59 nail-biting win over Florida Atlantic.

The Match-Up

Who: Manhattan Jaspers (3-7) vs. No. 23 Florida State Seminoles (10-1)
What: Orange Bowl Classic
When: Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m. EST (Fox Sports Florida/Fox Sports 2)
Where: BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida

Key Players

For Manhattan: For the Jaspers, the killer Zs are the guys to watch. Zavier Turner, a 5-9 junior guard, is averaging 17 points per game and shooting a lethal 45 percent from beyond the arc. Zane Waterman is a 6-9 forward with range, averaging nearly 11 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field.

For Florida State: Leading scorer Dwayne Bacon is averaging better than 17 points per game and coming off a 24-point effort against Florida. Freshman Jonathan Isaac is averaging 14.4 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field. Xavier Rathan-Mayes is the team’s primary facilitator, averaging a team-high 4.7 assists to go along with 9.5 points per game.

What to Watch For

Terance Mann: Fresh off his first career double-double in which he finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, it will be interesting to see what sophomore slasher Terance Mann can do for an encore. Mann doesn’t usually have a statistical column that stands out, but does a number of things well at 6-6. Against a Manhattan team that lacks the size and athleticism of FSU, Mann could be in for another big day.

Jonathan Isaac: After missing three games with a hip flexor, freshman phenom Jonathan Isaac struggled in Sunday’s win over Florida. Isaac finished with a career-low 9 points on just 1-for-4 shooting. The 6-10 youngster will be a match-up nightmare for Manhattan and should be able to bounce back.

Zane Waterman: At 6-9, Zane Waterman is Manhattan’s best player inside and for the Jaspers to have a chance, he needs a big day. Against an enormous front line for the Seminoles, Waterman will not only need to hold his own on the glass, but use his range to lure FSU’s bigs away from the rim.

Turnovers: Manhattan has a lot of concerns when facing FSU, but a key one will be limiting turnovers. For the year, the Jaspers are averaging 21 turnovers per game. FSU on the other hand, is forcing 15 turnovers per contest. If Manhattan gets sloppy and allows FSU run-outs on the other end, this one could get ugly quick.

Number to Pay Attention To

.518: That’s what Florida State is shooting from the field this season, which ranks seventh nationally. The Seminoles have not only scored a lot this season, but they’ve been efficient. Against Manhattan this season, opponents are shooting better than 44 percent.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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