The Daily Nole

Preview: Ospreys Fly in to Tallahassee for In-State Clash

Mike Olivella/FSU athletics

Florida State hosts the second of three non-conference opponents for this week on Wednesday night. The struggling North Florida Ospreys travel over to Tallahassee for what should be another easy notch in the win column for the Seminoles, although Southeast Missouri State did give them more than they wanted on Monday.

While North Florida is more recently known for its NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015, the Ospreys have struggled to find that level of consistency since. They enter Tallahassee at 5-7 after a close win over Charleston Southern last week. While they might have the rest advantage, the betting favorite is still Florida State by a wide margin.

The Match-Up

Who: North Florida Ospreys (5-7) at No. 11 Florida State Seminoles (9-1)
When: Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. EST (ACC Network Extra)
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida

Key Players

For North Florida
Noah Horchler, F (Jr.): 15.5 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.0 BPG
Garrett Sams, G (Jr.): 13.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.6 APG
J.T. Escobar, G (Jr.): 10.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.1 APG

Terance Mann, G (Sr.): 12.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 50% FG
Mfiondu Kabengele, F (So.): 11.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 47% FG
Trent Forrest, G (Jr.): 10 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.1 SPG

What to Watch For

Second chance points: Despite having enough size, the Ospreys struggle with their defensive rebounding. They are a paltry 271st in the nation with their defensive rebounding percentage. That does not bode well against a Florida State team with a size advantage who ranks No. 9 in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. If the Seminoles crash the boards early, they could force the Ospreys into a serious early deficit.

Fast break opportunities: Neither of these teams do a good job of limiting turnovers. In fact, both rank in the 300s in turnovers per possession, separated by just six spots. This could be another sloppy affair for the first 20 minutes. That being said, Florida State has the obvious talent advantage on fast-break opportunities, and it has flexed its muscles throughout the season with the ability to disrupt even the most efficient of offenses.

Number to Pay Attention To

27: That is the number of 3-pointers that North Florida attempts per game. It is some of the most in the nation, and Florida State is hoping that it does not have an exceptional night from beyond the arc.

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