The Daily Nole

Preview: FSU Hoops Wraps Up Non-Conference with Winthrop

Mike Olivella/FSU athletics

Florida State’s non-conference slate will conclude with a matinee on New Year’s Day. The Seminoles will take on Winthrop on Tuesday afternoon.

Winthrop is a high-scoring program that comes in on a 4-game winning streak. The Seminoles topped the Eagles 100-86 in the last meeting between the schools two years ago in Tallahassee.

The Match-Up

Who: Winthrop Eagles (8-4) at No. 9 Florida State Seminoles (12-1)
When: Jan. 1, 2019 at 2 p.m. EST (ACC Network Extra)
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida

Key Players

For Winthrop
Nych Smith, G (Sr.):
16 PPG, 3.8 APG, 47% FG
Josh Ferguson, F (Jr.): 12.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 44% 3PT
Adam Pickett, G (Sr.): 11.5 PPG, 3.2 APG, 1.1 SPG

Terance Mann, G (Sr.):
12.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 52% FG
Mfiondu Kabengele, F (So.): 12 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 50% FG
Trent Forrest, G (Jr.): 11.1 PPG, 3.8 APG, 2.4 SPG

What to Watch For

Balanced scoring: Both Florida State and Winthrop are teams that can fill up the basket. Both teams score more than 80 points per game, including the Eagles at more than 90 per game. Winthrop ranks fifth nationally in scoring. Both teams get their points with balanced efforts as both have seven players averaging at least seven points. Winthrop has five averaging in double-figures, compared to three for the Seminoles.

Turnovers: Due in part to their fast-paced style of play, Winthrop does turn it over a bunch, averaging 17 per game. The Seminoles have also struggled with turnovers this season, but the good news is they force plenty of their own. FSU forced 18 last time out against Saint Louis, but gave it away 20 times. In the game before that, the Seminoles forced 19 turnovers against North Florida and limited themselves to six. Trent Forrest, a junior guard for Florida State, ranks in the top 50 nationally with 2.4 steals per game.

Winthrop’s Deep Shooting: FSU fans might want to look away for a second. The Eagles are deadly from beyond-the-arc, with almost 30 3-point attempts per game and a shooting mark of 39.8 percent. Both of those are in the top-15 nationally. Watch out for Bjorn Broman specifically, as he has attempted 76 3-pointers and converted on over 38 percent of those. Nych Smith and Kyle Zunic are similarly proficient.

Number to Pay Attention To

4: That is how many games Winthrop has won in a row. The Eagles struggled to begin the year, but they showed flashes of being a threat against Kentucky and Davidson. They seem to have hit their stride in the past month, even if it has been against subpar competition. They will look to carry that newfound momentum into Tallahassee.

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

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