Jacksonville Classic Primer: Florida State Basketball
Florida State is set for this mid-season tournament this season, playing at the Jacksonville Classic. FSU should be the best team in the group, but the way they play to start the season leaves some doubts. It’s a short tournament, starting with Loyola Marymount on Sunday at 530 p.m. and then playing the SMU/Missouri score at 6 or 830 on Monday.
FSU is 2-0 all time against Loyola Marymount, 3-1 against Missouri, and 1-0 against SMU. All of these games will be played at the UNF Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, and most of the games will be on CBS Sports.
Read more: Florida opens up as a double-digit underdog to the Florida Gators
Jacksonville Classic Collapse
With three opponents to cover in this article (and I’m not planning on doing a preview article before Monday’s games), we’ll keep these very brief, with only key players from each team and what each team does well.
Loyola Marymount (79 Kienbaum) took a bad loss early in the year against Chattanooga, but that’s a solid average. They finished third in last season’s West Coast Conference (the Gonzaga Conference) in their first year under a new coach, and regained 83% of their goals last year. This is the team that wants to force as many turns as possible, having forced 20+ turns in each of their last two games. Against Chattanooga, they forced only 6.
READ MORE: FSU offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham gets emotional as he talks about his players
They don’t have a really big size, since they only have one player over 6’6″ who sees any kind of playing time, so the FA should be able to control the offensive glass as if it’s been all season.. They’ve been 40% + out of 3 in each of the last two games against Little Rock and Arizona Christian. In a way their match against Arizona Christian was a number one game even if they dominated almost all the stats, but they had their best game of the year so far against Little Rock. They will be looking forward to continue this momentum.
Joe Quintana seems to have made huge strides, averaging 20 PPGs so far this season, but he’s also taken 9+ 3s in the game compared to just 2.3 throws per game. FSU should know where he is in court because he will fire her from nowhere. Eli Scott returns to be a consistent contributor, and he goes back to being as efficient and thorough as the man of the quad. He shoots above 50% of the ground, also leads the team in rebounds and is third in assists. Jalen Anderson has played only one game this season and scored 12 points from the bench. Another major player to look out for is Keli Leaupepe, another “big” guy like Scott, but he wasn’t nearly as good.
Missouri (116 Kienbaum) has a worse pre-season loss than Loyola, losing at home to Missouri-Kansas City, who is 225th in Kienbaum. They run at a slightly slower pace than the regular teams, and like most Konzo Martin teams, they seem frustrated. They have a few talented players like Kobe Brown, who leads the team in scoring at 16.5 PPG, and Ronnie Degray who can come off the bench and deliver elite shots, but they don’t “wow” you in any way.
So far they have been successful in the free throw line, getting about 20 free throw attempts per game. For a team that struggles to score like Missouri, hitting the free-throw line is a great way to get some points and some confidence. They’re also a fairly tall team, with no player shorter than 6’3″ and having his own 7’3″ position in Jordan Willmore.
They don’t really do a good thing, and they wouldn’t scare me too much into a match.
High school (60 kenbaum) on the other hand has the potential to have a real strong season. We’ve already seen FSU struggle with the U.S. Conference team in Tulane, and now they may have a chance to play another team on Monday night. They have one of the best offenses in the country so far, averaging 80.5 PPG through four matches, and they have an above average speed as well.
So far this season, they’ve been blown up by Oregon, but then they’ve blown up McKinsey, Northwest, and Southeast Louisiana. It’s hard to get a real sense of who they are now. What they’ve done really well is free throws, and they’ve shot 76% off the line so far. Even in their loss to Oregon they were 14/15. They fired a lot of 3s, and scored 7+ in every game. Oregon dominated them only with their height and athletic style, holding SMU with a 37.7% shot off the ground, something FSU is looking to do if they play.
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They are led in scoring by Kendrick Davis, a two-time AAC player. He’s just a great main goalkeeper who can score efficiently or set up his teammates, even if he’s on the shorter side at 5’11”. Then you have 6-year-old Marcus Weathers, who goes from Doequins, a career 12 PPG, and shows off an outside shot Much more confident so far.He joins his twins Michael, who is on his fourth team 6 years ago and is 14.7 PPG himself.Their other players to really follow are Emmanuel Pandomel and Zach Nutall, both of whom make 6+3 shots per game, though That Bandoumel was the more efficient of the two so far.
Florida Seminole (2-1) collapse
FSU has really struggled in attack both in the last two games, which has been the biggest concern. Although the defense was great at making a mess, if they didn’t move the ball straight, it would be difficult for them to do anything in the mid-zone. They have averaged 1.0 points per possession in each of the last two games, which is usually around the average attack criterion.
Here are some of the biggest analytic shortcomings to date, according to Synergy Sports Tech: 0.775 PPP in follow-up chances (lowest 25% nationally), 0.3 PPP in late hour scenarios (lowest 10% nationally), which Turns it into 25% of all pickups and rolls, and 0.982 PPP on transition attack (lowest 50% nationally; like many athletes like FSU, their transition numbers should be better than this).
Their 3-point shot will be back, especially for Anthony Politt and Caleb Mills, but some of the other guys should start to improve. Galen Warley looked scared the last two games, Raikwan Evans was back in last season’s version of himself, and White Wilkes’ shot was coming and going. Some of these guys have to start finding a beat ASAP.
The Tanour Stars played their first game on Wednesday against Tulane, but played only about 7 minutes, and were -10 in those seven minutes. There wouldn’t be much need for him against Loyola, but at least he’s healthy.
Travon Brazil and Caleb Brown of Missouri are both suspect due to illness over the weekend.
G: Raikwan Evans
G: Caleb Mills
G: Anthony Bullitt
F: White Wilkes
F: Malik Osborne
J: Cameron Shelton
G: Joe Quintana
G: Kwame Marble
F: Eli Scott
F: Kelly Liaobebe
G: Amary Davis
G: Javon Beckett
G: Jaron Coleman
F: Kobe Brown
F: Jordan Willmore
G: Kendrick Davis
G: Michael Withers
G: Emmanuel Pandomel
F: Marcus Withers
F: Ischia Jessi
These types of tournaments favor teams like Florida State who rely on their depth and use it to their advantage. The fewer minutes the core players can play, the better. So guys like White Wilkes will need to step up the blows and hit some shots, freshmen should be key (specifically looking at Jalen Warley, who looks scared there), and even guys like Naim MacLeod and Quincy Ballard might get a couple minutes to spell Malik Osborne And Tanour Stars. The better minutes these guys can give you, the more success you will have until Monday.
This would correspond to the next switch, but Loyola in particular is really good at forcing a spin, resulting in 16.7 spins per game. Florida State has struggled to take care of the ball already this season, and you’ll need to be better in the first game to have the best chance of winning the championship. If FSU is at 13 turns or less against Loyola, they should win. It prevents Loyola from having easy transitional baskets, which is really the only good way to score against this FSU defense.
The offensive struggled to start the season, with less than 1.0 points per possession in each of the last two games, shooting just 43.4% from the ground while averaging over 14 turns per game. We knew it was going to be a struggle early in the season due to attack, but this is a solid tournament that FSU can’t sleep on with some solid defences. Crime should start quickly with Purdue in sight.
Anticipate the championship
Florida opened as an 8-point favorite over Loyola Marymount with over/under 139.5 (the streak could be a 7.5-point favorite depending on which location you’re looking at).
SMU opened as 6.5 points best over Missouri with over/under 140.5.
I would be surprised if FSU wins by up to 8. I expect a closer match, somewhere around a 69-65 win. FSU matches up better with Missouri, where they can fit in size, I just think SMU is a better team overall than Missouri.
FSU over SMU in the championship on Monday 71-66.