Are the Noles a Sleeper?

Lower seeds make runs in the NCAA tournament all the time, does this year's Florida State team has a chance be one of those teams? NoleDigest takes a look at some qualities that those teams typically have.

(1) Three shooters who have at least 100 attempts from three point range and shoot over 37%

The answer here is "no". FSU only has TWO players with 100 attempts and NEITHER shoots over 37%. Michael Snaer(37-105) and Deividas Dulkys(51-154) have the most attempts. Chris Singleton would have went over the the 100 number and probably would have been over 37%, but he has been injured and he did not reach 100 attempts.

What does it mean? It is hard to get back in a game that FSU is down and it is hard to go on one of those quick 14-0 runs in the tourney. Three point shooting would actually be a huge liability in the tournament based on the numbers this season.

(2) Holding teams to under 40% shooting

FSU passes this test with flying colors. The Noles are holding teams to a 36.4% shooting percentage and 30.1% from three point range. Obviously this is a defensive team and these numbers are truly outstanding.

However as good as this team is defensively, they do not rebound the ball particularly well and they do not create as many turnovers(15.5) as they give up(16.1).

While the defense is generally very solid, they need to be better than they have played all year. If a run is to made, it will happen because of a light's out defense.

(3) Having two guys that average over 1.5 blocks per game

FSU HAS this with Bernard James(2.3) and Chris Singleton(1.6). This is huge in the tourney as the games are slowed down a touch and there is more action in the paint.

Unfortunately some of blocks cut away from rebounding as FSU rebounds the basketball at an average clip.

Still having that inside presence goes a long way in the tourney and this is one area where there is a case that FSU is undervalued nationally.

(4) A style that is made for the tourney

This is a tough call because FSU is certainly a defensive team and that tends to be an asset in the tourney. However, the lack of shooting is a real liability and this team can struggle to score the basketball. It is often times tough to score down the stretch and FSU would be a team who fits that mold.

(5) A coach who has been there before

This is Leonard Hamilton's 6th appearance in the tournament. He has lost in the first round three times, the second round once, and the sweet 16 once.

That is not a great tourney record, thus there is no Tom Izzo, Ben Howland type resume to build off of here.

Verdict

This is not the the type of team that would be considered a "sleeper" based off of the five factors above. The shot blocking and, in general, the defense are sweet 16 worthy, but the lack of offensive firepower is likely to catch up FSU at some point.

The draw is favorable.....Texas A&M is a similar team with a similar style, they do not have the 3 point shooters either(although better than FSU), they do not have the shot blockers, and Turgeon has just one sweet 16 on his resume(like Hamilton).

Based off of this evidence, it would appear that FSU and A&M will play a tight game that will come to down the wire. Notre Dame has THREE shooters with over 100 attempts and each shoots better than 42.4% from three point range.

The goal should be to beat this feisty AM team and then get ND into a game that is tight in the final five-six minutes and hope the Irish succumb to the pressure of their lofty no. 2 seed.

**Singleton has been injured, but is expected to play in the tourney.

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