If you take a look at the FSU Seminole Basketball team on paper, you can see what he means.">
If you take a look at the FSU Seminole Basketball team on paper, you can see what he means.">

A Challenge - The Seminoles

NU Coach <b>Bill Carmody</b> suggested after Saturday's win, that tonight's game with <b>Florida State</b> would be more than just an Interleague "Challenge."<br><br> If you take a look at the <b>FSU Seminole Basketball</b> team on paper, you can see what he means.

Leonard Hamilton came to Tallahasee promising to raise the Seminole's Basketball team up to the level of the rest of the ACC.
They may not be there yet, but in his 2nd season, Hamilton [FSU Photo-Left] brings the 'Noles to the ACC/Big 10 Challenge 4-0

This is a team that so far, seems to come out, jump on top, and never give up the lead. At the same time, their 4 wins have been over Maine, Georgetown College, Nicholls State and South Carolina State -- not names that strike fear in the hearts of basketball teams.

However, the Seminoles are not to be taken lightly.

They're led by All American Candidate and scoring wiz #22 Senior Guard Tim Pickett [6-4 - right] averaging 16.3 points a game, and assisted by #54 Junior Forward Anthony Richardson [6-7 12.8 ppg] and super sub guard #23 Frosh Von Wafer[6-5], who comes off the bench averaging 11 ppg. With a 40.1 ppg average, these 3 are scoring almost half the 'Noles' 82.5 ppg average.

The FSU starters are all upperclassmen - Guards Pickett, and Nate Johnson, Forward Michael Joiner and Center Mike Mathews are Seniors, Forward Anthony Richardson is a Junior. They've played together for a while.

The Big Gun - Obviously Tim Pickett, with his 16.3 scoring average, he's the guy you have to stop, or at least slow down.

Deadeye Dick -The best shooting percentage among the starters however is #54 Forward Anthony Richardson [Left] - he's shooting 21-33 [.636]. Among the subs - #32 Freshman Forward Alexander Johnson hits 75% of his shots [12 for 16] coming off the bench. Close behind is #12 Freshman Forward Al Thornton, also off the bench, shooting a .706 [12-17]

The Bomber [most 3 Point shots] - Again its Pickett - he's 12-29, [.414 average] from outside the arc. ACC teams like to have forwards shoot from the corners -- Pickett appears to be that man for the 'Noles. Two of the subs are 2-2 from the 3 point line.

Off the Boards - #54 Anthony Richardson seems to be the man, but he only averages 5.5 rebounds a game, mostly at the defensive end. He's been the teams top rebounder 3 out of the 4 games.

Rebounding is pretty evenly distributed, but with almost the entire team averaging 3-4 boards a game. They're almost 2-1 in defensive vs offensive rebounds so far.

Charity Stripe - Pickett is 7-7, but the guy who draws the fouls is Alexander Johnson - he's only 6-17. FSU shoots .500 [120-240] from the line.

Probable Starters

  • Forward: #1 Michael Joiner (6-7 6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg)  #54 Anthony Richardson (6-7 12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
  • Center:  #33 Mike Mathews (6-10 3.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg)
  • Guard:  #10 Nate Johnson (6-3 3.0 ppg, 5.0 apg) #22 Tim Pickett (6-4 16.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
Off the Bench: Soph Todd Galloway shares the point guard duties with Nate Johnson.

This is a pretty balanced team, with an experienced starting 5, who have some decent underclassmen coming in to sub. So far Leonard Hamilton has used 14 players  - 10 average over 15 minutes a game. He's not afraid to bring in fresh legs. In contrast to the Wildcats, no player on the Seminoles averages over 24 minutes a game!

Challenges for the Wildcats

  • Pickett - Once again, we have to stop a big shooter from the back court. It appears that if you don't shut him down, Pickett will run all over you - Mohamed Hachad will have his hands full tonight.
  • Watch the Forwards - Once Pickett is slowed, the Cats have to deal with 3 Forwards who don't miss much. We match up pretty well in height, but the trio of  Richardson, Johnson and Thornton all make well over 60% of their shots, again lots of defense. The guys up front also block well.
  • Cut down on turnovers - The 'Noles have averaged almost 12 steals a game, opponents average 23.
  • Take advantage of their mistakes - FSU turns the ball over almost 18 times a game. Tonight we have to turn those into baskets.
  • Play our game - This is one team we can't get into a run and gun battle with because they have the numbers to wear us down.
This is probably the best opponent on paper we've faced in this young season. For what its worth, they expect to win their 5th game in a row easily. I'm not sure that the NU defense, combined with our slow down style of play, won't throw these guys off balance.

A good zone to force their percentages down, and some improved back court play by the Wildcats could make this one close. We play their game, and its lights out in Tallahasee early.

The game is on ESPN 2 at 6:00 PM Central. WGN will also have the game - Dave Eanet and Shon Morris will have the broadcast there.

Purple Reign will be chatting [and running from room to room]

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