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Previewing Florida State

Scouting Report / Game Plan
Season Stats
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Schedule
Roster

Florida State Offense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%53.061Turnover Rate21.1146Off Reb Rate35.988FTM/FGA26.3127
How much does Toney Douglas matter? Since he broke his shooting hand against Clemson, replacing his production has been a challenge, the FSU offense has averaged less than a point-per-possession, and the Seminoles haven't won a game. Douglas was unquestionably the second scoring option--he was the only Seminole not named Al Thornton using an above-average number of possessions and taking an above-average proportion of shots.

Take a look at how Douglas's conference numbers compare to the man who's replaced him in the starting lineup, Ralph Mims:
 ORtg eFG% %Poss %Shots Pts/40 FGA/40 PPWS TO%
Douglas 106.1 48.4 23.1 23.3 16.1 12.7 1.08 20.5
Mims 93.4 43.8 16.2 13.3 8.4 7.2 0.97 29.0
It's not that Douglas's numbers were especially good (they weren't), but when you have to replace him in your lineup with a role player who isn't good enough to be anything more than a light contributor (and who struggles even at that), you are going to have problems. All the sudden you have a vortex of unproduction in the starting five, and this vortex can sometimes engulf unassuming bystanders like Jason Rich and Isaiah Swann. The suck is the most contagious disease of them all.

There is a baseball stat I like to use called Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). VORP is basically meant to answer this question: how many runs does a player contribute over what his backup (a "replacement-level" player) would? The differential can be huge. A replacement-level player is by definition below average; I'd say Ralph Mims fits that description.

Here's Mims since being thrust into a starting role:
Min/G FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA eFG%
36.3 6-22 3-12 34.1
Thirty-six minutes per game, this guy! That hurts. It's no wonder Leonard Hamilton gets that incredulous WTF? look on his face eight times a game.

Starters:

Isaiah Swann (6-1, 203) -- Sports a 1.5:1 assist-turnover ratio and has the best assist rate on the team in conference play. He's scored in double figures in every game since Douglas went down, the only NTN (Non-Thornton Nole) to do so. He shoots a team-best 57.5% in conference games and is the most frequent three-point shooter.

Ralph Mims (6-2, 210) -- Aforementioned vortex of unproduction. Don't get too close.

Jason Rich (6-3, 200) -- As mentioned in that article I linked above, Rich is struggling added pressure to score: 8-32 from the field over the last four games. Still, his overall conference shooting numbers remain good and he's not someone we can overlook defensively.

Al Thornton (6-8, 220) -- No team in the ACC asks more of one player than the Seminoles do of Al Thornton. In conference play, he's using 29.8% of the possessions and taking 33% of the shots when he is on the court--and still has managed to shoot 54.1% and post an offensive rating over 120. He scores efficiently from everywhere on the court, including the free throw line. He doesn't turn the ball over and is an unbelievable offensive rebounder. All of this is why I'd pick Thornton for ACC Player of the Year. No ACC team asks more of one player than the Seminoles do of Thornton.

Uche Echefu (6-9, 220) -- Fancies himself an inside-outside player, and is second on the team in 3FGAs in conference play (but he's only shooting 30.8% from out there). Florida State could use another consistent offensive threat in the front court, as currently there is Al Thornton and Al Thornton, but Echefu isn't there yet.

Bench:

Expect to see Jerel Allen (6-4, 192), Casaan Breeden (6-8, 200), Ryan Reid (6-8, 232), and Florida State's Trevor Ferguson equivalent, Josue Soto (6-0, 165). Breeden has been the most productive scorer of the bench guys.

Florida State Defense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%50.5186Turnover Rate23.650Off Reb Rate36.1
285FTA/FGA32.995
The Noles have the 10th-ranked defense in conference play, ahead of NC State and, of course, Miami. Their field goal percentage defense (more specifically, their two-point FG% defense) stinks and they're letting teams grab a lot of offensive rebounds. That defensive turnover rate looks good, but it hasn't translated to conference play, where opponents are turning it over just 18.9% of the time.

We should be able to score effectively in the paint on them, and I don't think our turnover rate will be too high, either.

Predict-O-Meter has Florida State by five, 76-71.