Are they for real? Florida State Seminoles

Steve Merril

Written by Matt Josephs for Covers Expert Steve Merril.


The month of February is a time for bubble teams to start separating themselves from the pack. This year’s bubble includes Florida State, who has been one of the surprise teams in the nation with a current 19-6 straight-up (SU) record and a 6-4 ACC mark.


Still, the question remains: Are the Noles for real?


Any discussion of FSU begins with senior guard Toney Douglas, who single-handedly leads this team. The 6-foot-2 guard has 13 straight double-digit games averaging 20.3 points this season which ranks 24th overall in the country. Douglas also averages two steals per game and plays point guard, so chances are the ball is in his hands when it matters. Douglas is the only double-digit scorer on this team.


Next up are Uche Echefu and Chris Singleton, who each average slightly over eight points per game. The team is also boosted by late season addition Derwin Kitchen, a sophomore guard providing a spark. Kitchen averages only 6.9 points per game but he has also played some point guard when needed.


Defensively, Solomon Alabi is 44th in the country in blocks averaging approximately two per game. The 7-foot-1 center is able to bolster the Seminoles’ interior defense when he stays out of foul trouble, but he is facing a possible suspension for Wednesday’s game against Miami.


The Noles are 170th in points per game offensively (67.8 ppg) and 212th in field-goal percentage at 42.6.


On the positive side, they are stingy on defense at 10th in field-goal percentage defense and blocked shots per game. Overall, the Seminoles allow just 63.7 points and only 38.4 percent on field goals versus opponents that average 72.7 ppg and 44.7 percent.


Florida State is currently 20th in the RPI with their strength of schedule ranking at 26th in the nation. The Seminoles have also been profitable from a betting perspective this season with a 12-6-1 ATS record, including 8-2-1 ATS on the road. 


FSU’s tournament resume is littered with quality wins featuring an 80-77 win versus California, a 57-55 victory over the Florida Gators and a 65-61 win at Clemson as a 9-point road underdog. Close calls include 8-point losses versus both Duke and Pittsburgh, along with a 3-point buzzer beater loss at the hands of the North Carolina Tar Heels.


If the NCAA tournament started today, Florida State would be in the Big Dance thanks to the team’s strong defensive play. However, the offense is still a major concern and their magic carpet ride will likely end with a first round tournament loss. The numbers just aren’t conducive to a long run. 


It would still have to be considered a successful season for Seminole fans, but overall this basketball team is not for real.


Matt Josephs is a producer for ESPN Radio in Richmond Virginia.  He loves the home underdog and the Temple Owls.  View his articles, picks, and posts on the Covers message boards under the screen name “blakejeff”.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

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Posted by smalltimer
8 years ago

glad to finally see a write up about this team... i just wanna see then in the dance... and the selection show will be awesome this year... finally i get to see my noles in the dance.

Posted by thesox031185
8 years ago

well they were tied in third b4 last night, half game behind clemson and duke. How can you say they are not for real when they have taken pitt, duke, and unc to the limit. Have been great on the road, and are in the toughest conference. They also are number 20 in rpi, that doesnt sound like a bubble team to me. You cant find one bracket projection that has them on the bubble.

Posted by Jon_Campbell
8 years ago

thesox - the Noles aren't in third in the ACC. They're in a three-way tie for fourth and seven teams in the conference have at least six wins just like they do, What are the other mistakes you're seeing? Please let us know so we can correct anything we've missed.

Posted by thesox031185
8 years ago

awfull article. Mistakes everywhere, and your lack of basketball knowledge is very evident. Also do some research, Kitchen is not a freshman he is a JUCO transfer. Also they are not a bubble team this year. They are ini 3rd in the ACC. IF the tourney started today they would be a 6/7 seed.
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Top Response

Posted by thesox031185
8 years ago

"well they were tied in third b4 last night, half game behind clemson and duke. How can you say they are not for real when they have taken pitt, duke, and unc to the limit. Have been great on the road, and are in the toughest conference. They also are..."