Preview: Florida State at #15 Ohio State

By Corey Carpenter on December 2, 2009 at 7:00a
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Diebler has drove to the rack with authority.Diebs needs a big game tonight.
Ohio State Buckeyes #15 Ohio State 5-1, 0-0 Big Ten Roster | Schedule 9:30 PM ET - ESPN2 —— The Schott Columbus, OH Florida State Seminoles Florida State 6-1, 0-0 ACC Roster | Schedule

The Buckeyes look to improve their 2-5 all-time record in the B10/ACC Challenge with a tough match up against a hot Florida State team tonight.

Entering tonight's play, the B10 won the first 3 games, but dropped the final 3 last night, as the conference is looking for their first win in the decade long series.

The Seminoles come in fresh off their Old Spice Classic title, taking down Iona, Alabama and Marquette in consecutive nights down in Orlando over the Thanksgiving weekend, after losing to Florida 2 nights before the tourney started.

#NamePTSREBASSTPOS#NamePTSREBASST
21 Evan Turner 19.9 12.8 6.7 G 22 Derwin Kitchen 10.9 4.3 3.0
33 Jon Diebler 15.7 2.7 2.3 G 4 Deivides Dulkens 8.4 2.6 0.9
23 David Lighty 12.3 4.8 2.8 F 31 Chris Singleton 12.3 8.1 2.7
44 William Buford 11.3 3.2 2.3 F 42 Ryan Reid 6.9 5.3 1.3
52 Dallas Lauderdale 7.6 5.2 0.4 C 32 Solomon Alabi 9.9 6.1 0.0

Opponent

Florida State comes in shooting 46.8% from the floor and averaging 68 points a game on the year, although they haven't scored more than 60 in each of the last 4 games. They played 3 cupcakes to start the season and eclipsed the 80 point mark each time, hitting 59 percent of their shots in 2 of those games, but started to struggle shooting when the competition got better.

A couple of sore spots for FSU thus far is their A/TO ratio and free throw shooting. The 'Noles turn it over an average of 18 times a game, while assisting on just 13 FG's and hit just 62 percent of their charity attempts. They don't attempt too many from deep, taking about 16 bombs a game and making 6 of them.

The Seminoles go deep, with 9 players logging more than 15 minutes a game and no one playing more than 30. They'll be tall across the front, going 7'1", 6'9" and 6'8", which explains their 43 boards per contest and could lead to trouble for the Bucks.

Buckeye Breakdown:

The Bucks come in averaging almost 86 points a game, on 52.2 percent shooting. The shooting percentage is good for 8th in all the land, while the PPG ranks them 9th. Their 17.8 assists per game ranks them 15th nationally and their 9.0 threeballs made ranks them 13th.

The key for me tonight will be the play of Jon Diebler and William Buford. In the loss to UNC, the two combined to go 7/29, including 4/15 from downtown. There is no doubt the duo can get shots up whenever they want to, but they need to be smart shots tonight that happen within the flow of the offense and not forced up because they haven't taken a shot in a few minutes.

As for Evan Turner, he just needs to play under control as well tonight. Remember, he had another triple double against the Heels, 23 points, 11 boards and 10 TO's. He just needs to slow himself down tonight and trust in his teammates. BTW, Turner is 4th nationally with 12.8 boards and 6th with 6.7 assists a game and his 19.8 PPG is second, behind Talor Battle amongst conference players. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of ET's game thus far is his shooting, connecting at a blistering 62.5 percent from the field, second on the team to Dallas Lauderdale, who has made 15 of 16 shots this year and hasn't missed in 2 games.

I don't see why the Buckeyes don't pull this win off tonight. FSU is a hot team, but Ohio State has more scorers and will use a tempo that should wear the bigs of FSU down. Plus the Buckeyes can play lock down defense and should be able to contain FSU's Singleton. Prediction: OSU 76, FSU 65

Etc

  • OSU leads the all-time series 3-0, with the last win coming in 1968.
  • Thad is 76-2 vs. unranked opponents in Columbus.
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