Game Notes & Preview: Providence vs. Florida State 11/22/14

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT

When: 2:30PM

How: ESPN3 (Doug Sherman & Malcolm Huckaby)/WEEI 103.7 FM and Friars.com (John Rooke and Joe Hassett)

Game Notes

  • Providence and Florida State have met twice all time with each team winning a game making this the rubber match of the all time series to date. The last time these two teams played was December 22, 2007 when the Friars beat the Seminoles 101-95.
  • Florida State comes into this contest with a record of 1-1 on the season with their win coming in their opener against Manhattan at home. Their most recent outing was against Northeastern at home where they fell, 76-73. Both games were part of the campus sites portion of the Hall of Fame Tipoff. Sophomore guard Aaron Thomas leads the Noles in scoring at 19.0 ppg and junior guard Montay Brando leads the team in rebounding at 6.0 rpg. The preseason ACC coaches poll picked Florida State to finish 8th out of 15 teams.
  • Providence is 129-190 against the ACC all time. 121 of those 129 wins were against former Big East members Boston College, Louisville, Miami (Fl), Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. The Friars are 8-12 against charter members of the ACC.
  • The line opened as Providence +2.5

Game Preview

After 2 games against teams from the America East and 1 game against a team from the Patriot League the Friars will be taking a step up a class in opponent when they meet Florida State at the Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday afternoon. Despite being 1-1 with a loss against Northeastern this Florida State roster is as athletic and big as Providence’s and could produce some interesting matchups throughout.

Sophomore guard Aaron Thomas is averaging 19.0 ppg on the season so far to lead the team. Look for a regular dose of Kris Dunn and Jalen Lindsey on Thomas in this one. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Ed Cooley mixed in some zone for stretches which is something not seen in the first 3 games of this season.

Kris Dunn is coming off arguably the best game of his 32 game career at Providence with a career high 14 assists against Navy on Thursday night at the Dunk. If Dunn can continue making progress with his overall game and maintain that level of play against tougher opponents Providence can make some noise again this season. This game will be a homecoming for Dunn who is from New London, CT. He expects to have a large cheering section for both games this weekend. Ed Cooley mentioned he was hoping the Mohegan Sun Arena would turn into the Dunk South this weekend and it appears he will have his wish.

Freshman Ben Bentil is coming off a career high 18 point performance against Navy and his toughness on the glass will be needed against a big Florida State front line that bests Providence’s 2 7-footers with 3 of their own.

I see this game as a bit of a defensive struggle with both teams feeling each other out early. Foul trouble could be a factor for both teams but both rosters have depth so it could end up being a battle of the benches. I expect this to be one of the more entertaining game on Saturday and should come down to the final possessions.

Prediction: Providence 65  Florida State 64

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