Preview: Wake Forest vs. Florida State

Grant Halverson

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will host the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday night at 8 p.m. Can the Deacs snap their four game losing streak before a two game road trip?

The Deacs and the Noles are not playing their best basketball right now. How do they teams matchup and who will get their season headed in a better direction on Saturday night? Please tell me Jameis Winston doesn't also play hoops.

Four Factors
Category Wake Forest Florida State
Effective FG% 49.2% 51.6%
Effective FG% Defense 45.9% 43.9%
Turnover% 17.9% 21.3%
Turnover% Defense 16.7% 19.6%
Offensive Rebound% 31.4% 35.6%
Defensive Rebound% 67.9% 64.2%
FTA/FGA 50.5% 41.7%
FTA/FGA Defense 39.0% 37.5%


Effective Field Goal %

Florida State has a better offensive and defensive effective field goal percentage than Wake Forest. Keep in mind that these numbers are not adjusted for competition. When you consider that Florida State played teams like VCU, Michigan, Florida, Minnesota, and UMass in the non-conference it's very impressive that their raw numbers are better than Wake's.

The Seminoles are led offensively by Ian Miller, Okaro White and Aaron Thomas, who all have an eFG% of at least 52.9%. The Noles have the 4th highest effective height in the country and that allows them to block and alter shots around the rim. Boris Bojanovsky has a very impressive block rate of 9.8%, which means he blocks nearly 10% of opponent's two point field goal attempts while he is on the court. His 7'3" frame could be an issue for Devin Thomas down low.

Turnover %

Wake has done reasonably well at protecting the ball over the course of the season, but has turned it over on more than 20% of possessions over the past three games, including 30.6% against Duke. However, the Deacs have been forcing more turnovers as of late than their 16.7% average, which they will need to do when Florida State comes to town. The Seminoles turn the ball over on 21.3% of possessions, which is 321st nationally. Unfortunately for Florida State, there are only 351 teams. Codi Miller-McIntyre does a much better job than Ian Miller of protecting the rock, so this needs to be a matchup we win if we want to be successful.

Rebounding %

Florida State has the 4th best effective height in the nation, but there is far more to rebounding than just height. The Noles grab 35.6% of their misses, which is 52nd nationally, but they grab just 64.2% of defensive rebounding opportunities, which is 322nd nationally. Wake will probably struggle with Florida State's length, but it's imperative that they grab their misses and convert on put backs. On the defensive end, Devin Thomas and Bill Moto are going to have to make sure that Okaro White and Boris Bojanovsky do not get many second chance opportunities.

Free Throw Rate

Wake Forest has a free throw rate of 50.5%, which is 23rd nationally. Unfortunately they aren't actually free and you have to make the shots for them to be awarded. The Deacs do this just 64% of the time, which is 334th nationally. Against North Carolina State, the Deacs went 14-31, which is 45.2%. Our offensive efficiency is still better when we get to the line than when we don't, but is it too much to ask for a team to make 70% of their free throws? Do we work on it in practice? I guess I'll have to ask them.

Wake has to keep Ian Miller, Okaro White and Aaron Thomas off the charity stripe. White shoots 76% and the others shoot at least 84%. If Wake is forced to foul at the end, then we'll be at a strong disadvantage.

Prediction

It's tough to get a great feel for this game. Florida State has won just two of their last eight games with their wins coming against Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. If that sounds familiar to Wake fans, it should. Wake has won just two of their last seven games with wins coming against none other than Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. Wake simply has to win this one before they go on the road against Maryland and North Carolina, otherwise we could easily be looking at a seven game losing streak. I don't have any sound reason for taking Wake, but that hasn't stopped me before.

Florida State: 65

Wake Forest: 70

Tip off is at 8 p.m., so tune in and support the team. As always, go Deacs!

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