The Demon Deacons will take on the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, in the tallest game of the college basketball season...
Wake Forest (18-4, 5-4 ACC) is coming off of an 82-76 loss to N.C. State, just the most recent of a series of conference struggles for the young Deacons. They have lost four of their last six, after going undefeated through their first sixteen games. The Deacs can only seem to get an ACC win if their opponent is ranked or Boston College.
Lucky for them, Florida St. snuck in to the #25 spot in the most recent national polls.
Beating the Seminoles though will be a tall task, literally. The average height of Florida State's players is 6 ft. 6.9 in. To put this in perspective, the average height in the NBA - Yao Ming and all - is 6 ft. 7 in.
Here are the nation's 10 tallest teams (in inches):
Florida St. (ACC) 78.9 ( 1)
Memphis (CUSA) 78.7 ( 2)
Kentucky (SEC) 78.7 ( 3)
Texas El Paso (CUSA) 78.7 ( 4)
Southern California (P10) 78.6 ( 5)
Tennessee (SEC) 78.5 ( 6)
Gonzaga (WCC) 78.4 ( 7)
Wake Forest (ACC) 78.4 ( 8)
West Virginia (BE) 78.4 ( 9)
Vanderbilt (SEC) 78.3 ( 10)
And what's scarier than FSU's length, is how they use it. The Seminoles rank 9th in the nation in defensive efficiency according to kenpom.com. They have held three straight opponents to 61 or less, including a four point win at #11 Clemson. Florida St. also ranks 8th in the nation in block percentage and 54th in offensive rebounding percentage.
Wake Forest has plenty of size and defensive skills of their own, but most importantly, they're playing at home. Wake has only lost once all year at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum, including wins over #5 Duke and #3 North Carolina.
And although Florida State has won three in a row and the Deacons have been struggling of late, these squads have a lot in common. Besides having defensive mindsets and height out the wazzoo, Wake and Florida St. are both relatively inexperienced, ranking 274th and 300th in the nation respectively. Both teams go to the free throw line often and hold their opponents to a very low three-point percentage.
The key differences to keep your eye on are points in the paint and second chance points.
Wake ranks third in the nation in the percentage of their points that come off of two-pointers, while FSU has one of the best two-point defenses in the nation.
Wake's Achilles heel of late has been allowing way too many offensive rebounds, one of the Seminoles' strengths. Florida State also has a habit of giving up some offensive rebounds of their own, an area that Wake should take advantage of.
Should be a must-see for all Demon Deacon and Seminole fans; just try not to sit right behind either team's bench.