Paradise Island, Bahamas – The Battle 4 Atlantis in the ranked Florida State Seminoles and the Massachusetts Minutemen this afternoon.
Florida State has opened this season with four consecutive double-digit victories, handling its overmatched competition rather easily. On Sunday, the Seminoles were completely dominant from start to finish in an 80-39 romp over South Alabama. The ACC is loaded as usual with the likes of Duke and North Carolina leading the way, but FSU is certainly capable of making some noise as well.
There is no doubt that UMass has been just as dominant as Florida State thus far, and the Minutemen made a major statement on Monday with an 82-46 thrashing of Boston College, an ACC opponent. Considering the strong start, especially that most recent outing, the Minutemen have to be looked at as major contenders in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
UMass has won three of its five all-time meetings with FSU, but the 'Noles won the most recent matchup by 10 points back in 2006.
The Seminoles seem to lack the type of player capable of consistently taking over a game at the offensive end of the court. Fortunately, there is plenty of balance for FSU, which is generating 77.8 ppg on 51.2 percent shooting from the floor. The 'Noles are holding opponents to 55.5 ppg on 33.2 percent shooting and are outrebounding foes by nine boards per contest in the process. Michael Snaer leads the club with 11.8 ppg, and Deividas Dulkys adds 11.5 ppg to the mix. Terrance Shannon (11.0 ppg) and Bernard James (10.0 ppg) bring balance to the lineup. Luke Loucks scored 18 points for the FSU in the blowout win over South Alabama, and Shannon hit all six of his field goal attempts en route to 15 points in that affair. The Seminoles shot 52.1 percent from the field and limited South Alabama to 23.5 percent, which included a horrendous 0-of-25 effort from three-point range.
Sophomore Chaz Williams has been impressive for UMass through the first four games, as he is netting 17.3 ppg to go along with 8.0 apg. Terrell Vinson checks in with 13.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg, while Sampson Carter and Javorn Farrell contribute 10.8 ppg apiece. The Minutemen are scoring 82.2 ppg while limiting foes to 35.2 percent field goal efficiency and 59.5 ppg. In the 36-point victory over Boston College, Williams scored 16 points and handed out five assists. Freddie Riley tallied 14 points for the winners, while Cady Lalanne and Jesse Morgan pitched in 11 points apiece. UMass earned a 46-31 rebounding advantage in the affair and put forth a tremendous defensive effort, limiting the frustrated Eagles to 31.3 percent field goal efficiency while forcing them into 23 turnovers.