No. 15 Seminoles look to stay undefeated tonight at Tulane
No. 15 Florida State (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at Tulane (0-0, 0-0 AAC)
Tonight, 7 p.m. Avron B. Fogleman Arena (4,100), New Orleans
The Seminoles are coming off one of their most impressive regular-season wins in recent memory. They dominated a talented Florida team from the start, leading by 11 at halftime and then increasing it to as much as 35 in the second half. The Gators closed the game on an 11-0 run to make the final margin 21 points.
Tonight represents a different type of test for Leonard Hamilton's team. Not only is it their first road game of the season, but it's against a team that hasn't played a game yet. Tulane finished with a 13-17 record a season ago, including a 72-53 loss to Florida State in Tampa.
The Green Wave return three starters from that team, but none that averaged more than 10 points per game. They played an exhibition against Loyola-New Orleans on Nov. 1, so Hamilton and his staff haven't had a ton of film to prepare for Tulane.
If Florida State plays like it did in the opener, however, it shouldn't matter too much.
The Seminoles got balanced scoring, led by P.J. Savoy's 20 points (on 5 of 7 from 3-point range) and the defense harassed Florida all night, completely shutting down the Gators' attack until the game was well in hand.
Florida State played 15 players. Eleven scored. And that was without last year's leading scorer, Phil Cofer, who will again be sidelined tonight with a foot injury. While Tulane likely won't be much of a resume booster for the Seminoles if they were to win tonight, the NCAA Selection Committee is putting more weight on true road wins this season. So it won't hurt either.
Florida State is currently ranked No. 15 in the USA Today coaches' poll and No. 17 in the AP.
Last meeting: Florida State 72, Tulane 53 (Dec. 10, 2017)
All-time series: Florida State leads 24-12
TV: ESPN3 Radio: Seminole radio network
Head coaches: Leonard Hamilton (Florida State), Mike Dunleavy (Tulane)
FSU Projected Starting lineup
G Trent Forrest, 6-4, Jr. 13.0 ppg, 5.0 apg
G P.J. Savoy, 6-4, Sr. 20.0 ppg
G M.J. Walker, 6-5, Soph. 10.0 ppg
F Terance Mann, 6-7, Sr. 9.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg
C Christ Koumadje, 7-4, Sr. 9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
Tulane Projected Starting lineup
F Samir Sehic, 6-9, Jr. 10.5 ppg last season
F Blake Paul, 6-9, Sr. 3.3 ppg last season
G Jordan Cornish, 6-6, Sr. 9.9 ppg last season
G Ray Ona Embo, 6-5, Jr. 10.1 ppg last season
G Caleb Daniels, 6-4, Soph. 6.4 ppg last season
What to watch for:
It's not often Tulane gets an ACC team in its home gym. Especially one that's ranked and coming off an Elite Eight appearance. So even though the venue is small it could be a loud and tough place to play tonight for the Seminoles - specifically if Tulane hangs around and keeps it close in the second half. Either way, this will be a good test for a team that has struggled to win away from home in conference play the last two seasons ... The Seminoles will look to get a nice bounce-back game from backup point guard David Nichols. The Albany transfer struggled in the opener against the Gators, hitting just one shot, but is going to be an important piece for this team moving forward. ... The Green Wave have a number of freshmen on their team, some who will no doubt see the court tonight. How they handle the length, athleticism and tenacity of the FSU defense will be a key if they're going to pull off the upset.
Opening Line: Florida State minus-14