Thanksgiving week brings us some of the best basketball of the year and this season is no different. Tennessee is set to take on Florida State in the first round of the Emerald Coast Classic on Friday night. Depending on the results, Tennessee will see either VCU or Purdue on Saturday.
It will be another big couple of tests for this team, which have already passed its first against a good Washington squad. Against Florida State, they’ll get a similar test in size and length.
“It is going to be a test not only for our frontline, but also for our team,” Rick Barnes said of Florida State on Wednesday. “We are going to play against a long, athletic team. A team that is going to deny wings, pressure you all over the floor and will show you a variety of traps. We are going to have to handle that against some high-level athletes. It will be not just a test for our frontline guys, it will be a test for our team.”
Florida State is 5-1 on the year with their lone loss coming to Pitt out of the gates. They went on to beat Florida in their next game, who was ranked inside of the top ten at the time. It’s been a breeze for the Seminoles since, winning four straight lower tier non-conference matchups.
Leonard Hamilton’s roster is balanced offensively, featuring four scorers that average double digits per game.
- 6-6 G Devin Vassell: 12.3 pts, 4 reb
- 6-4 G Trent Forrest: 12.2 pts, 3.8 reb, 4.7 ast
- 6-5 G M.J. Walker: 11.3 pts, 4 reb
- 6-8 SF Patrick Williams: 10.8 pts, 3.8 reb
Florida State: 16th
The Volunteers will need another big game from Jordan Bowden, which they’ve gotten plenty of so far this year. They’ll need a strong effort from Yves Pons as well, who had his first rough outing earlier this week against Chattanooga. Josiah James must continue to help win the battle on the boards, which will be key tonight.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Location: Destin, Florida
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Odds: Florida State -1.5
Radio: Vol Network