Florida State Seminoles vs Toledo Rockets 1st Round NIT
Tip off 6:00 PM; Television ESPNU
The game will not be available via the internet per NIT rules.
FSU – 20-12, 7-9 ACC; Home overall 14-3; RPI 41, SOS 20
Toledo –19-12, 14-2 MAC 14-2; Road overall 8-8, RPI 94, SOS 123
Last Ten Games:
FSU – 4-6; Toledo – 7-3
FSU lost 73-58 to UNC in the ACC tournament.
Toledo lost to Miami (OH) 58-53 in the MAC semifinals
Scoring offense – FSU 74.4 ppg; Toledo 69.2 ppg
Scoring defense – FSU 68.8 ppg; Toledo 67.8 ppg
Free throws – FSU .768; Toledo .671
FG percentage – FSU .472; Toledo .451
FG percentage defense – FSU .455; Toledo .479
3-pt FG percentage – FSU .372; Toledo .320
3-pt FG percentage defense – FSU .340; Toledo .338
Rebounding margin – FSU +.1; Toledo -4.4
Assists – FSU 12.31; Toledo 12.55
Turnover margin – FSU -2.07; Toledo -1.61
Steals – FSU 7.78; Toledo 9.42
Blocked shots – FSU 106; Toledo 68
Al Thornton 20.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg;
Uche Echefu 7.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Isaiah Swann 9.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Toney Douglas 12.8 ppg, 2.8 apg
Jason Rich 10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F SR Keonta Howell 15.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F SR Florentino Valencia 13.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg
G JR Kashif Payne 7.7 ppg, 4.3 apg
G SR Justin Ingram 14.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg
G SO Ridley Johnson 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Scouting the Teams: The Rockets will be making their 7th appearance in the NIT and their first since 2004.
The Rockets are a smallish team with no one over 6-7 on the roster. Thus they suffer in rebounding and are next to last in the MAC in rebounding margin and have the fifth worst rebounding margin among teams with a winning record.
However, they use their quickness to force opponents into turnovers causing 19.1 per game. With a ranking of 16th in the country, Ingram leads the team in steals with 67. Sophomore guard Jonathon Amos is second with 56 good for 4th in the MAC.
Offensively the Rockets are led by Ingram, Valencia, and Howell. All three have scored over 1,000 points in their careers at Toledo. Although not sporting a great percentage, Ingram and Howell are the designated three point shooters on the team.
Ingram has made 66 threes but converted only 29% of his attempts.
Howell has 63 but is significantly better at 36%. Interestingly Howell is a much better shooter on the road shooting just 14% at home compared to 42% on the road.
Valencia is strictly a player that will score around the basket.
A stress fracture or a hairline fracture is bothering Howell at the moment. He had been wearing a boot to relieve the pressure but says he will play Tuesday.
Defense is an issue for Toledo. The Rockets have the highest field goal percentage defensively of all the MAC teams.
Toledo had a difficult beginning to their season starting out at 4-8. Since Johnson was inserted into the lineup however, the Rockets are 15-4.
It will be a rare game where FSU actually has superior size over its opponent. The Seminoles will have to quickly get over its disappointment at being left out of the NCAA for a second straight year and focus on playing smart to avoid turning the ball over plaing into the Rocket’s hands.
FSU will use its entire athletic bench but Toledo does play nine players.
Toledo seems to be giving a great deal of respect to FSU as local television broadcasters picked the Seminoles as one of the favorites to win the NIT.