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Basketball preview: FSU Seminoles at Virginia Tech Hokies

Florida State looks to rebound Saturday after its upset loss in its last outing at Virginia.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton reacts to a call during the second half of a game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee on Jan. 25, 2020. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton reacts to a call during the second half of a game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee on Jan. 25, 2020. [MARK WALLHEISER | AP]
Published Feb. 1

No. 5 Florida State (17-3, 7-2 ACC) at Virginia Tech (14-7, 5-5)

Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Va.; 4 p.m. Saturday; TV/radio: Fox Sun; 1010-AM

BOTTOM LINE: No. 5 Florida State looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over Virginia Tech. FSU has won by an average of 8 points in its past five wins over the Hokies. Virginia Tech’s last win in the series came on March 9, 2016, a 96-85 win.

SQUAD LEADERSHIP: Landers Nolley has averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 rebounds to lead the charge for the Hokies. Complementing Nolley is Tyrece Radford, who is producing nine points and 6.5 rebounds per game. The Seminoles are led by Devin Vassell, who is averaging 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds.

SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Wabissa Bede has directly created 40 percent of all Virginia Tech field goals over the last three games. Bede has seven field goals and 21 assists in those games.

WINNING WHEN: Virginia Tech is a sterling 13-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 43.4 percent or less. The Hokies are 1-7 when they let opponents to shoot any better than that.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Hokies have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Seminoles. Virginia Tech has an assist on 41 of 70 field goals (58.6 percent) across its past three matchups while FSU has assists on 45 of 80 field goals (56.3 percent) during its past three games.

STIFLING STATE: FSU has forced opponents into committing turnovers on 26.5 percent of all possessions this year, the sixth-highest rate among all Division I teams.


  1. Florida State quarterback James Blackman (1) throws during the first half of the 2019 season opener against Boise State in Tallahassee.
  2. Feb. 14• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell speaks at a press conference Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. Norvell is Florida State's new coach, taking over a Seminoles program that has struggled while he was helping to build Memphis into a Group of Five power.
  3. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the Orange Bowl against Virginia on Dec. 30 in Miami Gardens.
  4. FSU booster Brian Murphy (far right) sits with his wife, Renee, son, Parker and daughter, Devin, at Doak Campbell Stadium.
  5. Florida State fans will have the opportunity to cheer on their Seminoles against LSU at New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2022 and at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium in 2023.
  6. ESPN films game action  on the final day of the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational at Eddie C. Moore. Fields in Clearwater last year.
  7. Feb. 11• Florida State Seminoles
    Duke guard Tre Jones celebrates after scoring against Florida State during a tight Blue Devils home victory.
  8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. watches the leaderboard after his run during NASCAR auto race qualifying at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
  9. Florida State guard M.J. Walker goes up for a shot against Miami during the second half in Tallahassee on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.
  10. Florida State guard Trent Forrest attempts to drive past North Carolina guard Cole Anthony during the second half on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, Tallahassee. FSU beat UNC 65-59.
  11. South Florida Bulls tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89) makes a key reception with Temple Owls safety Amir Tyler (25) and Temple Owls linebacker Audley Isaacs (30) defending during the third quarter of the game between USF and Temple on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  12. Feb. 6• Florida State Seminoles
    Calvary Christian kicker Aidan Shahriari, here with Florida State football coach Mike Norvell, will be a preferred walkon at the school. (Courtesy of Aidan Shahriari)