It’s Senior Day, last home game for the Hoos. 4:00 pm Saturday, on ESPN2.
Florida State is 14-13 overall, 9th place in the ACC at 7-10. Their NET ranking is 107, which makes this a Quad-3 game for UVA.
Plagued by injuries to key players, FSU has lost 8 of their last 9. They got off to a promising 6-2 start in ACC play before the injury bug hit. It’s all fallen apart now. Senior starters Anthony Polite and Malik Osborne are out for the season. Leading scorer Caleb Mills has missed several games, and is expected to miss this one. They’re coming off a 71-55 loss at Boston College on Monday.
The injuries have left them using even bigger lineups. It’ll be a challenge for UVA to match up.
RayQuan Evans (8.2 PPG) 6’4 Jr G, Strong physical guard. He’s been battling an injury of his own, but is expected to play.
Matthew Cleveland (11.1 PPG) 6’7 Fr SF, Prized recruit has become their go-to scorer with Mills out. Not a good outside shooter, but hard to keep out of the lane.
Wyatt Wilkes (3.9 PPG) 6’8 Sr SF, Super senior was a lightly used reserve before the injuries. Does nearly all his damage from three, although the percentage (32%) isn’t great.
John Butler (5.3 PPG) 7’1 Fr PF, Stretch big isn’t shy about letting it fly. Been cold lately but still hitting 37% from three on the season.
Tanor Ngom (4.7 PPG) 7’1 So C, Traditional big man has moved into a bigger role due to injuries.
Cam’Ron Fletcher (6.9 PPG) 6’6 So F, Kentucky transfer gets starter minutes off the bench, as a 3/4 combo. Great athlete, shoots it pretty well. Scored in double figured in four straight.
Jalen Warley (3.7 PPG) 6’4 Fr PG, Former UVA recruiting target is also playing more now as really their only true PG. Great athlete and a high IQ guard. Can be reluctant to shoot jumpers.
Harrison Prieto (2.8 PPG) 6’8 Sr F, Walk on is in the rotation now. Had a 13 point outburst against Wake.
FSU is big. Kihei will need to guard a much bigger guy all game. Gardner will have trees all around. But their wings and forwards playing guard will also need to chase our guys around screens in the blocker/mover. It’ll be a game of mismatches.
Despite the missing players, this is still a very athletic FSU team. They force turnovers and block a lot of shots. Their pressure and overplay defensive style usually gives UVA fits. They’re good at taking you out of what you want to do. You have to make plays against them.
This is a team limping to the finish line. They’ve shown a willingness to roll over lately once they get behind. Don’t give them a reason to believe.