Preview: Well-Rested FSU Set to Host Redhawks

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For the first time in more than a week, Florida State will return to the hardwood on Monday as the 10th-ranked Seminoles play host to Southeast Missouri State. FSU hasn’t played since beating Connecticut in Newark on Dec. 8 by a 79-71 score.

Like most of the ACC, the Seminoles took finals week completely off, and they are easing back into action on Monday, hosting Southeast Missouri State, the 279th-ranked team on KenPom. FSU (No. 15) is 264 spots better than the Redhawks on KenPom and, when the spread comes out on Sunday night, expect it to be in the neighborhood of 24 points, says Sascha Paruk from SportsBettingDime.com.

Unless FSU takes the night off, the Redhawks will have trouble cracking 60 points against the Noles’ 16th-ranked defense. They’ve already been held under that number in two road games against much lesser competition (Bradley and South Alabama).

The Match-Up

Who: Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (5-6) at No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (8-1)
When: Monday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. EST (ACC Network Extra)
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida

Key Players

For Southeast Missouri State
Ledarriuss Brewer, G (So.): 13.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2 APG
Skyler Hogan, G (Jr.): 12.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 43% 3PT
Alex Caldwell, G (Fr.): 10 PPG, 2.1 APG, 49% FG

For FSU
Terance Mann, G (Sr.):
 12.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 50% FG
Mfiondu Kabengele, F (So.): 11.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 47% FG
Trent Forrest, G (Jr.): 10 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.1 SPG

What to Watch For

Phil Cofer: Last season’s leading scorer for Florida State is expected to make his 2018-19 debut on Monday evening as Phil Cofer will return from a foot injury. Cofer averaged a team-high 12.8 points per game as a senior last season before being granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA for playing in just 11 games as a sophomore before a leg injury cut his 2015-16 season short. Cofer will likely be limited, but can stretch the floor.

FSU’s size advantage: Senior center Mark Laros, who averages less than 16 minutes per game, is the only Southeast Missouri State player taller than 6-foot-8. The 6-10 Laros and the Redhawks’ front line should have its hands full with an FSU frontcourt that will likely add Cofer to go with 7-4 senior Christ Koumadje, 6-9 forward Mfiondu Kabengele and 6-8 redshirt freshman RaiQuan Gray. Despite a lack of size, the Redhawks are an average of +3 per game on the glass.

Terance Mann: Terance Mann does so many things well for Florida State, but is coming off a monster outing in which he finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and joined FSU’s 1,000-point club. Mann had been held below double-figures scoring in four straight games — although he scored nine in three of those contests — and was coming off a season-low 3-point outing. Mann leads the Seminoles averaging 12.1 points per game. We’ll see if the monster contest against Connecticut is the beginning of an offensive awakening for the senior.

Number to Pay Attention To

28: That’s the number of consecutive home games that Florida State has won in the non-conference. The last loss came to Nebraska on Dec. 1, 2014.

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