Here are three things to watch for when Florida State (2-1) faces St. Joseph’s (2-0) on Saturday at the Barclays Center, in the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Tip-off will be at approximately 9:30 p.m., and you can watch the game on truTV.
FRESH LEGS? Both teams are on a high, after wins in the semifinals Thursday night. Florida State blew out BYU, 88-70, while St. Joseph’s rallied late to force overtime and eventually upset No. 20 Notre Dame, 79-70.
It’s a quick turnaround -- especially for St. Joe’s, who played the late game, and played an extra five minutes. We’ll see if fatigue is a factor.
THE SEMINOLES: Florida State got upset in its opening game of the season, losing to South Alabama at home, 76-71. The Seminoles then beat Buffalo by 27, before the win against BYU. They were picked to finish fifth in the ACC in the conference’s preseason coaches poll, and fourth in the media poll.
FSU lost four starters from last year’s squad, which defeated Duke and North Carolina back-to-back to win the ACC tournament for the very first time. But they still have Michael Snaer, a 6-foot-5 senior guard who leads the team at 15 points per game. Okaro White, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, adds 13 points per game. Coach Leonard Hamilton is playing a lot of guys -- 10 different players are averaging at least 13 minutes per game.
THE HAWKS: St. Joseph’s pasted Yale, 61-35, in its regular season opener, before the victory over Notre Dame. The Hawks were picked to win the Atlantic 10 in the conference’s preseason poll.
St. Joe’s has four players averaging in double figures, led by 6-foot-2 junior guard Langston Galloway (16.5 ppg) and 6-foot-8 junior forward Ronald Roberts Jr. (15.5 ppg, 14 rpg). Galloway lost a tooth while diving for a ball late in regulation against Notre Dame, but quickly returned to the game.
Senior guard Carl Jones, the team’s leading scorer last season (17 ppg), will make his season debut Saturday night. He missed the Hawks’ first two games after being suspended “due to a violation of the university’s community standards.”