By Charles Jay
I always liked Leonard Hamilton, and wondered why my alma mater, the University of Miami, let him go. And then of course I realized that he bolted THEM for the Washington Wizards of the NBA. Well, he’s been at Florida State for the last 17 yards, and he’s had a big task this season – replacing five of the six players who logged the most minutes from a 29-win club that made it to the Sweet 16. But it looks like he’s doing a pretty good job of it.
And he brings his ‘Noles into Bloomington on Tuesday for a 9 PM ET start against the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, televised on ESPN2.
By the way, we should tell you that if you’re a BetAnySports customer, while you’re watching the game you can place wagers in real time using the facilities of either Sports Betting Ultra or Live Betting Extra.
Here are WagerWAR’s NCAA basketball odds on this game, which show Indiana as a slight favorite:
Indiana Hoosiers -1.5
Florida State Seminoles +1.5
Over 135.5 points -110
Under 135.5 points -110
FSU under Hamilton has always aimed for size and strength, insofar as it creates great defense. And they look like they are headed that way. They have a couple of seven-footers, block quite a few shots, and force a lot of turnovers. They have a solid floor leader in Trent Forrest who is also a defensive standout, and they can get some three-point thrust going with JC transfer Nathaniel Jack and Devin Vassell, who was named the outstanding player of the recent Emerald Coast Classic.
Maybe the guy who’ll have the most impact when all is said and done is freshman Patrick Williams, a genuine five-star recruit. As far as average height is concerned, FSU tops the list among all 353 Division I teams.
Indiana isn’t small, though. And they’ve got their own big-time recruit in Trayce Jackson-Davis, who has four double-doubles already and ranks in the top 30 in blocked shot percentage.
Indiana, which missed out on the NCAA tournament last year, hasn’t really been tested at all. So this is the first time they’ll face anything resembling a Top 25 opponent. In point of fact, Florida State is ranked #17 by the AP.
And they have done that on the strength of some very good wins. The ‘Noles lost to Pitt to start the schedule, but among their seven straight victories is a road win at Florida, and thrillers over Tennessee and Purdue, in that Emerald Coast Classic.
Of course, if you were advocating for the other side, you’d say that those last two margins were razor-thin (both by three points) and that they were more or less home games. But they were close games against very good teams that showed the mettle of this group.
What I like about FSU is that they can defend all over the floor, and they make opponents exhibit a lot of patience. They make shots tough, whether they are inside or outside of the three-point line. As we mentioned, they create transition with turnovers and blocks, and control tempo. They are third in the nation in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. And defense “travels.”
There was action on Florida State from an opening of three points. And the total was bet down from 140 as well. So this doesn’t necessarily create the greatest amount of value. Nonetheless, I like the battle-tested team (I know I probably use that term a little much). So I’ll grab whatever points are available.
And don’t forget that BetAnySports is the place to be when it comes to college basketball, as they give you favorable odds with reduced juice, real-time wagering through Sports Betting Ultra, and a number of ways to open an account, including the virtual currency of Bitcoin, which is fast and easy with their automated system, and NEVER incurs a transaction fee!
(The preceding information has been furnished for news matter only)