florida state seminoles

Preview: FSU Faces Owls in Orange Bowl Classic

Florida State will look to extend its season-long winning streak to four games on Saturday as the Seminoles face Florida Atlantic in Sunrise, Florida for the Orange Bowl Classic.

The Seminoles are 7-2 on the year and 5-1 all-time in the Orange Bowl Classic. FSU is 3-1 on neutral courts already this season. FSU is coming off a 90-66 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday night in what was perhaps the team’s most impressive performance since the season-opener against Nicholls State.

Key Players for Florida Atlantic

  • Adonis Filer (Jr.-G): 10.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.7 APG
  • C.J. Turman (So.-C): 9.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 50% FG
  • Jackson Trapp (Sr.-G): 9.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG

Key Players for Florida State

  • Xavier Rathan-Mayes (So.-G): 12.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.4 APG
  • Dwayne Bacon (Fr.-G/F): 16.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 51% FG
  • Malik Beasley (Fr.-G): 18.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 53% FG

Freshmen Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley have carried the Seminoles through the early parts of the year. Beasley is averaging better than 18 points-per-game to lead FSU while Bacon is getting more than 16 per contest. Each are tied for the team-lead with 5.1 rebounds-per-game.

The newcomers have fueled the Seminoles, but returning players have made their mark as well. Last season’s leading scorer Xavier Rathan-Mayes is averaging 12 points and an ACC-high 6.4 assists-per-game. 7’3″ center Boris Bojanovsky is having a career-year for the Seminoles, averaging 8.3 points and 4.6 rebounds. He’s scored in double-figures in five of FSU’s nine games. As a team, FSU is averaging nearly 86 points per contest — good for 18th in the nation.

While FSU comes in hot, FAU is not. The Owls have lost three straight entering the contest and are one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to scoring, rebounding and sharing the basketball.

Florida Atlantic has three players who average at least nine points, but junior and Clemson transfer Adonis Filer is the only player to average in double-figures scoring at 10 points-per-game. Sophomore center C.J. Turman averages 9.9 points-per-game and a team-high 6.2 rebounds. Senior guard Jackson Trapp averages an even 9 points-per-contest.

FSU is 4-0 all-time against the Owls with the last contest coming in December 1998. FSU won that one by a 90-52 margin with guard Terrell Baker pacing the Seminoles with 20 points. Saturday’s game will begin after 5 p.m. eastern time and will air locally on Fox Sports Florida.

About Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson is a Bloguin contributor, the editor of Noled Out and a lifetime Florida State sports enthusiast. Mike vividly remembers watching Warrick Dunn run down the sideline in Gainesville in 1993, the "Choke at Doak" in 1994 and Monte Cummings' driving layup to beat #1 Duke in 2002. Mike has worked as a sports reporter in both print and online. For isportsweb in 2013, Mike gave press coverage of Florida State football's run to the 2013 national championship. Mike has been featured on SI.com, FoxSports.com and Yahoo Sports while interviewing major sports stars such as 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen. Mike graduated from Florida State University in 2009 with a major in Religion and a minor in Communications. Mike currently resides in Haines City, Florida with his wife Jennifer and daughters Trinity and Greenly. Mike is a full-time reporter at Polk County's newspaper, The Ledger, in Lakeland, Florida. Mike can be followed on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.