Bears Prep for Battle at Florida State on Tuesday
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Mercer University’s men’s basketball team will try to put the brakes on a two-game skid on Tuesday evening when it travels to Florida State University for a 7 p.m. non-conference tip-off at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The game will air live on Fox Sports Florida.
The Bears (1-2 overall) will have their work cut out for them against the red-hot Seminoles (4-0 overall). FSU is 41st in the latest RPI index by CollegeRPI.com. Florida State is coming off of an 89-66 win at Florida International University last Thursday (Nov. 18).
Senior guard Jeff Smith leads the Mercer team in scoring and had his second-consecutive 20-point game versus Harvard. On the year, Smith averages 16.7 points per game and is shooting a quality 53.1 percent from the field, including 38.9 percent from long-range.
Fellow senior Brandon Moore, a forward, is the only other Bear averaging in double-digits at 15.3 points per game. Moore tops the team at 8.0 rebounds per game.
Freshman point guard Langston Hall leads the A-Sun by dishing off an average of 5.67 assists per game.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
Florida State is led by 6’9 junior forward Chris Singleton, averaging a double-double of 19.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Singleton is also shooting an impressive 58.1 percent from the field. Singleton is on the watch list for the 2011 John R. Wooden Award (presented to the top player in college basketball) and was the 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the year.
Lithuanian native Deividas Dulkys, a junior guard, checks in at 12.8 points per game, while sophomore guard Michael Snaer is at 10.3 p.p.g. for Florida State.
FSU is winning its games by an average of 23 points per game, with Mercer’s fellow Atlantic Sun Conference mate University of North Florida staying closest to the ‘Noles (losing by just 20 points, 75-55). Florida State is also out-rebounding its opponents by 8.6 boards per game.
The two teams last meet a little over a year ago for Mercer’s Homecoming game in 2009. FSU spoiled the festivities before what was the third-largest crowd in University Center history (3,200) with its 89-50 victory over host MU.
Florida State had five players in double figures in that game on November 21, 2009, while Mercer had just one (graduated all-time scoring leader James Florence tallied 14 points). Chris Smith was the next most productive scorer with seven points off the Bears’ bench.
*FSU leads the series versus Mercer, 15-8, and has won the last eight meetings between the teams. Mercer has not defeated the Seminoles since January 30, 1954 when the Bears took a 70-63 decision in Tallahassee.
*Of MU’s eight wins over FSU in the series only the first meeting (1948) and third meeting (1949) have come in Tallahassee.
*The Harvard game was the third time in as many outings thus far in the 2010-11 in which Mercer found itself trailing at the half, being forced to battle back in the second stanza.