BYU (2-0) vs. Florida State (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Barclays Center (17,734) -- Brooklyn, New York. Television: truTV. Home Record: BYU 2-0, FSU 1-1. Away Record: BYU 0-0, FSU 0-0. Neutral Record: BYU 0-0, FSU 0-0. Conference Record: BYU 0-0, FSU 0-0. Series Record: BYU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The BYU Cougars and the Florida State Seminoles square off at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, with the winner advancing to play either Notre Dame or Saint Joseph's in the title tilt.
BYU won both of its preliminary games to start the season at home, defeating Tennessee State last Friday, 81-66, and Georgia State on Tuesday, 80-62. The Cougars have had a lot of success in regular season tournaments under head coach Dave Rose, going 22-2 with four tournament titles and two-second place finishes.
Florida State's campaign did not get off to a very promising start. It began the year ranked No. 25, but it quickly was ousted from the rankings after suffering a shocking 76-71 home defeat at the hands of South Alabama. The Seminoles were able to bounce back against Buffalo on Monday (95-68) to earn a spot in the semifinals of this event. FSU has also had recent success in early-season tournaments, as it attempts to advance to a championship round for the third time in the last five seasons.
BYU claimed the only previous meeting between these two squads, 80-77, on Dec. 29, 1972.
The Cougars have gotten off to a hot start to the season, as they have connected on 53 percent of their field goal attempts through the first two games, including better than 38 percent from three-point range. As expected, BYU has been led by the inside-outside combo of Brandon Davies and Tyler Haws in the early going. Against Georgia State, Davies recorded a team-high 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field while also recording nine rebounds and three blocks, while Haws drained four treys en route to 22 points to go along with seven boards and five assists. Both players are averaging 22 ppg through the first two contests, and they expect to be atop the West Coast Conference's scoring leaderboard all season. Matt Carlino has been a viable third option, netting 10 ppg and handing out 8.5 apg.
Florida State had difficulty finding its rhythm in the opener, shooting 41.5 percent from the floor, but it was able to quickly erase that with a near-60 percent effort against Buffalo. After a down game against South Alabama, Michael Snaer took over as the game-changing scorer everyone expects him to be in the last game, putting up 19 points in just 21 minutes while hitting four of the team's 10 three-pointers. Snaer, who is averaging 14 ppg, was named an honorable mention All-American by the AP last year. Okaro White chipped in 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, and with the game well in hand in the second half there was plenty of playing time for the Seminoles' bench players, and Aaron Thomas took advantage with 10 points. In all, 12 of the 14 players who saw action scored.
The Cougars have barely broken a sweat to this point, with an average scoring margin of more than 16 ppg, but that is expected to change against a quality Florida State squad. If BYU can outmuscle the Seminoles like they were in their first game, it has a good shot at winning, but Snaer will come up with a handful of clutch buckets to lift FSU to the championship round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida State 72, BYU 70
11/16 10:37:11 ET