Georgetown, FSU preview: Starks, Hoyas re-calibrate goals

Georgetown, FSU preview: Starks, Hoyas re-calibrate goals
March 24, 2014, 12:30 pm
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(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

Matchup: No. 4 Georgetown (18-14, 8-10 Big East) vs. No. 1 Florida State (20-13, 9-9 ACC)

What: NIT, 2nd round

When: Monday, 7:00 p.m.

Where: Donald L. Tucker Center

Broadcast: TV - ESPN, Radio - 980 AM.

Recent: The Hoyas downed West Virginia 77-65 in their NIT opener last Tuesday at McDonough Arena behind 32 points from D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Florida St fended off Florida Gulf Coast 58-53 in its NIT first round matchup.

History: FSU leads the all-time series 3-0 with the last meeting coming in the 1992 NCAA Tournament, center Alonzo Mourning's final game with the Hoyas.

KenPom: Georgetown 63, Florida State 38

RPI: Georgetown 71, Florida State 53

Coaches: Georgetown - John Thompson III; Florida State - Leonard Hamilton

Leaders: Hoyas - Scoring (D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera 17.4), Rebounding (Nate Lubick, 5.5), Assists (Markel Starks, 4.1) 

Goals: Before his senior season started Markel Starks made note of the banners hanging in McDonough Arena, the Hoyas practice court. There are almost yearly reminders of Georgetown's previous postseason successes. That includes Starks' first three seasons with the program, but the term success is relative in this realm. 

Yes, the Hoyas reached the NCAA Tournament, but accomplished little once there. No Final Four or Sweet 16 mentions were listed on those recent banners. Therefore, Starks made it clear back in October of his senior season goal: "Well, obviously, to get out of this hole," he replied immediately. "This NCAA hole." 

Obviously, we know that objective fell short, though Georgetown's season continues. 

“I don’t think we’re done playing basketball at this point, and hopefully I’m not the only onethat feels that way,” Starks said on Friday. “We still have a lot to play for. As one of our coaches said, ‘Obviously, we’re not in the NCAA tournament, but we can still be a national champion.’ ” 

Florida State: Even in a sport played by tall individuals, the Seminoles collective size stands out. Sophomore center Boris Bojanovsky stands 7-foot-3. The sophomore produced 12 points and 12 rebounds in FSU's ACC Tournament win over Maryland. Forward Okara White, one of six players on the roster 6-foot-9 or taller, led the ACC with 4.0 steals per game. The Seminoles ranked second in the ACC with a 46.5 field goal percentage. 

Size is not all that Florida State has working. Sophomore guard Aaron Thomas (14.3 ppg) leads in scoring and senior guard Ian Miller adds 13.7 per game. 

Georgetown out-rebounded WVU 34-29, but half of its rebounds came from the 6-foot-1 Starks and the 6-foot-3 Smith-Rivera, who grabbed 10.  

Random: The Big East put four teams into the NCAA Tournament, two into the NIT. After third-round losses by Villanova and Creighton over the weekend, the Hoyas are the last Big East team remaining.