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Opening Tip: LSU faces Florida State in battle of unbeatens in Advocare Invitational semifinals | LSU

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General Info

• What: No. 14 Florida State (4-0) vs. No. 19 LSU (5-0) in AdvoCare Invitational

• When: 3:30 p.m. Friday

• Where: HP Field House, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

• All-time series: LSU leads 3-2

• Last meeting: LSU 67, Florida State 50 (Dec. 30, 2004 in New Orleans, Sugar Bowl Classic)

• Streaking: Florida State (W4), LSU (W5)

• TV: ESPN2 (Mike Morgan, play-by-play; Tim Welsh, analyst)

• Online:

 Radio: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWWL-AM, 1350; KLWB-FM, 103.7 (Patrick Wright, play-by-play; John Brady, analyst)

• Up next: vs. Villanova or Oklahoma State at Advocare Invitational, TBA Sunday

The Storyline

LSU gets its biggest challenge of the season when the Tigers face Florida State in the AdvoCare Invitational on Friday. FSU finished 23-12 a year ago and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual national runner-up Michigan 58-54. Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton starts three seniors and a junior and returns seven of his top nine scorers as well as top two rebounders from that 2018 team. This could be a high-scoring affair as Florida State, which has scored at least 80 points in each of its four games, averages 83.8 points per game, while LSU checks in with 83.4 points a game. The Seminoles are connecting on 49.5 percent of its field-goal attempt — including a 40.5 percent showing from beyond the 3-point arc. FSU has won all four games by double digits and its margin of victory is 20.6 points a game. The ‘Noles opened the season with back-to-back wins against teams LSU is quite familiar with: Florida (81-60) and Tulane (80-69). Florida State set up the semifinal matchup against LSU with an 81-63 victory over UAB late Thursday despite committing a season-high 18 turnovers.

Starting Five

• DOING THE CHARLESTON: LSU did its part to set up the semifinals showdown with FSU by taking a 67-55 win over Charleston on Thursday night. Freshman forward Emmitt Williams had a career-best 14 points and added nine rebounds in leading the Tigers to the easy victory.

• HAPPY HOMECOMING: Williams, who played his high school ball at Oak Ridge in nearby Orlando, made his first visit back to his home state a memorable. Despite missing his third double-double of the season, his nine rebounds upped his team-high average to 8.2 per game.

• HELPING HANDS: LSU sophomore point guard Tremont Waters tied a career-best with 11 assists to go with eight points in Thursday’s win over Charleston. It was the seventh double-digit assist game of Waters’ career. He also had 11 in a win over Arkansas last Feb. 3.

• DEFENSE COMES THROUGH: LSU held Charleston to 55 points, a season-low for the Tigers whose previous best came in a 94-63 victory over Southeastern. Teams were hitting 41.2 percent of their 3-point shots against the Tigers, but Charleston was just 5 of 24 (20.8 percent).

• STRANGE, BUT TRUE: Florida State’s 7-foot-4 center Christ Koumadje, a senior, has never had a double-double in 89 games with the Seminoles. He came close Thursday night with 12 points and nine blocks in a win over UAB. He also had three blocks to give him 100 for his career.

By the numbers

136 — Games won last season by LSU’s first six opponents: Southeastern (22), UNC Greensboro (27), Memphis (21), Louisiana Tech (17), Charleston (26) and Florida State (23).

The Lineups

Florida State Seminoles (4-0)


 G Trent Forrest, 6-4, Jr., 9.8 ppg, 4.8 apg

 G PJ Savoy, 6-4, Sr., 11.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg

 G M.J. Walker, 6-5, So., 8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg

 G Terance Mann, 6-7, Sr., 14.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg

 C Christ Koumadje, 7-4, Sr., 9.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Key reserves

 F Mfiondu Kabengele, 6-10, So., 11.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg

 G David Nichols, 6-1, Sr., 3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

 G/F Devin Vassell, 6-6, Fr., 7.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg

LSU Tigers (5-0)

Probable starters

• G Tremont Waters, 5-11, So., 12.0 ppg, 7.2 apg

• G Skylar Mays, 6-4, Jr., 12.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg

• G Ja’vonte Smart, 6-4, Fr., 11.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg

• F Emmitt Williams, 6-7, Fr., 10.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg

• F Naz Reid, 6-10, Fr., 13.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Key reserves

• F Kavell Bigby-Williams, 6-11, Sr., 6.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg

• F Darius Days, 6-7, Fr., 6.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg

• G Daryl Edwards, 6-3, Sr., 4.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg

ORLANDO, Fla. — After achieving its first 4-0 start in six years, No. 19 LSU was looking to kick off its time in the AdvoCare Invitational wit…

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