Florida State wraps up their season series with Notre Dame tonight and will look to sweep the series while attempting to secure their first win of the season away from Tallahassee. Like I did with Virginia, we’ll just talk about what’s happened since these two last played before Christmas.
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The game will air on ESPNU at 7 p.m. from the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana.
Notre Dame fights Irish collapse
Notre Dame has only gone 2-4 since we last saw them the week before Christmas, with a win over Jacksonville and a tight home game against Georgia Tech in overtime that gives me a sense of Gained a little confidence.
They struggled at the free-throw line in those games, shooting just 64.4 percent from the line and 35.6 percent from 3-point range, well below their season averages of 37.9 percent from 3-point range and 76.2 from the free-throw line. %. This is a big reason for their recent losses. Even with both of their victories at home, a one-point overtime win over Georgia Tech wasn’t exciting. Fortunately, they will face a Florida State team that has yet to win on the road.
Dane Goodwin has struggled against FSU, averaging more than 14 points in his past six games. He’s important to the success of this team, and if he can make any progress against FSU, they’ll win. I’m expecting him to bounce back with great performances in this area.
After scoring 20 points in his first game against FSU, JJ Starling was really disappointed, averaging 10.2 points on 39.1 percent shooting, and was even left out of the starting lineup against Georgia Tech. They have been pushing for more minutes for Marcus Hammond, who has given them more experience.
Nate Laszewski still led the team in scoring, but had a rough first game against FSU with 12 points. I’m sure he’ll be looking for more shots this time around, but I think FSU’s combination with Cameron Corhen and Baba Miller will cause him problems.
Florida Seminole breakdown
FSU didn’t fare as well against Virginia, shooting 21/53 from the field and 5/19 from 3-point range for just 58 points, while Virginia shot 27/60 from the field and 11/22 from 3-point range with 67 point. The 3-point line was the team’s biggest loss in a second straight game, and they’ll have to address that going forward.
Matthew Cleveland notched his seventh straight double-double, had his 10th rebound in the closing minutes, and added his 10 points as he played the full 40 minutes, which was even more indicative of the depth behind him. FSU needs Baba Miller back healthy to give Cleveland some rest. Even if this game isn’t his best, giving him a break will help.
In their first matchup against Notre Dame, they were able to stabilize their defense after a hot start. They did a good job defending Nate Laszewski and Dane Goodwin, but needed better control of JJ Starling’s dribble in this game. Miller, if he plays, should pair well with Lazewski, so to be honest, I’m not as concerned as I usually am.
Jalan Gheni is out for the season with an ACL injury.
Cam’Ron Fletcher missed the season with a knee injury.
Baba Miller missed the last game with tonsillitis and I think he’ll try to play this one.
Expected to start
G: JJ Starling
G: Trey Watts
scroll to continue
G: Dane Goodwin
G: Cormac Ryan
F: Nate Lazewski
G: Jalen Worley
G: Caleb Mills
G: Darling Green Jr.
F: Matthew Cleveland
F: Cameron Cohen
key to the game
Dribble Control/Three Point Defense
FSU’s defense has had a hard time controlling the dribble lately, which led to wide open 3s. According to coach Hamilton, they allowed 50 paint touches against Wake Forest, which made them 14/26 from 3-point range. Virginia was not far behind, shooting 11/22 from 3-point range, many of them from Kihei Clark and Rhys Beekman. The main problem is the point of attack, and if FSU can control the dribble, it will help the rest of the defense.
Consistency of offense
FSU’s offense is all over the place. Against Wake they shot well, but turned over a lot, with 17 turnovers. Against Virginia, nothing really worked. Caleb Mills and Darin Green Jr shot 7/27 from the field, but at least they kept their turnovers low. FSU really needs to find some solid offense against Notre Dame’s team in order to do well.
Goodwin scored just 2 points in the opening game between these two teams, and I can imagine he’ll want to make up for that in this game. Since Game 1 against FSU, he’s averaging 14.3 points on 50.7/37.5/77.8 shooting. It’s hard to imagine him hitting a game like he did in Tallahassee again.
Notre Dame has a 5-point advantage at Over/Under 140.5.
Even if FSU wins the first of these two games, their defense of late gives me no hope that they’ll be able to contain a strong team of shot-masts.Feels like a Wake Forest game
Notre Dame 78 USF 70
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