Florida State Seminoles (12-4) vs. Syracuse Orange (12-5)
When and Where: Saturday, January 13, Tallahassee, FL, 2:00 P.M. EST
Line: Florida State -6
The Florida State Seminoles and the Syracuse Orange will square off at Donald Tucker Center in Tallahassee on Saturday as part of the Atlantic Coast play. Both squads are having issues at the start of the conference play with five combined losses in first six duels. The Orange men are coming off from a road loss at Virginia, 68-61, while the Seminoles are coming off from by Louisville on Wednesday in front of their own crowd, 73-69.
The Orange aim to end three-game losing streak
The Syracuse Orange team has only one win and three losses since the beginning of the conference play which is pretty frustrating for the team that ended the non-conference slate with an 11-2 record. They’re having serious problems in efficiency lately as they average only 61.3 points per game since ACC schedule started (13th in the ACC) and 41.9 field-goal percentage (ninth in the ACC). The squad averages 69.5 points per game on offense (287th nationally) but their main strength comes on the defensive side of the court as they limit their opponents to 62.5 points per contest (17th in the NCAA).
On the individual stat-sheet, three guys are leading the team with guard Tyus Battle on the top with an average of 19.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Franklin Howard and freshman forward Oshae Brissett follow with 15.6 and 15.2 points per duel. Howard also leads the team in passing with team-high 5.5 assists while Brissett keeps the defense on spot with team-high 9.7 boards per matchup. Other notable contributors are Paschal Chukwu with 4.5 and Matthew Moyer with 4.1 points in average. Against Cavaliers, Howard led the team with 18 points while Chukwu collected game-high 16 boards.
The Seminoles poised to avoid second straight home loss
The only good thing Seminoles did since ACC play started was defeating the defending champions Tar Heels at home which is still quite an accomplishment even though the Tar Heels struggle lately too. Especially painful was the Wednesday’s loss by the Cardinals when FSU dropped the 13-point lead at the halftime by scoring only 24 points in the second period while allowing 41. These kinds of meltdowns are very worrying and they usually indicate a much bigger confidence problem in the squad. The team averages 83.6 points per game on offense (29th in the league) while allowing 69.4 points per duel to their rivals (106th in NCAA).
Individually, junior guard Terance Mann is the team’s leader with 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per duel while senior Braian Angola-Rodas adds 13.6 points, 4.5 boards and team-high 3.2 assists on average. Forward Phil Cofer concludes the list of double-digit scoring players with 13.6 points while averaging solid 5.6 boards per game. CJ Walker and Mfiondu Kabengele contribute by posting 8.8 and 8.5 points per contest. Against the Cardinals, Mann led the team with 25 points while Angola added 18.
- 14-35-2 ATS in their last 51 Saturday games.
- 1-8 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win.
- 20-5-1 O/U in their last 26 road games.
- 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- 4-1 O/U in their last five games following a straight up loss.
Even though they staged an unusual and disturbing meltdown in their last home performance, I think that the Seminoles have the juice to take down the Orange men, both ATS and straight up. Also, this game has a strong potential to be a high-scoring one so bear that in mind.