Florida State will host NC State this Wednesday night at 7 o’clock with coverage on ESPN2. The Seminoles are 20-4 and ranked 14th in the most recent rankings. Leading the Noles is Dwayne Bacon averaging 17.6 PPG. The super sophomore has been outstanding for coach Leonard Hamilton leading a talented group that currently sits 8-3 in ACC play. What do you need to know before NC State migrates south?
Florida State’s last game.
The Noles beat the Clemson Tigers 109-61 behind Dewayne Bacon’s 29 points on 10-14 shooting (6-9 3FG). Bacon’s 29 points matched his career high. Not only was Bacon great but the Noles forced the Tigers into 22 TO’s which they converted into 35 points. Florida State has plenty of athletes who get after it on the defensive end as they force 15.2 turnovers per game. Their plus 2.82 turnover margin leads the ACC. Joe Lunardi of ESPN recently had the Tigers seeded as a 10 in his NCAA Tournament projections. Florida State has not lost at home this season a fact they will look to continue come Wednesday.
Florida State is as talented as any team in the NCAA.
Coach Leonard Hamilton spoke about how he is challenging his team each day to take that step to become a great team. He feels that they are getting closer to their potential but still have work. Throughout Florida State’s lineup, they have guys capable of playing well on both ends of the court. Defensively they are among the best at forcing turnovers and using them to propel their offense. As a whole, they are allowing 72.9 PPG, 42.7 FG%, and 33 3FG% making life difficult for opposing teams.
Offensively Bacon is the complete package; however, he is not alone. Supporting Bacon is Jonathan Issac and Xavier Rathan-Mayes who average 12.8 and 10.3 PPG respectively. Issac is a 6-10 freshman with the versatility to score inside as well as outside. Xavier Rathan-Mayes is averaging 10.3 PPG although he capable of exploding on any given night. This season Rathan-Mayes has done a better job at playmaking for his teammates averaging 4.7 APG. The Noles are averaging 80 PPG in ACC games this season, good enough for a plus 7.1 scoring margin in conference play.
What lies ahead for Florida State?
The Seminoles are 20-4 on the season with an 8-3 record in ACC play trailing UNC by one game for first place. The Noles host NC State on Wednesday night before traveling to Notre Dame on Saturday. Leonard Hamilton’s group have their eyes set on winning the ACC regular season crown and have a favorable schedule to accomplish this feat. With seven games remaining only two are aginst ranked opponents although both are on the road. Dwayne Bacon is one of the premiere players in the NCAA as he is getting more comfortable each game. Florida State has the talent and ability to make plays on both ends of the court to make a deep run this March.