Preview: Purdue at Florida State
It may only be November, but No. 18 Purdue and No. 14 Florida State are ready to be tested Wednesday in Tallahassee in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Both schools went on rolls to start the season but ran into trouble in their biggest games, as the Boilermakers fell to No. 12 Virginia Tech 89-83 in the championship game of the Charleston Classic in their only contest against a ranked foe, while the Seminoles came up short 66-60 against No. 23 Villanova in the Advocare Invitational championship their last time out.
The Boilermakers will have plenty of chances to redeem themselves as their visit to the Seminoles begins a daunting five-game run that also includes trips to No. 5 Michigan and No. 17 Texas along with a neutral site matchup with rival Notre Dame. “I think this is one of the stretches that can define how our season goes,” Purdue forward Evan Boudreaux said. “It’s not going to be the end-all, be-all, but if you look at these next four games, they’re games we definitely want to win and will look good if we win them come March.” While Purdue coach Matt Painter will certainly have a good idea what kind of team he has after this brutal stretch, Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton already knows what he has after Florida State embarked on a tough run of its own, culminating with the loss to Villanova. The Seminoles can score, but the backbone of their team is their intense defense that creates pressure and forces mistakes.
TV: 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT PURDUE (4-1): The Boilermakers will challenge Florida State’s ability to cover long-range shots as they rank fifth in the nation in that department after hitting 41.6 percent of their 3-pointers over the last four games. Junior guard Carsen Edwards has scored 152 points, seventh most in school history through the first six games of a season, and he leads the team with 25.3 points and 4.2 assists per game. Ryan Cline (14.2) and Boudreaux (11.2) are the only other players to average in double figures, while Boudreaux (6.0) is one of the team’s top rebounders and he has tallied more offensive boards (20) than defensive (16).
ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (5-1): The Seminoles’ high-intensity defense needs fresh bodies and the team often goes deep into its bench, with nine players averaging at least 15 minutes per game. The team relies heavily, though, on Terance Mann, who tops the team in both points per game (12.8) and rebounds (7.0), although six players average at least 7.5 points per game. Sophomore forward Mfiondu Kabengele has emerged as a scoring threat, coming off the bench to score in double digits in all three games of the AdvoCare Invitational, including 15 in an OT win over then-No. 21 LSU.
1. The teams have met just twice before, with the Seminoles winning both meetings, including a 97-57 decision in 2005 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
2. The Boilermakers and Seminoles are both giving up just 65.8 points per contest.
3. Purdue has won three of its last four road games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.