Opponent preview: What to know about No. 8 Florida State

first_imgSyracuse, who has just two home games the rest of the season, will play Florida State Saturday at noon. The Seminoles (20-4, 10-3) haven’t lost at home this season and have won 12 of their last 14 games. Most recently, FSU lost by five points at Duke on Monday. Syracuse (14-10, 7-6 Atlantic Coast) also enters the game coming off a five-point loss, its to North Carolina State on Tuesday — a game that redshirt junior Elijah Hughes only played 2:33 of after suffering a groin injury in warmups. His status for Saturday’s game is still unknown. Here’s what to know about FSU ahead of its game against Syracuse.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 7-4Last time they played: Syracuse lost 80-62 in the Carrier Dome against Florida State on Feb. 5, 2019. After the Orange climbed back from a 22-point deficit and came within a point of the Seminoles, the game blew open once more. Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 23 points while Terance Mann led FSU with 22 points. The FSU report: At an average of 79 inches per player, the Seminoles are the tallest team in the nation. Unsurprisingly, they block more shots than anyone else in the country. FSU also ranks in the top 10 in steals and plays a pressure-heavy style of defense. Marek Dolezaj noted after Syracuse’s loss on Tuesday that FSU would pressure more than NC State had. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Seminoles scoring is spread out amongst their players, with three players averaging more than 10 points per game — Devin Vassell’s 13.4 points per game leading the way. The 6-foot-7  guard also leads FSU in rebounds per game with 5.3. How Syracuse beats the Seminoles: It’s hard to see what Syracuse requires without knowing if its best player will be on the court. The Orange will need to utilize defensive pressure in a similar way that they did against NC State. So Joe Girard III will have to play well following his career-high 30 points on Tuesday. If Hughes plays, then Syracuse can likely try to outrun the Seminoles pressure and turn it into transition scoring opportunities. Stat to know: 24.9% — Florida State forces a turnover nearly one out of every four defensive possessions. That rate ranks seventh nationally. KenPom odds: The Orange have a 21% chance of winning the game with a final score of 77-68, per KenPom.Player to watch: Guard, No. 24 Devin VassellVassell has shot nearly 50% from the field this year and leads the Seminoles in scoring. The sophomore shoots 42% from beyond the arc and could light up Syracuse with open shot opportunities in the zone. Comments Published on February 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more