Wednesday night will feature a fascinating matchup in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge when the no. 19 Purdue Boilermakers (5-1) will travel to the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to take on the no. 15 Florida State Seminoles (5-1). For Purdue, they are coming off an absolute pounding of Robert Morris 84-46. More important, though, is to look at the game before that against number 13 Virginia Tech, a game the Boilermakers lost 89-83. While Carsen Edwards was able to drop 26 points that night, defensively they got beat up a bit. Going against a much tougher Florida State team, I think their offense won’t play quite as tough.
For Florida State, they also enter this game with just one loss. Their loss came in the championship game of the AdvoCare Invitational Tournament to number 23 ranked Villanova, 66-60. Florida State’s vaunted defense faltered down the stretch as they allowed 40 2ndhalf points after allowing just 26 in the first half. Purdue and Florida State will duke it out with one another Wednesday with a tipoff scheduled for 9:00 pm ET.
The Florida State Seminoles come into this game as 4.5-point favorites playing at home. The over/under for total points scored comes in at 149.5
Purdue Looking To Prove Worthiness Against A Ranked Team
After starting the season 5-1, it is now gut check time for the Boilermakers. Their next four games come against ranked teams (no. 15 Florida State, no. 7 Michigan, no. 24 Maryland and no.17 Texas). They would love no more than to start this stretch with a win on the road. Leading them into Seminole country will be junior guard Carsen Edwards. After losing four other starters from last year’s team, Edwards has certainly picked up his game. On the season, he is averaging 25.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He has scored 23 or more points in 5 of the 6 matchups, but it will be interesting to see how he does against Florida State, by far the best defense that he will have seen to date.
Aside from Edwards, senior guard Ryan Cline and junior forward Evan Boudreaux are the only two other players averaging double-digit scoring. For Cline, he is averaging 14.3 points, 3.7 assists, and 3.7 rebounds while Boudreaux is averaging 11.2 points and 6 rebounds per game. Most impressive about Boudreaux and his rebounds are that he actually has more offensive rebounds (20) than defensive (16) meaning that Florida State will have to make sure to win each possession on the boards.
Florida State Looking To Bounce Back After Loss
What Florida State lacks in top-end talent they make up for in depth. The Seminoles actually have 8 players who are averaging 15 minutes or more per game. They come at you strong and intensely on the defensive side, and they can rotate in and out to make sure they have fresh bodies on the court at all times. Their grueling man-to-man defense can wear down just about any team, and they are tough against both the inside and the outside game.
Offensively, Terrance Mann has been leading the way for them in points averaging 12.8 points per game. He is also leading the team in rebounds averaging 7 per game. Aside from Mann, Mfiondu Kabengele (11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds) and Trent Forrest (10 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists) lead the way for the Seminoles. While none of those stats look overwhelming, their best offense is their defense as many of the points they score are off of turnovers and fast breaks. It is for that reason that they have 8 players who average 5 points or more per game, and a 9th who is averaging 4.8.
Seminoles Come Out Ahead In This One
While they may not have the single scoring threat that Purdue has, the depth, versatility and the aggressive defense of Florida State I think will overwhelm the Boilermakers. With 7’ 4” Christ Koumadje manning the middle at times, Purdue will likely resort to the three early and often. This is not out of the norm for the Boilermakers as they have attempted more than 30 shots from behind the arc in all but one game. Still, I think Florida State will take advantage of making Purdue one-dimensional and will ultimately take the win. Realistically, if Purdue shoot lights out from the outside, this could be trouble for Florida State, but especially playing at home, I will take my chance with the Seminoles even giving up the 4.5 points.