Seven games into the conference season and FSU finds itself in a place it’s never been. The Noles are 6-1 for the first time in their ACC history, they’ve won 6 straight ACC games for the 2nd time ever, and now they have a chance to move to 7-1 and own the tiebreaker over the other three ranked teams. But to do it they have to go through the Virginia Cavaliers who not only have the best defense in the ACC, but have the best player.
Senior big man Mike Scott is the ACC Player of the Year to this point. Scott is averaging 17 points and 8.3 boards a game. He’s had six double-doubles, and has been in double figures scoring in every ACC game. He makes 59% of his 2s and 81% of his FTs. At 6’8 he can take most bigs off the dribble, he has a great mid-range game and an unstoppable fade-away. His offensive rating, offensive rebound % and defensive rebound % are all in the top-6 in the conference, and he draws more fouls than everyone besides Terrell Stoglin. In short, Scott is a beast. He sat out most of last season with an injury, so this will be the first time he matches up with Bernard James and Okaro White. How coach Hamilton chooses to defend him will be one of the more interesting storylines of the game.
FSU has won 5-straight in this series. FSU won at home last year 63-56 in a game where Chris Singleton broke his foot.
With 7’ center Assane Sene lost to injury, Scott now anchors the middle of the Cavaliers defense. Tony Bennett runs the system his father perfected – the pack line defense. Joshua Riddell from the Mikan Drill did a great job using video to break that defense down. Check it out. The pack line is built to defend teams like
The game tips at 1pm from the Donald L Tucker center, and will be broadcast on the ACC Network (check your local listings) and ESPN3. Vegas has the Noles -5, and Ken Pomeroy has the Noles -3.