1. After the loss, FSU is now 12-6 (2-4). This is a game ahead of where I predicted they'd be in my preseason projections, though the out of conference schedule was also slightly easier than originally expected. Regardless, we're now into the portion of the ACC schedule that gets easier. After facing four of the nation's top-17 in the past five games, the Noles now host Pitt (No. 20 in the Coaches Poll) and then play five straight games against teams which are currently unranked. FSU has played the toughest ACC schedule to date. To illustrate just how tough that has been, the Seminoles entered conference play with a strength of schedule ranked No. 204. After six games, the Noles strength of schedule is now No. 12.
In fact, no other team in the entire country has played a tougher conference slate to this point--and frankly it's not all that close. KenPom gives every team a "Pythagorean rating," which is basically his overall ranking system, factoring in all kinds of advanced metrics. Currently, the strongest team in the country is Villanova with a .9503 Pyth. rating, and over the previous five seasons a .90 rating assured you finished as a top 15 team.
To date, the average of FSU's conference opponents is a .9103--which would be good for 13th in the country if it were a single team.
The highest conference opponent average rating in the Big 12? K-State at .8887 (which would be 22nd in the country if a single team). No surprise, K-State currently sits at 1-5 in Big 12 play. How about the Big 10? Penn State (2-4) checks in with a .8592 (would rank 27th). For the SEC it's Mississippi State (0-5) at .8535 (27th). The Pac-12 is Utah (2-3) at .8114 (45th). Keep in mind that these are all the hardest conference schedules played to date in each conference, so the vast majority of teams are below these numbers.
The combined conference record of these teams, including FSU's 2-4 start? 9-21.
Ironically, Clemson has actually played the second hardest conference schedule nationally, with a Pyth. rating of .8938 (20th), making their 5-2 start in ACC play quite impressive. However, it's important to keep in mind that the Tigers played 4 of those 7 games at home (all wins) and their only road win came by a point in OT against Syracuse before Jim Boeheim returned from suspension. The Noles, on the other hand, played 4 of their 6 opponents on the road and one of their two home games came against the first place team in the league, UNC.
Life in the best basketball conference in America is tough, but for the Seminoles the start to 2016 has been ridiculously brutal.
2. Malik Beasley continued his remarkable season, scoring 23 points. He's scored in double figures in every game he's played. Unfortunately he ended up on the wrong end of a SportsCenter highlight, though perhaps this will provide the necessary inspiration to be more consistent in his block-outs. Beasley is currently averaging 17.4 points per game, and is on pace to become the highest scoring freshman in program history.
3. One bright spot from the game was limiting Damion Lee to just 14 points on 5-16 shooting. It was just the second time this year he'd been held to an offensive rating below 100. The Drexel transfer leads Louisville in points, minutes, and steals. Having him in the lineup (along with Cleveland State transfer Trey Lewis) has allowed Coach Pitino to develop a deep bench. So in last night's "garbage time" Florida State was playing against the bench scrubs like Matz Stockman, Anas Mahmoud, and Deng Adel. Adel was a consensus top-50 recruit, Mahmoud was a consensus top-100 recruit, and Stockman was a 3* rated more highly than half of FSU's team. That's what big time college basketball rosters look like.
4. Louisville grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, which was 43.6% of their own misses. On the season, they're averaging that exact amount (43.6%) which is No. 1 in the nation. Since Phil Cofer was lost for the season, the Noles have dropped from 2nd in the ACC in defensive rebounding, to 5th. They are still on pace to be the best defensive rebounding team at FSU in at least 13 years (since advanced data became available).
5. Louisville won 84-65 in a 72 possession game. This prompted several interesting quotes in the post-game. Anas Mahmoud said, "we really took them out of what they do best. Bacon loves to drive -- we took his right hand off. Beasley loves to drive and shoot the 3, and we just put more pressure on him and made him tired. They're a really good free-throw shooting team, but the pressure we put on them, they were so tired they couldn't make free throws." Rick Pitino, who has compared this team to his famous 1987 Providence squad said that their execution was "brilliant for the 2nd straight game." Pomeroy currently has them as the No. 3 team in the nation, and the best in the ACC.