When last these two met, Notre Dame was ranked 15th and were the fifth straight ranked opponent for Florida State. The Seminoles’ game plan was to speed up the game and dominate the interior - which they did - but the Irish almost won anyway by knocking down a ridiculous 15-21 3s.
The game ended with Jonathan Isaac turning the ball over on an inbounds pass, and then blocking two Notre Dame shots to end it.
Since then the Irish (18-7, 7-5) have gone 2-4 to fall into the middle of the pack in the ACC and to 27th in the AP voting.
Like Mike Brey often does, he’s gone small as the season wears on as an attempt to rev up the offense. They were forced to play bigger in a loss to North Carolina, and will be interesting to see how much time their back up big men get.
They’re coming off a win over Wake Forest where they scored 1.25 points per possession, which is their high this year for conference play. But when they go small, their defense suffers, and they are 8th in conference-only defensive efficiency.
They lean heavily on four players. Bonzie Colson leads the ACC with 15 double doubles though he’s just 6-5, and he’s scoring 16.1 ppg and grabbing 10.8 rebounds. VJ Beachem (38% 3-pt) scores 15.2 per game. Matt Ferrell (44% 3-pt) scores 14.1 per game, and Steve Vasturia (40% 3-pt) scores 14.0 per game.
Like the last game, FSU will look to take advantage of their size advantage on the inside, and to pound the glass.
The game tips at 6 PM and will be broadcast on ESPN (Dickie V!). Notre Dame is a 1.5 point favorite.