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FSU basketball vs. Purdue: Preview, how to watch, Vegas line, game thread

Rematch of last year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

After FSU took care of No. 17 Tennessee in the Emerald Coast Classic semifinal, the late night game was Purdue (4-2) vs. No. 20 VCU. If you missed it, the game was low scoring and featured six lead changes in the final eight minutes. It was a good game, and showed that Florida State will be matching up with another elite defense for the Emerald Coast Classic title.

This will be a rematch of last year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge game when Trent Forrest hit the game winner with five seconds to go.

There are six programs who have finished in Ken Pomeroy’s top-20 in each of the past four years: Duke, Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, North Carolina, and........Purdue. Purdue is Purdue. They’re gonna battle.

They’re an elite offensive rebounding team (6th nationally), and on defense they are a lot like FSU in that their only weakness is how many fouls they commit. This should be another very physical game, with FSU trying to push the tempo and Purdue trying to rein it in.

Players to watch

They are led by grad transfer Jahaad Proctor who played previously at High Point and Iona. He came in to help fill the shoes of Carsen Edwards, and even wears his number (3). At his previous stops the 6-3 Proctor has been one of the highest volume players in the nation. That’s toned back a bit this year but he’s still taken the most shots and the most free throws of anyone on the team. He scores 15.0 per game, and is a volume 3-point shooter though not necessarily a good one (34%).

Big man Matt Haarms will give FSU fans a look their first true post battle this year. The junior is 7-3, and is averaging 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds. He has range out to about 18 feet, so it will be interesting to see how much Florida State respects his ability on the pick-and-pop.

Sophomore Eric Hunter Jr. hasn’t been the bucket getter that he was in high school, but he’s stepped up significantly in his 2nd season and now averages 10.3 per game and leads the team with 22 assists.

Who’s the bald guy?

Evan Boudreaux, according to his birth certificate, is 22-years-old. As a freshman at Dartmouth he made over 40% of his 3s. Unfortunately, that number has declined each season, and he’s made just 1-5 this year. If you’ve followed FSU hoops for any amount of time, you know that his appearance combined with his shooting percentage make him the most likely guy to turn into pre-2019 Steph Curry vs. FSU.

How to watch

Same as yesterday: CBS Sports Network at 7 PM.

Who will win

Ken Pomeroy FSU 47%

Vegas line Pick ‘em