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Five things: Florida State at Louisville Cardinals

A Saturday night, prime time Metro League matchup

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

After a week off, the ‘Noles travel to Louisville for a prime time matchup #goacc (8 PM, ACCN).

1. A few years ago ESPN had coaches and other experts rate the ACC programs on a number of factors to try and identify the most attractive jobs (ie, where was it easiest to win?). Of course Duke came in No. 1 largely due to boosters who will pay whatever it takes, but fans who weren’t quite up to speed on how cushy of a job Louisiville is were a little surprised to see UL come in at No. 2, ahead of North Carolina. Louisville easily polled as the best facilities (FSU was 13th), and their budget was No. 2 (FSU was 9th). So how bad of a job is Kenny Payne doing with the Cardinals? Bad. Really bad. Really really really bad, like let’s not lose to these chumps or oh hell I don’t even know bad. Now in his 2nd season he’s 10-33 overall and 3-27 in ACC play. He has two wins against top 100 teams. They’ve won one road game (hi, Miami).

2. They certainly aren’t without talent, having eight 4*s and a 5* on the roster. Their best player is sophomore wing Mike James, who rarely comes out of games, draws a ton of fouls, and has made 42% of his 3s in conference play. Their worst players are, well, everyone else. In the past, Ham hasn’t been consistent with how he plans against these types of teams. Sometimes he takes everyone else out of the game and forces their star to beat us. Sometimes he takes the star out and forces everyone else to beat us. And sometimes he doesn’t do anything different. He just plays them straight up, which is what I expect tomorrow.

3. This is an absolute, no doubt, must win game for FSU. The ‘Noles are 6-3 in conference play, and need to finish 15-5 to have a good chance at making the NCAA Tournament. We only get one shot at the two worst teams in the conference, and we’ve already beaten Notre Dame. If we lose, we’re not technically done, but we’re done.

4. FSU has committed the most fouls of any ACC team, and they’ve allowed the highest 2-pt%. The only thing Louisville does well is get to the line, so we’ll want a game where they let them play. Based on the way the UNC games were whistled, I’m assuming there is roughly a 0% chance this one will be called the way we want it. Louisville’s primary inside scorer is 6’10 Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, who we held to two points last year. This means their guards will be looking to get to the rack. Typically, FSU over-helps on the interior, but that may work in the ‘Noles favor this time because Louisville can’t shoot. If there’s a team this defense was built to defend, it’s Louisville.

5. Since Cam Corhen’s return from injury, he’s yet to play 20 minutes in a game. He’s shown flashes of late that he’s getting back into game shape, and has had a week off. In the past four games he’s made 14-17 shots. He averaged 15.5 ppg against Louisville last year, in what were two of his best games of the season. Now would be a great time to step back into the spotlight.