FSU, in addition to the typical growing pains you’d expect out of a new lineup, has had to deal with injuries and personnel issues early this season.
“We’re going through a period of regrouping with a group of veterans that are accepting different roles,” head coach Leonard Hamilton said in a press conference with the media. “[Guys are] going from being support players to leadership guys and we have a number of first-year players that are kind of growing into who we are and what we’re about as a program.”
They’ll look to get back into the win column today vs. the Syracuse Orange, each team’s first game of ACC play. The Orange are coming off a double-overtime win vs. Indiana but only went to overtime because they blew an 18-point lead.
From Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, our Syracuse SB Nation sister site:
A big key to Syracuse’s win over Indiana was the fact that the Hoosiers turned the ball over 26 times. Syracuse was out-rebounded by 15 against Indiana and found a way to win. We should fully expect Syracuse to get beat on the boards by a decent margin against this athletic Florida State team, but can the Orange defense step up and make a turnover-prone Seminoles squad cough up possessions? On average, Florida State turns it over once every five possessions. That could be a winning number for Syracuse.
The thing with the Syracuse 2-3 zone is that it’s so unique that it catches opponents off-guard. But now the ACC has seen it for eight years. Coaches and players have adjusted to the 2-3. Switching it up to the 1-3-1, which proved effective [vs. Indiana], can force FSU to think and adapt for a few minutes, which might by all that Syracuse needs to jump out to a lead.
Florida State will be without center Tanor Ngom, who is expected to miss at least the next 6 weeks, while center Naheem McLeod and point guard Rayquan Evans both could be available after missing time.
FSU vs. Syracuse tips off at 4 p.m. in Tallahassee and will be broadcast on the ACC Network.
According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are 8.5 point favorites over Syracuse.
Game notes, via FSU Sports Info
FLORIDA STATE HAS WON MORE THAN 95 PERCENT OF ITS HOME GAMES SINCE FEBRUARY 27, 2015
Florida State is 80-4 (.952 winning percentage) in its last 84 home games since the tail end of the 2015-16 season. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against Syracuse having won .952 percent of their games (79-4) and .935 percent of their ACC games (43-3) at home since February 27, 2015. Florida State’s streak began with a 77-56 win over No. 23 Notre Dame. The Seminoles are 3-0 at home this season, were 12-1 at home during the 2020-21 season, were 16-0 at in 2019-20 (including 10-0 in ACC play), were 15-1 at home (including 8-1 in the ACC) during the 2018-19 season and were 18-0 at home (including 9-0 in the ACC) in the 2016-17 season.
FLORIDA STATE VS. SYRACUSE IN ITS ACC SEASON OPENER
Florida State, which defeated Georgia Tech to open its ACC schedule to begin the 2020-21 season, plays host to Syracuse to begin its 2021-22 conference slate of games. Syracuse represents the Seminoles’ 11th different ACC Opening Day opponent with Virginia (seven times) coming in as Florida State’s most popular first conference game of the season opponent.
FLORIDA STATE WON ITS FIRST EVER ACC GAME
Florida State defeated No. 5 North Carolina, 86-74, at the Dean E. Smith Center on December 15, 1991 – the famous Whine and Cheese game as characterized by the great Sam Cassell – in its first ever ACC game.