Florida State Seminoles basketball (2-9, 1-1 ACC), fresh off its second win of the season, is set to take on the USC Upstate Trojans (5-4, 0-0 Big South) in a non-conference home matchup.
It’s the first-ever meeting between the two schools, though the Spartans have already faced off against a pair of ACC schools in Duke (84-38 loss) and Clemson (81-70 loss).
In their last venture out on the hardwood, the Seminoles took advantage of a matchup against a hapless Louisville Cardinals squad that still sits winless through nine games.
“I thought we made some progress this afternoon,” head coach Leonard Hamilton said after the game. “Our effort was good for 40 minutes. We didn’t always play as well as I think we are capable of, but our effort, our focus, our defensive effort, get deflections, steals – I thought was at our best level.”
The Spartans are riding a three-game win streak, following up double-digit wins vs. Columbia International and Western Carolina with an overtime victory vs. South Carolina State.
From USC Upstate Sports Info:
Scoring a career-high 28 points against South Carolina State, including 22 points following halftime, sophomore guard Jordan Gainey notched his third straight 20-plus point scoring effort after posting 26 points versus Columbia International (Nov. 30) and 21 points at Western Carolina (Dec. 3). He becomes the first Spartan since Tommy Bruner in 2019-20 to score 20 or more points in three straight games.
With 20-plus points in three straight games and in four of the first nine games of the season, Gainey is the first Spartan with four 20-plus point efforts over the season’s first nine games of the season since 2015-16. The last Spartan to accomplish the feat was Deion Holmes with four such games over the season’s first nine games in 2015-16, doing so with four straight 20-plus point scoring games. ◊ Making his season debut Saturday against South Carolina State, senior guard Mysta Goodloe put forth a career effort with career-highs in scoring, three-pointers made, and free throws made as he dropped 20 points to join Gainey as a 20-point scorer against the Bulldogs. Saturday’s game is the first to feature two 20-plus point scorers since Jan. 26, 2022, versus Winthrop.
Scoring 11 of his 20 points from the free throw line, Goodloe is the first Spartan to make double-digit free throws in a game this season. He is the first Spartan to do so in a game since Bryson Mozone made 13 free throws against South Alabama on March 21, 2022.
With Goodloe’s first-half three against the Bulldogs, Upstate extended its streak of games with a made three-pointer to at least 629 straight games (game-by-game statistics limited) dating back through the 2002-03 season. The Spartans have hit a three in each of the team’s 482 games in the Division I era (2007-pres.) with the lone known active streak longer than the Spartans’ streak to start a program’s D1 membership being a 546-game streak by North Florida (research ongoing).
Defensively, Upstate enters Tuesday’s game ranked second in the Big South and 41st nationally in three-point field goal defense, holding opponents to a 28.4 percent clip from beyond the arc (54-of-190). Through nine games, the Spartans have held opponents to 30.0 percent or less from three in six games, including each of the last four games.
Some game notes via FSU Sports Info:
FLORIDA STATE VS. USC UPSTATE – CONNECTIONS
Florida State plays host to USC Upstate on December 13, 2022 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Spartans are located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, compete in NCAA Division I and have been members of the Big South Conference since 2018. The Spartans are coached by Dave Dickerson who played (1986-89) and coached at Maryland (1997-05). Dickerson never played against Florida State while he was a Terrapin as the Seminoles did not join the ACC until the 1991-92 season. The Seminoles have played against Dickerson while he was an assistant coach at Maryland and Ohio State.
MILLS APPROACHING 1,000 CAREER POINTS
Junior Caleb Mills enters Tuesday’s game against USC Upstate with 911 career points and needs only 89 points to reach the coveted 1,000 career points mark. He’ll become the second Seminole to reach the scoring mark this season following Darin Green Jr., show hot the mark in his first basket against Florida on November 18.
MCLEOD WITH A CAREER-HIGH SIX BLOCKED SHOTS IN VICTORY OVER LOUISVILLE
Sophomore Naheem McLeod blocked a career-high six shots in Florida State’s victory over Louisville on Saturday at the Donald L. Tucker Center. His six blocked shots were the most by a Florida State player since Scottie Barnes blocked six shots in against North Carolina on February 27, 2021. McLeod’s six blocked shots are tied for the sixth highest single-game total in an ACC game in the Seminoles’ history. The single-game school record for blocked shots in a game is nine by Andre Reid against Bethune Cookman (December 5, 1993) and Corey Louis against Maryland (January 10, 1995). McLeod’s six blocked shots against Louisville marked the 17th time in school history that a player had blocked six shots or more in an ACC game.
CLEVELAND NAMED TO JULIUS ERVING AWARD WATCH LIST
Florida State’s Matthew Cleveland has been named to the Julius Erving Watch List as the nation’s top collegiate small forward by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. It marks the second consecutive season that Cleveland has been named to the initial watch list for the prestigious Julius Erving Award. Cleveland is one of three players from the ACC named to the Julius Erving Watch List.
SEMINOLES RANKED THIRD IN THE ACC IN BLOCKED SHOTS
Buoyed by a career-high six blocked shots by Naheem McLeod against Louisville on Saturday, the Seminoles enter Tuesday’s game against USC Upstate ranked sixth in the ACC in blocked shots with 54 and a 4.9 blocked shots per game average. The Seminoles are tied for first with Duke as both teams have earned 54 blocked shots apiece. Florida State is one of four teams in the ACC (FSU, 54; Duke, 54; Syracuse, 53; NC State, 50) that has reach the 50 blocked shot plateau entering the week of December 12.
SEMINOLES GOING TO THE GLASS
Florida State earned 40 rebounds at Virginia on December 3 and totaled a season-high 42 rebounds in its victory over Louisville on Saturday, as the Seminoles have concentrated on becoming a more well-rounded rebounding team. The Seminoles outrebounded both Virginia (40-38, +2) and Louisville (42-32, +10) and own a +6.0 rebounds per game margin in their first two ACC games of the season.
According to DraftKings, Florida State is a 14.5-point favorite over the Spartans with the over/under set at 144 points.
FSU vs. USC Upstate tips off at 8:30 p.m. from Tallahassee, with the game set to be broadcast on the ACC Network.
Florida State vs. USC Upstate how to watch, TV info
Tuesday, December 15