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Things to watch for when Syracuse men’s basketball hosts Florida State

Syracuse is looking to sweep the season series

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

The Syracuse Orange (8-8, 2-3) men’s basketball team will look to get a series sweep when they welcome the Florida State Seminoles (9-5, 3-2) to the Dome on Saturday afternoon. Can the Orange complete a sweep of the ‘Noles and get back to .500 in ACC play? Here’s what we’ll be looking for when these teams meet:

Kevin: Prepared for pressure

Florida State is 16th in the country with 9.9 steals per game. Anyone who has watched Syracuse this year knows the trouble that the Orange have had dealing with heavy pressure. I’d expect the Seminoles don’t wait until the second half to turn up the heat on defense. It’s going to be important that the Orange doesn’t give Florida State easy baskets in transition and instead forces a poor-shooting team into playing a half-court game.

Szuba: Did FSU learn its lesson?

In the first meeting down in Tallahassee, Florida State took a season-high 30 threes against Syracuse and only made four of them. The Noles played right into Syracuse’s hand. It would be wise for Florida State to attack Syracuse from the inside in this matchup, considering the Orange have a foul prone big man and a front line that has struggled rebounding at various points this season (although the Orange have been much better of late). Athletically, Florida State has the advantage inside.

Christian: You get what you give

Kevin mentioned FSU’s ability to take the ball away, but the Seminoles aren’t prone to a turnover themselves. Florida State is fourth in the ACC in most turnovers per game at 13.2. We know Syracuse’s defense isn’t exactly the best, yet the Orange are fourth in the ACC in steals per game with 8.2 per game. Syracuse lost the turnover battle last time these two teams played yet had more points off turnovers and fast break points than FSU. It’s a high-risk, high-reward style that FSU plays, and the Orange could take advantage of that.

Zeke: Boehiem Mayhem

The last time Syracuse and Florida State matched up was for each schools first ACC conference game of the season. Both Boehiem brothers had relatively poor overall shooting performances at the Seminole’s home arena. Buddy had only six points on 0-4 shooting form beyond the arc and 3-10 shooting from the field while Jimmy had 13 points on 1-3 shooting from beyond the arc and 5-13 shooting from the field. Even though Syracuse walked away with the W against the Seminoles last year, the Orange’s two standout players couldn’t contribute in an effective way because of the Seminoles intense defensive scheme. However now at a pivotal point in their season, Buddy and Jimmy look to have turned a corner and seem poised for a big game tomorrow in the Carrier Dome in front of their home fans after strong performances Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Panthers.


What will you be watching for tomorrow afternoon?