Florida State rolls into Durham N.C to take on the No. 18 ranked Duke Blue Devils Saturday at Noon on ESPN. Florida State comes into this game off a thrilling last second victory against Notre Dame in which senior guard Ian Miller hit the game winning shot with four seconds remaining on the clock. The Seminoles have a 13-5 record overall and a 4-2 record in ACC play. Duke comes in with a 15-4 record overall and a 4-2 record in ACC play. Duke’s two ACC losses have come at the hands of teams that Florida State has beaten. However, Duke is riding a three game winning streak including a win against Virginia, who Florida State has been crushed by twice.
Duke is led by freshman phenom Jabari Parker and sophomore Rodney Hood. Parker averages 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Hood comes in averaging 17.6 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting .459 from the three point line. Quinn Cook is Duke’s third player that averages double digit points per game at 12.8 while dishing out 5.6 assists per game.
Overall Duke is 21st in the nation in points per game at 81.8 and 90th at points per game allowed at 67.1. The one major area of criticism for the Duke team is their ability to get rebounds. They are 199th in the nation in rebounding per game.
Florida State is led by Seniors Ian Miller and Okaro White and sophomore Aaron Thomas who has been on a tear lately. Miller averages 13.3 points and 3.6 assists per game. White post 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Thomas scored 13.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting .438 from the three point line.
Overall Florida State is 140th in the nation in points per game at 73.3 and 34th in the nation in points allowed at 63.4. Florida State will need big games from forwards Okaro White, Robert Gilchrist, and Jarquez Smith if they hope to contain Duke’s two powerful forwards. Florida State will also need to do a better job of grabbing rebounds after allowing 12 offensive rebounds that turned into 25 points for the Fighting Irish last game.
I see Florida State staying close early, but losing control of the game late with Hood and Parker taking over. I do not believe that the Seminoles have the forward play to match up with Duke. Duke wins 75-67.