The 6-3 NC State men’s basketball team will hit the road this week to play the defending ACC Champions, Florida State, on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Having dropped its last two ACC contests, the Pack is anxious to pick up its third ACC win of the season.
In its last game against Miami, the Pack lost 64-59 at home. Redshirt junior guard Thomas Allen led the Pack with 14 points, his best outing so far this season. Redshirt senior forward D.J. Funderburk also recorded 12 points and eight rebounds for the Pack.
Redshirt senior guard Devon Daniels also produced a nine-point second half effort in the game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the turnover and efficiency errors that plagued the Pack.
NC State and Florida State last met on Feb. 22, 2020 when the Pack fell to the Seminoles 67-61. In the all-time series, NC State is 31-27 against FSU with its most recent win coming in 2018 when Florida State was ranked No. 25 overall in head coach Kevin Keatts’ first season.
Florida State (5-2) has had a rocky schedule so far, dealing with the recent postponement of games due to COVID-19. Suffering a recent 77-67 loss to Clemson in their first road game of the season, the Seminoles are just as eager as the Pack to pick up another ACC win.
FSU freshman guard Scottie Barnes was a major contributor for his team, recording 14 points and five assists against the Tigers in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers outscored the Seminoles by 15 in the second half.
Barnes is undoubtedly the best player on this Florida State team, flashing excellent defense and a knack for scoring inside at an extremely high level. It will be a true test for the Wolfpack frontcourt to not only contain Barnes, but actually earn buckets on the inside.
Barnes is the team’s second leading scorer behind M.J. Walker. The 6-foot-5 guard averages just over 15 per game, and if the Wolfpack can stop both him and Barnes, it will go a long way towards stalling the Seminoles’ offense entirely.
Anthony Polite will be another interesting player to handle, as he pairs nicely with Walker’s three-level scoring ability as a decent marksman, shooting 51.9% on nearly four attempts per game from downtown.
With both teams looking to bounce back, the game is set to be a tightly contested affair.
For the Pack to come out on top, it will need to cut down on turnovers and maintain solid rebounding whilst containing the star power and sheer length of Florida State.
NC State will tip off with Florida State on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Tallahassee, Florida. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network.