Florida State won’t have much time to sulk in its 80-78 heartbreaking loss to top-ranked Duke on Saturday. The No. 13 Seminoles will have a long trip and little rest as they travel north to face Pittsburgh while in search of their first ACC road win on Monday.
The Panthers have five losses on the year, but Pittsburgh has been pretty good against sound competition. Aside from a beatdown against North Carolina, Pittsburgh was competitive on the road with the likes of Iowa, West Virginia and NC State. Pittsburgh topped FSU in the last meeting up north two seasons ago, but came up short last season in Tallahassee, 88-75.
Who: No. 13 Florida State Seminoles (13-3, 1-2 ACC) at Pittsburgh Panthers (11-5, 1-2 ACC)
When: Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. EST (ESPNU)
Where: Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Mfiondu Kabengele, F (So.): 12 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 49% FG
Terance Mann, G (Sr.): 11.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 53% FG
Trent Forrest, G (Jr.): 9.4 PPG, 3.5 APG, 2.2 SPG
Xavier Johnson, G (Fr.): 17 PPG, 4.9 APG, 1.1 SPG
Trey McGowens, G (Fr.): 13.4 PPG, 2.3 SPG, 46% FG
Au’Diese Toney, G (Fr.): 10.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 73% FT
What to Watch For
Pittsburgh freshmen: After facing the likes of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish on Saturday, Florida State will face another talented trio of freshmen on Monday. They may not have the acclaim that Duke’s trio does, but Xavier Johnson, Trey McGowens and Au’Diese Toney account for nearly 53 percent of the scoring for the Panthers. Johnson ranks eighth in the ACC in scoring and third among freshmen.
3-point shooting: Pittsburgh isn’t a particularly great 3-point shooting team, but the Panthers did connect from downtown to stay in last season’s contest in Tallahassee, going 12-for-23 from deep and 10-for-22 the year prior at home. At 34 percent, Pittsburgh ranks sixth in the ACC in 3-point percentage, but just 11th in makes. FSU has been one of the better teams in the conference at defending the perimeter, but allowed Duke to shoot 11-for-24 from deep on Saturday. Jared Wilson-Frame leads Pittsburgh with 35 makes this season. P.J. Savoy has made 25 triples to lead the Seminoles.
The frontcourt: If there is an area where Florida State should have a clear advantage on Monday, it should be inside. The Panthers have just two players — Terrell Brown and Kene Chukwuka — who are taller than 6-foot-8. Out of 15 teams, Pittsburgh ranks just 13th in rebounding margin in the ACC. Against a talented Duke front line on Saturday, FSU’s bigs played extremely well. Mfiondu Kabengele tied a career-high with 24 points and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds while Phil Cofer scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Against a Duke team that came in leading the ACC in offensive rebounds per game and second in rebounding margin, FSU held a 39-34 advantage on the glass.
Number to Pay Attention To
80: Since last season, FSU is 9-1 in ACC play when scoring at least 80 points. When it fails to do so, it is just 1-10. The lone victory was a 68-62 win over Miami last week. Pittsburgh is allowing an ACC-high 85.7 points per game in conference this season.