PITTSBURGH – Here’s the next hill that the Florida State men’s basketball team will climb on the roller coaster that is the ACC season:
After waiting a week between road games at Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, the Seminoles must now be ready to go for a 7 p.m. tip-off Monday at home against Boston College.
That’s less than 48 hours after the Seminoles landed in Tallahassee late Saturday night on the heels of an 80-66 defeat to the Pitt Panthers.
And oh by the way, Boston College last played on Tuesday, which means the Eagles will have had six days to scout the Seminoles.
“They should be a lot more prepared for us than we’ll be for them,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “We all go through those periods where you have quick turnarounds, and you have to adjust.”
That’s not to say that Florida State (21-6, 9-5 ACC) won’t have some things working in its favor as it looks to snap a two-game skid.
Most obviously, the Seminoles are back home, where they’re unbeaten this season and have won 19 straight games dating back to last year. Their 16 home wins since the start of the current campaign are the most in the ACC, and include five triumphs against ranked opponents. FSU hasn’t lost a home game since Feb. 17, 2016.
And Boston College is still rebuilding its foundation in the third year of coach Jim Christian’s tenure.
The Eagles are just 9-18 overall and 2-12 in conference play, both of which are worst in the ACC. BC has lost 10 straight games and is winless on the road.
“We have to bounce back,” said FSU junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who had six assists at Pitt and owns the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the ACC (3.1:1).
“We lost. We have to regroup (Sunday) and focus on Boston College. We have to go out and get a win at home.”
FSU’s loss at Pittsburgh led to a momentous swing in the ACC standings.
After victories by North Carolina, Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame on Saturday, the Seminoles dropped from second to fifth place in the league. They’re two games behind the Tar Heels for first.
But with four games remaining, the Seminoles still have time to make up ground and finish in the top four, which would earn them a coveted double-bye in next month’s ACC tournament.
First place, of course, is still on the table, too.
“Getting back home and getting a ‘W’ at home – or just getting a ‘W’ after a loss – is a great way to wash the taste out of your mouth,” freshman forward Jonathan Isaac said.
Although Boston College ranks last in the ACC in scoring margin and is the league’s worst free-throw shooting team, the Eagles have at times been dangerous from 3-point range.
Their 37.6 percentage from distance ranks seventh in the league. And FSU has been susceptible to hot perimeter shooting, with Pitt’s 45.5-percent effort on Saturday the most recent example.
BC also boasts sophomore guard Jerome Robinson, the ACC’s fourth-leading scorer and a 43.2-percent shooter.
The Seminoles meanwhile, will be looking to spark top scorer Dwayne Bacon, who against the Panthers was held without a point for the first time in his career. Bacon needs just 11 points to become the 46th player in school history to score 1,000 points in his career.
“It’s late in the year,” Hamilton said. “Hopefully we’ll be who we are and it will be enough for us to be successful at home.”