TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Terance Mann isn’t one to get caught up in his offensive production.
However, after a scoreless evening against No. 15 Notre Dame earlier in the week, the sophomore rebounded with a strong effort to help lead No. 10 Florida State to a 73-68 win over No. 12 Louisville.
Mann finished the contest against the Cardinals with 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting, adding three rebounds and a pair of blocks in 29 minutes of action.
“Terance responded very well tonight,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said after the game. “We thought he had some opportunities to drive and he was aggressive. He gave us a big lift both offensively and defensively.”
Against the Irish, Mann only attempted two shots and came away feeling he could have done more to help his team in the 83-80 FSU triumph on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t have a good game last time and I just thought I needed to bring a lot of energy and help my team today,” Mann said on his outing against Louisville. “I just tried and let the game come to me, I tried not to force anything.”
Scoring 9 of his 15 points in the first half, Mann was instrumental in helping Florida State to a 41-35 advantage heading into the break. His layup with 17:22 left in the half capped a 14-0 run by the Seminoles to start the game, a lead they would never relinquish.
In the second half, Mann’s defensive energy led to a few key blocks, including one that prevented the Cardinals from cutting the lead to four with 5:29 left in the game as they trailed the Seminoles 66-60.
“That’s how I’ve played my whole life,” Mann said. “I don’t mind doing the little stuff that goes unnoticed, but if we win then it’ll become noticed.”
Mann is averaging 9.3 points per game through the first 20 games of the 2016-17 season, up from 5.3 points per game a season ago. The maturation process for the 6-6 guard out of Lowell, Mass., is blossoming in front of his teammates’ eyes.
“That guy has been working so hard,” shooting guard Dwayne Bacon said. “Teams are going to leave him open because they think he can’t do certain things, but he can. When it’s like that though, he’s a guy that steps up and he did that tonight.”
“Everyone can see from last year to this year, Terance has improved a lot in many areas,” center Michael Ojo added. “He’s always the ‘glue guy’ for us, and it’s been so exciting to see how he’s been able to help this team.”
While the Seminoles opened many eyes around the country by going 5-1 in a span of six straight games against top-25 teams, a new challenge awaits. FSU must travel for three straight away games, a stretch of contests that will test the team’s consistency in a brutal Atlantic Coast Conference.
Mann’s unselfish spirit and willingness to contribute in any way possible will be key if the Seminoles are to keep themselves atop the ACC standings.
“We learned we’re a good team during this tough stretch. Our team is together and wants to play for each other,” Mann said.
“We think we’re the best team in the country.”