Feb. 7, 2012
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two programs heading in opposite directions tussle Wednesday night and if Florida State wants to remain the one headed on the upward trajectory, it must deal with its recent success and not overlook its opponent all while making the longest trek for a conference game of the season.
Winners of a school-record seven straight in Atlantic Coast Conference games and recipients of large bumps in both major polls (FSU rose from No. 24 to 17 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and from No. 21 to 15 in the AP Poll), the Seminoles (16-6, 7-1 ACC) take on a Boston College squad in Chestnut Hill, Mass. that has dropped six league games in a row.
The Eagles (7-16, 2-7) feature just one player that scores in double figures in Matt Humphrey and their next top five scorers are all freshman. Boston College also allows 67.4 points per game on the defensive end.
Needless to say, the ‘Noles are heavy favorites in this ballgame at the Conte Forum. But to head north and actually earn an eighth consecutive win — and in the process clinch a winning season in the ACC — is still a challenge no matter what Boston College’s record may indicate.
“We know once again we have to be at our best to be successful,” FSU coach Leonard Hamliton said.
FSU has been at its best over the past month when its offense is working as finely tuned as its typically-ferocious defense. Florida State has spread its output around with a different leading scorer in six of eight league games this year.
Junior guard Michael Snaer has been responsible for a handful of points-leading games but even when he can’t put up his usual numbers — like Florida State’s previous game when he scored eight total points, all of which were registered in the second half of the win over Virginia — the ‘Noles have been paced by the likes of Xavier Gibson, Okaro White Deividas Dulkys, Bernard James or Ian Miller.
With so many options on offense, its favorable schedule down the stretch, and that stout brand of defense the team plays, FSU has the chance to accomplish something really special leading up to the postseason.
And that quest starts with a brand new task Wednesday night: beat Boston College.
“We know that Boston College is not a team you can take lightly,” Snaer said. “We know from experience. We’ve played them tough here, we’ve played them tough at their house. We know from experience that they are a really good team so we have to go up there with that mindset.”
|Stat Comparison||Florida State||Boston College|
|FG Percentage Defense||.374||.429|
|3-Pointers Per Game||6.0||7.2|
|Assists Per Game||12.1||11.4|
|Turnovers Per Game||17.0||15.2|
|Blocked Shots Per Game||6.1||3.1|
|Steals Per Game||8.9||4.7|