October 15, 2021 - by
Basketball To Play Marquee Game in Big Ten / ACC Challenge

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State’s marquee matchup at Purdue in the Big Ten / ACC on Tuesday, November 30 will be played at either 7:00 or 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2 it was announced by ESPN and the ACC.  The Seminoles’ game against the Boilermakers at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind., is one of the anchor games of the three-day, 14-game event, which will be played Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1.

After finishing No. 10 in the final USA Today Coaches poll last season and totaling an ACC-high three NBA Draft picks in 2021 (Scottie Barnes, No. 4; Balsa Koprivica, No. 57 and RaiQuan Gray, No. 59), 20th-year Head Coach Leonard Hamilton has assembled another one of his teams who should begin the 2021-22 ranked within the nation’s top-15.

“I’m really excited, I love this team,” Hamilton said as he made an appearance on the “Nothing But Net” show on the ACC Network at the ACC Tip-Off.  “I love our potential.  I think that were are in a situation where our culture is at a point where the guys who are leaving pass on their wisdom to the guys who are returning, and they pass it (their wisdom) to the guys who are coming in.  We’re at a good place.”

Florida State finished with an 18-7 overall record and an 11-4 mark in ACC play in 2021.  The Seminoles played in the ACC Tournament Championship game for the second time in the last three seasons and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive tournament as they continued to establish themselves as one of the top programs in the nation.

“When you have Malik Osborne and Anthony Polite coming back, that gives us a lot a stability,” said Hamilton.  “We have some really good young players coming in who are still finding their way, still trying to adjust to our system.  I think we are going to have a good basketball team.  I love this team; I love their quality of our depth.  I’m confident the beat goes on – Florida State is here to stay.

“My players say ‘We are the Newbloods and we aren’t going anywhere.’”

Hamilton also spoke very highly of redshirt senior guard RayQuan Evans who started the final 18 games of the 2021 season at the point guard position.

“RayQuan has grown and matured, and he is ready to step up and give us the stability that we need,” said Hamilton.  “He plays off the ball, on the ball we get him into transition, he brings the ball up the court – he is going to give us a great leader for our young guys to emulate.”

Osborne and Polite joined Hamilton at the ACC media day event.

Both players spoke very highly of where the Seminoles are as a team as they begin the upcoming season.

“We have been practicing all summer,” said Polite.  “We’ve got a lot of new guys who all love being in the gym and getting shots up.  They ask a lot of questions and are willing to learn.  They give everything they’ve got, and have bought in the system.  It’s been great so far.”

Osborne went beyond the basketball court to describe the Seminoles Newblood mantra.

“The culture is a brotherhood,” said Osborne.  “It’s unlike anything I ever been a part of; it’s more of a family.  The chemistry makes a complete difference.  It helps you push through adversity; it helps trust your teammates, both offensively and defensively.  It’s the culture that Coach Ham has built, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Florida State opens its regular season against the University of Pennsylvania on Nov. 10.  The Seminoles begin their ACC season against Syracuse on Dec. 4 having won 25 consecutive ACC games at the Donald L Tucker Center.  Florida State will look to tie the all-time ACC record for consecutive home conference wins – 26 by Duke – when they host the Orange on the ACC Network.

2021 Men’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Monday, November 29
Iowa at Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Notre Dame at Illinois, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Tuesday, November 30
Florida State at Purdue, 7/7:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Indiana at Syracuse, 7/7:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Minnesota at Pitt, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Clemson at Rutgers, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Northwestern at Wake Forest, 9 p.m., ESPNU
Duke at Ohio State, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, December 1
Louisville at Michigan State, 7:15 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Virginia Tech at Maryland, 7:15 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2
Nebraska at NC State, 7:15 p.m., ESPNU
Michigan at North Carolina, 9:15 p.m., ESPN
Wisconsin at Georgia Tech, 9:15 p.m., ESPN2
Miami at Penn State, 9:15 p.m., ESPNU

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