Game Time: 3:00 PM
Opponent: Florida State
Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton (21st Season)
Current Record: 6-13 (4-4)
Last Game: 84-71 W @ Notre Dame
Top Player: G Matthew Cleveland (14.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg)
Florida State not only stumbled out of the gate, they fell flat on their face, losing nine of their first ten games. Their only win in November was a nine point home win against Mercer. On the surface it appears that they’ve righted the ship, but their four conference wins are against ND (2x), Louisville, and Georgia Tech, who are a combined 2-22 so far in conference. It is likely that Florida State is still one of the worst teams in the conference. Matthew Cleveland, a top 25 recruit from 2021, is Florida State’s best player. Cleveland was the ACC’s 6th Man of the Year last season and this year he’s elevated his game to all conference consideration. If the Seminoles were any good, he’d be a POY candidate. He’s picked up his game in ACC play, averaging 15.5 ppg and 11.3 rpg and has eight double-doubles in a row.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
- Contain Cleveland - This one is obvious. Cleveland is an incredible talent and has the ability to completely control a game.
- Make open threes - Our friends over at Tomahawk Nation noted in a recent podcast that FSU struggles to defend the 3 (opponents shooting 36.1%) and often times the shots are wide open. Burton could have another double double by finding open shooters.
- Big runs - Another thing noted from the podcast discussed above is FSU’s inability to stop the bleeding when their opponents go on runs. Notre Dame had a 19-3 and 19-6 run against them last game, but the Irish had already dug themselves in too big a hole. However, FSU still has several top recruits and is capable of performing to their talent level. Pitt needs to keep their foot on the gas and try to turn 10 point leads into 20 point leads when given the opportunity.
Cleveland has 22 and 12, but Pitt wins by double digits.