No. 10 Florida St. braces for stiff test from Louisville (Jan 21, 2017)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- No. 10 Florida State wraps up a streak of six consecutive games against Associated Press Top 25 teams with a home matchup against No. 12 Louisville on Saturday.
Home-court advantage will be in full force as the Seminoles has already announced the game as a sellout -- much to the delight of head coach Leonard Hamilton.
"Get some hot tea and lemon, settle your throat down," the 15-year head coach told the fans after Florida State's 83-80 win Wednesday against No. 15 Notre Dame. "Then come out Saturday and let's blow the roof off this place."
Louisville (16-3 overall, 4-2 ACC) is making a quick turnaround, playing less than 48 hours after its victory against Clemson late Thursday night.
"It's really going to show the effects because we're playing a 9 p.m. game, have to go to Florida State, who does not allow you to run one single play," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "They deny the high post, they deny the wings. ... This is what happens in the ACC sometimes. Sometimes you catch bad breaks like this having to play a 9 p.m. game, then a 2 p.m. game (on Saturday)."
The Seminoles (17-2, 5-1) came out 5-1 following the first six games of their grueling stretch which began with a home victory over Wake Forest. With wins over top-15 opponents Virginia and Duke, Florida State has shown it is unafraid of college basketball's top-tier teams.
"I think it solidifies that we're a good team," Florida State freshman forward Jonathan Isaac said. "It raises our expectation level. This team is not a team that is going to underachieve. Each and every day we're going to get better and continue to grow as a team throughout the season."
Louisville also has found success against the ranked teams this season, defeating four Top 25 teams -- including Kentucky, Indiana and Duke.
Part of that success stems from guard Donovan Mitchell, who leads the team with 18 points in the Cardinals' 92-60 win against Clemson. On the season, Mitchell is averaging a team-high 13.8 points per game to go along with 5.1 rebounds.
Isaac isn't Florida State's leading scorer -- that honor belongs to guard Dwayne Bacon at 17.4 points per contest -- but the young 6-foot-10 phenom is coming off a huge game against the Fighting Irish. The Naples, Fla., native did it all, recording a double-double, scoring a career-high 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to go with his seven blocked shots.
"Each and every day I'm getting more and more comfortable, getting more confident every game," Isaac said.
Bacon looks to extend his streak of 29 consecutive games with at least 10 points on Saturday afternoon.
Historically, Florida State has not had much success when playing Louisville. The Cardinals have won both matchups since joining the ACC in 2014 and lead the all-time series 32-9.
Florida State, which has incredible depth with almost 10 players averaging double-figure minutes, could be slightly short-handed for the first time in ACC play Saturday without reserve guard Braian Angola-Rodas. The JUCO transfer missed the second half of the Notre Dame game after getting tangled up with Isaac. The school had no update on his status as of Friday evening.
Louisville also has injury problems of its own.
The Cardinals will be without star guard Quentin Snider (hip) and his 12.1 points per game. The junior is expected to miss another two-to-three weeks. The Cardinals may also be missing center Matz Stockman, who is questionable with a concussion.
Louisville will once again play on short rest following the game against Florida State on Saturday, making a quick turnaround by traveling to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
The Seminoles, after playing two true road contests through their first 19 tilts on the season, will begin a three-game road trip starting with Georgia Tech on Wednesday.