The Daily Nole

Preview: FSU Looks to Bounce Back vs. Louisville

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After suffering a setback at Miami on Sunday night, Florida State will return home to the friendly confines of the Donald L. Tucker Center to take on Louisville on Wednesday. FSU will look to even its ACC record and run its home winning streak to 29 games, dating back to the 2015-16 season.

Louisville is coming off a hard-fought loss at Clemson, 74-69. The Cardinals are an even 1-1 in ACC play and 11-4 overall. The Seminoles won last season’s contest in Tallahassee, 73-68. Louisville still holds a 3-1 edge in the series since joining the ACC and a 32-10 lead all-time.

The Match-Up

Who: Louisville Cardinals (11-4, 1-1 ACC) at No. 23 Florida State Seminoles (12-3, 1-2 ACC)
When: Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. EST (Raycom Sports Network)
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida

Key Players

For Louisville: Junior forward Deng Adel averages better than 15 points per game to lead the Cardinals while dishing out 2.6 assists and shooting 47 percent. Quentin Snider, a senior guard, scores 12.4 points per game and averages a team-high four assists. Junior forward Ray Spalding averages 11.1 points per game and grabs a team-high 9.5 boards per contest.

For Florida State: Terance Mann, a junior slasher, leads the Seminoles in three different categories, scoring 14.5 points, corralling 6.1 rebounds and shooting nearly 62 percent. Phil Cofer, a senior forward, averages nearly 14 points, 5.3 rebounds and shoots nearly 53 percent. Senior guard Braian Angola scores 13.3 points per game and leads the Seminoles in steals (26) and 3-pointers made (34).

What to Watch For

Braian Angola: In three ACC games, senior guard Braian Angola has been far and away the best player for FSU. Angola is averaging 19.7 points in those three games, 2.3 steals and has made nine 3-pointers. Angola will be facing a Louisville team that holds foes to 38 percent shooting and just 30 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Ray Spalding: Long athletic big men like Duke’s Marvin Bagley and Miami’s Dewan Huell have given Florida State problems this season and the Seminoles will face another one on Wednesday in Louisville’s Ray Spalding. Spalding is a lanky 6-foot-10 junior with some range and great athleticism. Luckily for FSU, 7-4 Chris Koumadje has returned to the lineup to add depth and size to the front court. Huell finished with 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting and eight rebounds on Sunday night. Bagley scored 32 points and grabbed 21 rebounds against FSU on Dec. 30. Spalding was held to two points and six rebounds against FSU last season.

C.J. Walker: Midway through the regular season, there is no doubt that C.J. Walker is the X-factor for Florida State. Walker brings energy and the ability to score in a hurry to Leonard Hamilton’s lineup and has been a big part of key wins over Rutgers, Florida and North Carolina. In those three games, Walker has averaged 19.7 points and shot 59 percent from the field and 60 percent from deep. In FSU’s three losses, Walker has averaged 3.3 points and shot just 4-for-22 from the field. Walker scored just two points in last season’s win over Louisville.

Rebounding: The battle on the glass has been an up-and-down one for Florida State this season. After getting hammered in that area to start ACC play by Duke, the Seminoles held their own against North Carolina and got the better of Miami. Louisville has an average margin of +3 per game on the glass and recently got the better of Clemson in that department. With Koumadje back in the lineup, this could be an area where FSU excels on Wednesday.

Number to Pay Attention To

0-7: That’s Louisville road record against ranked teams in conference since joining the ACC. The Seminoles were responsible for handing the Cardinals one of those defeats last season.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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