The wait is finally over! Conference Play is set to take place for FSU basketball on Wednesday night as they face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This is an opportunity for the team to show their value in the ACC and give their rivals everything they have. Despite losing an ACC matchup earlier this season to North Carolina, the Noles have a chance to regroup as they play their first game of 2024.
The Seminoles’ non-conference schedule had its ups and downs, to say the least. Yes, they began the season at 4-1 and won the Sunshine Slam Tournament. However, later came a four-game losing streak as well as losing five of their last seven games. The Noles didn’t end the year on a high note as they fell to Lipscomb in a nail-biting 78-75 loss. However, their record stands at 6-6 with a chance to regroup Wednesday night.
The Yellow Jackets have had their success through the early season. They currently stand at 8-4 and have defeated Top 25 teams like Mississippi State and Duke. This is a team that continues to thrive on offense with their ball movement and high-percentage shots. Playing together has played a huge role in Georgia Tech’s success leading into conference play.
A key for the Seminoles in this matchup is to have the rebounding edge against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets rank second in the ACC in rebounds and thrive at crashing the glass. This is an opportunity where Cam Corhen, De’Ante Green, Baba Miller, and other bigs can control the boards. Being physical underneath and not allowing any second-chance possessions can play a big factor in a Seminoles win.
Of course, the Noles supporting cast have to play significantly in order to win. However, Conference Play can be an opportunity for the best players to shine. We’ve seen Jamir Watkins have his moments where he can lead the way for Florida State. His combination of scoring inside and playmaking has disrupted the opposing team’s game plan and it sets the tone for his team.
The same goes for Darin Green Jr as well. When he’s in rhythm, he can be one of the best shooters in the conference. Last season was an inconsistent showing from Green in ACC matchups. He had seven games where he shot less than 30% from the floor and most of them resulted in losses. As one of the best scorers on the team, it is Green’s job to shoot efficiently from the field. When he’s scoring at a high percentage, it allows Florida State to have an advantage over opponents.
The Seminoles went 7-13 last season during conference play. Head coach Leonard Hamilton understands how crucial it is for them to regroup and make improvements from last season. As this year’s team is much improved compared to last season, there’s a window for Florida State to succeed in their ACC matchups. It all begins Wednesday night on their home floor in their battle with Georgia Tech.