Florida State showed over the weekend at the Emerald Coast Classic that it is ready for a tough stretch in its nonconference schedule.
The No. 17 Seminoles (7-1) will get another chance to show how far they’ve progressed when they face Indiana on Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Bloomington, Ind.
Florida State has won seven straight and jumped into the Top 25 after wins last week over then-No. 17 Tennessee and Purdue in the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Fla.
The Seminoles have won early this season with defense and timely scoring. Florida State is holding opponents to 35.8-percent shooting from the floor and 59.9 points per game.
Since a 63-61 loss in the season opener at Pittsburgh, Florida State has knocked off Florida, Tennessee and Purdue during its seven-game win streak. In a 63-60 overtime win over the Boilermakers on Saturday, the Seminoles held the Boilermakers scoreless in the final 1:40 of the extra session.
Senior guard Trent Forrest scored a team-high 17 points to lead the Seminoles to the win.
“Since the Pitt game, we’ve done nothing but improve each week,” said Forrest, who is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high four assists per game. “We’re winning games like we’re supposed to win.”
Indiana (7-0) has taken advantage of a soft early schedule to get off to its best start since going 9-0 to start the 2012-13 season.
Hoosiers freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis has been a force inside, posting four double-doubles in his first seven career games. Jackson-Davis, who is averaging 15.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, earned Big Ten freshman of the week honors for the second time this season by averaging 20 points and 12.5 rebounds in wins over Louisiana Tech and South Dakota State last week.
“He’s got great hands and length,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “He’s a spring off the boards in terms of being able to go get the ball. He’s getting balls that other guys can’t get, so that’s, obviously, a gift that he brings to the table.”
Indiana is getting contributions up and down its roster, as nine players have already reached double figures in scoring this season.
“Our team’s got to keep getting better,” Miller said. “And I think as we continue to evolve here, I think you’re starting to see a lot of different guys contribute, which I’m happy about, but I think we can still make a big, big jump. And as we can get some more guys in the game to play more minutes, I think that’s going to be very, very important.”
Indiana sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee has missed the past two games and is questionable for the Florida State game due to rib and abdominal ailments. With Phinisee out, senior guard Devonte Green, junior guard Al Durham and freshman guard Armaan Franklin have helped pick up the slack. Durham is averaging 13.7 points, Green is averaging 12.3 points and Franklin has a team-high 21 assists.
“I like that we improve every game,” Green said. “I think we get a little better and take something away from the last game. Also, we come out to play as hard as we can every game.”
–Field Level Media