Wednesday night’ s Purdue-Florida State matchup in Tallahassee is one of three ACC-Big Ten Challenge games that pit ranked teams against each other.
On the surface, this game seems quite even: Both teams are 5-1 with Purdue ranked 19th in the AP poll and Florida State 15th.
The big separator is the best player on the floor: Purdue’s Carsen Edwards. The preseason AP All-American has scored at least 19 points in every game this season, averaging 25.3 points and 4.3 assists. He also shoots 41 percent from 3-point range and 92 percent at the free-throw line, which is a big reason the Boilermakers are fifth among Division I teams in offensive efficiency.
He should get a lot of opportunities on offense given that Florida State is 265th in the country in turnovers per possession and has relied on a rebounding rate that is 21st in the country. With forward Phil Cofer still not in the lineup, the Seminoles have been going with bigger lineups that clean the boards, but do not shoot quite as well.
Purdue is 15th in the country in effective field-goal percentage to Florida State’s 130th ranking. Purdue also is much more willing to take 3s, with 49.1 percent of its shots coming from beyond the arc to Florida State’s 32.3.
The ’Noles will do well on the glass, but an inability to defend the deep shot will propel Purdue to a cover.
The play: Purdue, +3¹/₂.