FSU men’s basketball to host Indiana in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Leonard Hamilton

Chuck Walsh

Florida State will play host to Indiana in the 22nd Annual ACC / Big Ten Challenge at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Dec. 9. The game time and network designation will be released at a later date.

The game between the Seminoles and the Hoosiers marks the second consecutive season the teams will meet in the challenge and just the sixth time the teams have meet on the basketball court.

Indiana defeated Florida State in the 2019 ACC / Big Ten Challenge in Bloomington.

Florida State enters its 2020 ACC / Big Ten Challenge game against Indiana having won three of its last four games in the event with wins over Minnesota in the Challenge in 2016 and 2017 and Purdue in 2018.

The ACC leads the challenge series, which has been played each year since 1999, by a 12-6-3 margin. The Big Ten currently holds the Commissioners Cup as it defeated the ACC by an 8-6 margin in 2019. The ACC won the challenge in each of its first 10 seasons (1999-2008) and has held a commanding edge in the event since winning the first challenge by a 5-4 margin.

In hosting Indiana at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee, the Seminoles bring a number of impressive home court winning streaks into the game. In addition to being 6-4 at home all-time in 10 challenge events played in its home building, the Seminoles have won 23 consecutive home games in a steak dating to a victory over Clemson on Jan. 2, 2019 and have won 38 consecutive non-conference home games – the nation’s second longest current non-conference home winning streak. The Seminoles’ non-conference home winning streak began on Dec. 6, 2014 with a 96-73 win over UCF.

Florida State is 65-3 (.956 winning percentage) in its last 68 home games since a 76-52 win over Notre Dame in Tallahassee on Feb. 22, 2019.

“Indiana is one of the winningest programs in the history of college basketball,” said Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton. “They have a tremendous legacy and have always been one of the top programs in the nation. Indiana played us extremely well when we played at Assembly Hall in last year’s ACC / Big Ten Challenge. They exposed some of our shortcomings and pointed out some things that we were able to get corrected as we moved forward in our season a year ago.”

Hamilton was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 2020 for the third time in his career.

The Seminoles return three starters – M.J. Walker, RaiQuan Gray and Malik Osborne – and welcome back 13 players who helped them win the ACC Championship in 2020. Walker is Florida State’s leading returning scorer as he averaged a career-high 10.6 points per game. Freshman Scottie Barnes – one of the top freshman in the country – begins his Seminole career for the 2020-21. He has earned both preseason All-American Third Team and preseason All-ACC First Team honors by CBS Sports.

Florida State’s 26 wins in 2020 is the school record for wins in a regular season while their five losses were the fewest in a season since the 1969-70 season. Florida State finished the season with a school record 16 ACC wins and won the regular season ACC Championship for the first time in school history. The Seminoles’ 16 wins is the most in an ACC season in Florida State history as they became just the sixth team in ACC history to win at least 16 ACC games in a single regular season. Florida State was ranked No. 4 nationally in the final Associated Press poll and No. 5 nationally in the final USA Today Coaches poll of the season.

Indiana returns seven of its top nine scorers, including four starters, and welcomes a top recruiting class under coach Archie Miller as the Hoosiers begin their fourth year under his guidance. Last year the Hoosiers finished the season with a 20-12 record. Sophomore preseason All-American forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is back after leading the team with a 13.5 points per game and an 8.4 rebounds per game average. Senior guard Aljami Durham returns along with his 71 career starts. Senior center Joey Brunk averaged 6.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32 starts. Junior guard Rob Phinisee has made 45 career starts and averaged 7.3 points and led the team with 93 assists. Junior forward Race Thompson, sophomore wing Jerome Hunter and sophomore guard Armaan Franklin give Indiana a deep returning cast.

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