Florida State and Louisville collectively have one victory in 18 combined games so far this season.
Each school is in the midst of its worst start in decades, but will look for an elusive win on Saturday when Florida State hosts Louisville in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Cardinals (0-8, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have dropped their first eight games for the first time since the 1940-41 season when they lost their first 11. The skid matched the worst start by an ACC school, tying the 1960-61 Virginia Cavaliers.
Meanwhile the Seminoles (1-9, 0-1 ACC) have lost five in a row, the latest being a frustrating 62-57 loss on the road at No. 3 Virginia.
Darin Green Jr. led Florida State with 17 points, but Florida State lost starting forward Cam’Ron Fletcher for the season due to a knee injury. The Seminoles already have guard Jeremiah Bembry out indefinitely with a back injury, lost guard Jaylan Gainey to a season-ending knee injury and are playing without freshman Baba Miller, who is suspended for six more games for receiving an improper travel benefit.
“We have never had to put this many freshmen and first-year players in the position that they are in,” Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. “The good thing is that they get some experience early that they normally wouldn’t get.”
The Cardinals’ first season under former Kentucky assistant coach and Louisville alum Kenny Payne has been marred by offensive futility. Louisville’s 57.4 points per game average ranks 350th among 352 Division-I teams, and their 7.3 assists per game stat is the worst in the nation.
El Ellis has been one of the few bright spots for the Cardinals, averaging 15.6 points per game, but shot only 1 for 10 and finished with seven points in Louisville’s 80-53 loss at home against Miami on Sunday.
“It’s a little bit of both. We talk about it, we work on it, we simulate it,” Payne said when asked if his team’s issues stemmed more from lack of effort or execution. “We watch a bunch of film. They just haven’t figured it out yet. And if they have figured it out, they haven’t figured it out long enough yet.”
–Field Level Media