Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
FSU returns to where it opened last year's ACC play
In my Q&A with the Clemson blog Shakin the Southland, I made note of the key statistic for this game. The average NCAA game consists of 67 possessions. In games which feature at least an average tempo, FSU is 7-2. When slower, FSU is 1-3.
There is a common misconception perpetuated by the media that Leonard Hamilton runs a slow tempo. This simply isn't true. In recent years the defense has been so good that is took time for other teams to get shots up. And since defensive rebounding will always be an issue with this system, other teams commonly extend possessions on the offensive glass. But with the ball, FSU is an uptempo team. And that's the key for this game.
Clemson (8-4), in Brad Brownell's 3rd season, runs a slower system than every ACC team besides Virginia (who is competing for slowest in the nation). Ten of twelve Clemson games have featured 64 or fewer possessions (FSUs slowest game). They grind out defensive possessions. They grind out offensive possessions. For FSU to win they need to find a way to speed things up.
For more coverage of this game, read the Q&A linked above, and our Q&A with them.
The game tips at 4 pm from Littlejohn Coliseum and will be broadcast regionally on Fox Sports as well as on ESPN3. Clemson is a 3 point favorite in Vegas, and a 4-point favorite according to Pomeroy.