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WIthout Ian Miller, FSU suffers first bad loss of the season

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Last year's season looked like it had some promise after FSU came back from Brooklyn playing inspired basketball. But then Ian Miller got hurt, and the season went sideways in a hurry. Now, FSU faces a repeat, as Ian Miller hobbled into the locker room in the first half and ended up missing the rest of the game.

Without Miller, FSU's offense stagnated. Gone were the handful of runouts FSU is used to getting each game. Gone were the buckets late in the shot clock when Miller just beat someone one-on-one. Instead, FSU looked to players not used to carrying that type of load, players used to being set up, and they crumbled against an elite Clemson defense.

Clemson led by as many as ten with less than 2 minutes to play. FSU valiantly tried to rally, but it was too little too late. In the end, Clemson won 53-49, dropping FSU to 13-8, 4-5.

Miller spent the second half on a cart with his ankle on ice. Should he return at full speed then this loss just means that FSU has dropped to the bubble and has very little room for mistakes down the stretch. But if he's gone for any significant length of time, then this season has no chance of ending in the NCAA tourney. Miller is the one player this team cannot afford to lose.

In his absence Aaron Thomas was the only FSU scorer in double figures (13). Montay Brandon and Okaro White each had nine. The Noles made 1-8 3-pointers, and are now 2-19 (10.5%) on the year vs Clemson. Against the rest of the ACC they've made 47.3%.

There are three rest days before the next game, at home vs Virginia Tech.