There are times when you get beat by a better team. There are times when you play terrible and deserve to lose. And there are times when bad shooters go nuts from deep, which is exactly what happened today.
Senior Jordan Roper, who has shot 31% from deep this year (and 32% over the past three years), buried 7-10 3s vs Florida State. Every time FSU got close, Roper would hit another one, and in the end it came down to the Seminoles fouling and Clemson knocking down 24-33 FTs.
They are a good 3-point shooting team if you allow them to take uncontested shots," Leonard Hamiton said after the loss, "And I think that's what we gave them today."
Many of his shots came on 2nd chances after rebounds, as Clemson grabbed 15 of their own misses on the offensive glass.opre
After the game, Hamilton stated that he was disappointed that Florida State was out-muscled in the paint and in his big mens' inability to post up successfully.
FSU got off to an awful start, falling behind 12-2, before Leonard Hamilton called a timeout and got his team settled down. The Noles made a couple of first half runs and entered the break down just two, at 35-33.
Six minutes into the 2nd half it was still a 2-point game, but then Mr. Roper hit back-to-back 3s. FSU battled back to tie the game at the under-8 media timeout. From there it was slow death at the free throw line. Clemson would score 16 of their final 18 points from the charity stripe, many of those coming late when FSU was fouling on purpose.
Devon Bookert did his best to keep FSU in the game. Clearly recovered from his wrist injury, the senior made three late 3s and assisted on another. But the Clemson lead was too much to overcome.
Bookert finished with 21 points, three assists, and three steals. Malik Beasley had 23 points and six rebounds. And Dwayne Bacon scored 10, all in the 2nd half.
The Noles now enter the most difficult stretch of the season, where they play four of the next five against teams rated in the top 12 by Pomeroy.
It begins with North Carolina, in the Tuck on Monday night.