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Inside the box score: FSU 88, Wake Forest 72

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NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Wake Forest began the 2nd half with a 1-point lead, proceeded to knock down half their 3s, and lost by 16. Florida State was able to weather the hot shooting Deamon Decaons because FSU’s 2nd half offense was pretty much unstoppable. After scoring 40 points in the game’s first 42 possessions (0.95 PPP), the ‘Noles closed by scoring 48 over the final 33 possessions (1.45 PPP). And they did it the old fashioned way: with 2s. FSU only made 3-10 3s during their 2nd half offensive bonanza, but this was more than mitigated by making 13/16 2s (81%). For the year, Florida State is now 8th nationally in 2-pt%. Terance Mann, Jonathan Isaac, Michael Ojo, Trent Forrest, and Christ Koumadje are all over 60% for the season.
  2. Florida State forced 16 turnovers (21% of possessions). Most importantly, many of them were of the live ball variety. On 8/16 Wake turnovers, FSU scored within eight seconds.
  3. A couple of weeks ago I introduced the game score stat. The simplified version is that it is used to identify who gets the game ball. Through 14 games, seven FSU players have now been the ‘MVP’ of at least one game. The rest of the ACC is averaging 4.2 players, and only Virginia matches FSU’s seven. This is one of the three keys to FSU’s success to date, and hopes for the season. Along with (A) Tempo, and (2) Depth, the unselfishness of FSU’s roster is vital to the system that Leonard Hamilton is trying to run. Xavier Rathan-Mayes didn’t score 23 and grab seven boards against Wake Forest because FSU was running plays for him all night. He scored 23 and grabbed seven boards because he’s very skilled and happened to be the guy in that position. Kevin Eastman, a longtime Doc Rivers assistant wasn’t talking about FSU when he said “the most important ingredient to winning: no personal agendas. The commitment has to be “us” driven, not “me” driven,” but it certainly applies to this team.
  4. CJ Walker was the spark off the bench that FSU needed. After the game Leonard Hamilton talked about how confident a player CJ is, and how he’s the ringleader on the bench. Yesterday he was posing on 3-pointers. He was in opponent’s grills. He made 3-6 3s on his way to match his career high with 13 points. And after starting his career 0-6 from beyond the arc, he’s now made 9-19 (47%) over his past eight games.
  5. FSU won 88-72 in a 75 possession game. FSU has now won five straight (and nine of ten) versus Wake Forest, and Coach Hamilton is 3-0 versus Danny Manning. Florida State held Wake Forest below a point per possession for just the 3rd time this season. The 13-1 start to the season is the best FSU has had in the ACC era, and the best of any Seminoles team since 1988-89.