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Inside the box score: FSU 77, NCSU 73

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

1. Cat Barber pretty good? Cat Barber pretty good. This is what happens when consensus 5* recruits stay in school and become upperclassmen. Barber might be the ideal college recruit in that he's good enough to dominate at this level, but his size makes him questionable for the NBA. Barber has now scored 30+ in three straight games and four of the past five. He's made 41% of his 3s in conference play, 92% of his FTs, and for the year draws 6.7 fouls/40. And he has no backup. In the past four games he's had one minute of rest. Strangely, he's not getting much press for ACC Player of the Year, and the most cited excuse is that he's playing for a team without a winning record in the ACC. Though that doesn't seem to be affecting Duke's Grayson Allen.

2. Boris Bojanovsky has somehow become a magnet for criticism. Every team has one. We've gone from Luke Loucks to Ian Miller to Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and now to Boris Bojanovsky. But quietly, the senior has been a steady presence. Last night he scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked three shots. But his most valuable contribution goes virtually unnoticed. On a team loaded with perimeter players who get burned on dribble penetration, Bojo is nearly always in the right spot to cut off the drive. It's not sexy, and he gets no credit from casual fans. But it wins games.

3. Montay Brandon has had a frustrating senior season. It's still not clear how healthy he is, and Coach Hamilton has stated that Montay has struggled adjusting to the pace that FSU wants to play at, and also with guarding bigger and stronger players every game. But against NC State he looked like his old self, and was a handful in transition. He had seven points, five assists, and no turnovers. The five assists was a season high, and the most since eight last year against North Florida.

4. FSU's announced attendance was 6,375. I've heard for years how Florida State's attendance was poor due to a boring style when FSU was good, and due to being bad when FSU was bad. Now the Noles are averaging nearly 80 points a game, are the most uptempo team in the conference, have highlight reel freshmen, and are currently projected as an NCAA tournament team. Teams that AVERAGED over 6,000 in attendance last season include Hawaii, Siena, DePaul, Wyoming, Ohio, Weber State, and UTEP. Teams like Creighton, New Mexico, Marquette, and BYU average more fans than the Tuck holds.

5. FSU won 77-73 in a 67 possession game. The only teams which did a better job slowing FSU down were Virginia and Southeastern LA who both played 66 possession games with the Noles. FSU's offense was able to score 1.15 points per possession vs the Wolfpack, after scoring 1.20 in the first matchup between these teams. Part of the reason FSU has been so successful vs NCSU is that they've been able to avoid slow starts. In the first ten possessions of the two NCSU games, the Noles have averaged 1.10 points per possession. In the first ten possessions of every other ACC game, FSU has averaged 0.66. After the 10th possession, Florida State has averaged 1.08 against the conference, or pretty much exactly how it has begun games against NC State.