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Inside the box score: Syracuse 82, FSU 72

FSU fans are rattled

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
  1. This has been a year where Florida State has constantly leaned on its excellent depth. FSU entered the game with 12 players averaging double-digit minutes. As Curt Weiler noted, only six Seminoles played in the 2nd half. Part of this is that several players are dinged up. Part is that several players were completely ineffectual in the first half. And part is that FSU’s strategy of wearing down teams with waves of reserves won’t work against Syracuse. They slow the game down effectively, and expend little energy in their zone defense. They had two players who never came out of the game. Tyler Lydon hasn’t been pulled from a game in two weeks.
  2. Jonathan Isaac had nine defensive boards in just 28 minutes. After grabbing more than seven defensive rebounds once in his first 14 games, he’s now averaging 8.4 over the past five games. In ACC play he’s grabbing 30.1% of the defensive boards when he’s on the floor, which is the best in the conference.
  3. FSU was a dreadful 14-35 (40%) from inside the arc. FSU is 37th nationally in 2-pt% and won’t win many games when they aren’t successfully converting at the rim.
  4. Syracuse made 37.5% of their 3s. They are now 10-2 when they make more than 35% of their 3s, and 3-7 when they don’t. They’re 5-0 in their dome in ACC play.
  5. FSU lost 82-72 in a 71 possession game. Florida State’s defense has now given up more than 1.07 points per possession three times this season, and lost all three (UNC, Syracuse, Temple). Adjusting for strength of opponent, it was the 4th worst performance of the year for the defense. This is coming on the heels of the 3rd worst performance of the year against Georgia Tech. With the loss, FSU remains a game out of first place as UNC lost at Miami, and Notre Dame lost at Georgia Tech. Florida State is one of three ranked teams (Kentucky, Notre Dame, FSU) to lose twice this week, and two teams (Villanova, Xavier) could join them with losses in tough games today.