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Inside the box score: FSU 91, VT 82

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NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

1. With the win, Florida State improves to 14-5 (3-4). Entering the game, FSU’s chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament (per teamrankings.com) were 51%. The win bumped that up to 66%. FSU’s overall resume improved in other ways as well, as non-conference foe Oklahoma State knocked off No. 4 Oklahoma, and Florida won on the road at Kentucky.

2. Terance Mann made 4-4 FTs, and has now made his last 12 attempts.

3. MJ Walker had his career best game, with 24 points and six rebounds. The six boards eclipsed his previous high of four vs Tulane. All six were defensive boards, and all came while FSU was in a 2-3 zone defense. Because of his low total rebound numbers, Walker has quickly developed the reputation of being a poor rebounder. But this is where stats and film diverge. MJ has been an excellent team rebounder, as he and teammate Mfiondu Kabengele are the quickest guys on the roster to turn and get a body on a defender once a shot goes up. This creates opportunities for other players to come in and clean up the board. The Hokies were rarely crashing the glass, as they were selling out to deny FSU transition opportunities. So there wasn’t often anyone for MJ to get a body on. This freed him to chase the ball. Great rebounding guards not only box out, but have the timing to disengage at the correct time. It remains to be seen if Walker is developing that skill, or if this was a one-game anomaly due to style.

4. Virginia Tech made 71% of their 2s. This has been a strength for FSU as they are 38th nationally in defensive 2-pt%. It is the 3rd time in the past seven seasons that an opponent has made more than 65% of their 2s, and the first time in 12 years that an opponent has made more than 70%. Virginia Tech is now 4th nationally in 2-pt% (60.0%).

5. FSU won 91-82 in a 73 possession game. Through seven ACC games, Florida State is the most uptempo team in the conference, and has the 4th most efficient offense. Unfortunately, they have the 4th least efficient defense.