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Inside the box score: No. 15 FSU 73, No. 19 Purdue 72

FSU finds a way to grind out a win...again.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
  1. The win over No. 19 Purdue pushed FSU’s record to 6-1. They’ve accomplished this while playing the 23rd most difficult schedule in the nation, and the 3rd most difficult amongst high major teams. Compare that to last year’s out of conference SOS which was 330th. With Purdue as the only game this week, FSU should remain in the top-15 nationally in the AP Poll. The only voter who didn’t include FSU in the most recent poll was Duke alumnus John Feinstein, who for years has used his voting membership to be a troll. In the week prior, he had Florida State at No. 13, but dropped the Seminoles out of the poll after a 2-1 week which included a close neutral site loss to Villanova (his No. 19 team) and a win over a ranked LSU team. Moving into his poll was UCF, even though the Knights haven’t played a program with a pulse and lost to a bad Florida Atlantic team at home. You can’t please everyone.
  2. Purdue made ELEVEN 3’s and 59% of their shot attempts came from behind the arc. Their second half comeback from a 12-point halftime deficit was fueled by knocking down 7-8 3’s in the first 12 minutes of the 2nd half. The 3-point lottery is fickle beast, however, and they missed their final five attempts over the rest of the game. Opponents have now attempted 42% of their shots from deep, though they’re only making 32%.
  3. Trent Forrest was again the hero for Florida State. Leonard Hamilton was asked in the post-game about the final play, and he said they never draw up plays with a single option, but, yes, they wanted Forrest in the lane off of a flat screen. He cited the 3,000+ points he scored in high school as a indicator of how comfortable he is in these situations.
  4. As noted in the Baseline Breakdown, David Nichols had his best game as a Seminole. He was a solid shooter at Albany, knocking down 37% of his 3-pointers last year, but began this season 0-10. Last night he made both attempts from deep. Coach Ham noted how difficult it is to transition as a point guard, specifically when you’ve played three years in one system and are now asked to do completely different things. The development of graduate transfers can often be like the development of freshman, in which they look completely different by the end of the season. Stay patient.
  5. FSU won 73-72 in a 73 possession game. Purdue has the No. 6 offense in the nation, and FSU is the only team this year to hold them below a point per possession. Still, Hamilton was disappointed in the defensive execution. He was frank afterward that he’s “surprised that our defense is not a little bit better.” Obviously, having a healthy Phil Cofer back will help in this regard, as he makes the “small-ball” lineup go, being able to guard all five positions. On the other side of the ball, FSU turned the ball over on 23% of possessions, as turnovers continue to hobble the offense.