clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Inside the box score: FSU 81, Clemson 79

The Seminoles storm back from 18 down

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
  1. It’s hard to overstate the importance of Phil Cofer to this game, or to this season. He’s not leading the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks, or steals, but he may be the team MVP. We had a long argument this past summer in our TN slack room about the importance of him playing well (don’t worry fellas, I won’t say who was right), and last night was a prime example. With the team feeling the weight of a borderline must-win game, Phil Cofer made huge plays while his teammates found their feet. He made all seven of his 2s, and has now made 57% for the year, after entering the season making 48%. Thirty-six of his 48 career 3s have come this season. And perhaps most importantly, with Clemson forcing FSU’s hand by playing their bigs away from the basket, Cofer played 37 minutes and gave FSU the flexibility to go small and pressure. Under that pressure in the 2nd half, Clemson folded.
  2. When we watch Trent Forrest, some version of “man, if only he had a 3-point shot” clouds our vision. As his sophomore season has developed, he’s showing more and more of a knack at breaking teams down off the dribble. Everyone knows he’s not shooting. Everyone knows to play off him. Yet he still gets to the rim. He’s also quietly shooting 78% from the charity stripe in ACC play, and knocked down both ends of a massive one-and-one to put FSU up three in the final seconds of overtime.
  3. A team with an NCAA tournament resume plays one of their big rivals who is ranked No. 11 in the nation, and we barely crack 9,000 sold tickets, with maybe 6-7K actually in attendance. Gotta do better.
  4. Clemson sold out to stop FSU’s break. For many of their own FTs they didn’t even have any of the other four players on that half of the court. Still, FSU managed to outscore Clemson 14-0 on fast break points, with most of that coming during Florida State’s furious 10-minute comeback when down 18.
  5. FSU won 81-79 in a 81 possession game. After allowing 10 straight ACC opponents to score more than a point per possessions, FSU’s last four games look pretty respectable: 0.97 (Louisville), 1.02 (Virginia), nevermind (Notre Dame), 0.98 (Clemson). The Seminoles don’t have the depth to run the defense the way Coach Hamilton wants it run, but this is a marked improvement. They’ve improved from the worst defense in conference play, up to 12th. FSU’s offense, meanwhile, is the most uptempo offense in the conference, and the 3rd most efficient.