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Inside the box score: FSU basketball beats Clemson, again

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That’s 7 of 8 in what used to be a rivalry

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
  1. After watching Indiana get to the line at the second highest clip for FSU opponents in the last decade, it was nice to see Clemson get there only 10 times. Clemson games typically feature very few free throws for either team, while FSU games are the opposite. In that battle, the Clemson style won. Their free throw rate (FTA/FGA) was the 2nd lowest for a high major opponent in the past two years. FSU’s FT% is now at 74.9%, which is significantly above the national average of 69.8%.
  2. Florida State had nine blocks, and is now 15th nationally in block%. You have to go back to the 2012 team to find a Seminoles squad that blocked more shots. That team had a senior Bernard James who blocked 82 shots, while this year no player is even averaging a block per game. It’s a team effort with Devin Vassell and Malik Osborne leading the way with nine, and Patrick Williams just behind them at eight. Florida State has maintained control after 53% of blocked shots.
  3. I meant to bring this up in the instant reaction podcast, but once we got yappin’, I kind of spaced it. Dominik Olejniczek and Balsa Koprivica combined to play just 15 minutes, which is exactly what they played against Indiana. For 25-minutes, FSU went small ball. So how did this affect Clemson’s offense? For those 15 minutes, Clemson repeatedly went to high ball screens attacking Dom or Balsa. Florida State has switched 1-5 this season, and also 1-4, and went with the latter vs. Clemson due to their driving ability. This created plenty of situations where FSU’s defender fighting through the screen got hung up, and FSU’s big wasn’t able to defend the shot and the roll at the same time. The end result was a bunch of Clemson 3s. Once FSU went small, they could switch every screen, which made it easier to defend the arc.
  4. FSU shot 47% from deep for the game, making 15-32. The 15 made 3s matches an exact 15-32 in a losing effort vs. Duke two years ago, and the last time FSU made more was 19 against Southern Miss that same season. FSU is now at 34.4%, which is above the national average of 33.0%.
  5. FSU won 72-53 in a 64 possession game. It was the first time this year the ‘Noles scored more than a point per possession against a high major team. It’s the 3rd straight game vs. Clemson where FSU has both scored greater than a point per possession, and held Clemson below that same mark. Senior Trent Forrest is now 6-1 in his career vs. the Tigers.