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Inside the box score: FSU basketball wears down Louisville

The ‘Noles have won five straight

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
  1. How do you beat the No. 16 team when they win the 3-point lottery by knocking down 43% of their 3s to just 30% for your team? You dominate the hidden game of possessions. FSU forced 23 turnovers and committed only eight. And Florida State grabbed 14 of their own missed shots, compared to just 9 for Louisville. That’s 20 extra chances that FSU got to score, and they needed each one. The 23 turnovers tied the most that the Cardinals have had in the past decade. That represented 31.6% of their possessions, which is the most Florida State has turned over an ACC team in five years.
  2. Terance Mann scored 20, and after 22 vs Syracuse that is just the 2nd time in his career he’s scored 20+ in back-to-back games (and the previous time had an injury gap in between). He made 9-11 FTs and 3-4 3s. In ACC play he’s shooting 50% from beyond the arc (11-22), which is tied with teammate Mfiondu Kabengele for the best 3-pt% in the conference. He’s 3rd in ACC play in FT% (84%).
  3. Fi continued his dominant play. He played 36 minutes (31 in regulation) which exceeded his career high of 28 from four days ago. Aside from being tied with Mann for the ACC lead in 3-pt%, he also leads in fouls drawn/40 (6.4), is 2nd in the percentage of shots he takes while on the floor (30%), has the 5th lowest turnover rate, the 6th best block rate, and is the 7th best offensive rebounder. His career arc is similar to Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura who had a relatively quiet freshman year with flashes of great play, followed by a sophomore season where he was the best 6th man in the nation. If Kabengele sticks around for a junior season as Hachimura did, he’s trending toward being one of the top players in the country. He’s been able to play more minutes by cutting down his hyper aggressive defensive play. Kabengele has fouled out five times, while the rest of the roster has combined to foul out three times.
  4. Coach Hamilton had to shorten his rotation for this game, commenting in the post-game that he needed his most experienced players on the court to handle Louisville’s scheme. It’s a catch-22 as both coaches mentioned how Louisville was worn down in overtime, having three guys play 43+ minutes. There is a cumulative wear over the season, so Florida State is seriously in need of some blowouts so that Coach Hamilton can give more rest to Fi and the starters. Of note, Raiquan Gray was able to come off the bench and provide valuable time. He matched his career high with 18 minutes. He had a couple of steals, a block, and knocked down a key early 3-pointer to keep the ‘Noles in shouting distance.
  5. FSU won 80-75 in a 73 possession game. Only four teams this year have scored more vs Louisville than FSU’s 1.10 per possession. Defensively, only two ACC teams have held Louisville to a worse offensive performance. The ‘Noles are now 6-4 in ACC play, and on Wednesday host Wake Forest in a game where Florida State will be favored by 15 or more. The top four seeds in the ACC tournament get a double-bye and FSU is currently one back in the loss column from the 4th place teams (Syracuse and Louisville).