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Inside the box score: FSU basketball shuts down Georgia Tech

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
  1. The official box score lists FSU’s record as 19-5, which is wrong, but details are hard. The team is 20-5, which is one game off the pace set by the 2016-17 team. That team finished with the 2nd most wins in program history. FSU has won seven straight ACC games for the 3rd time. The 2011-12 team ripped off seven straight before losing to one of the worst Boston College teams in memory. That same team also finished the season by winning five straight against the ACC (including the ACCT) and then the 2012-13 team won their first two. To get to eight the ‘Noles will need a road win against Clemson, where they have won in four of the past six seasons. Florida State is now 8-4 in conference play, which is the 11th straight year they’ve won at least eight games in the ACC.
  2. Devin Vassell has flashed his potential several times this season but he played perhaps his best game against the Yellow Jackets. He and David Nichols came off the bench and fueled a 12-2 run which was abruptly brought to a halt when Mfiondu Kabengele decided to pull up from 28 feet in transition. He missed. Vassell has clearly been working on his ability to stay in front of ball handlers, which is what will earn him more minutes. He finished with 11 points, three rebounds, two steals, and a block. It was the first time in his career that he’s scored in double-figures against a high major team.
  3. I’ve covered this a lot over the years, but still, repeat after me: assists don’t matter. They are a measure of style, not efficiency. Of course, that’s a gross oversimplification, and there are games where assists do matter, such as against Georgia Tech’s 1-3-1 matchup zone. Their zone leaves the deep corners open which invites passes, but that’s also where they trap. To be successful, the player catching the ball in the corner cannot hesitate. He needs to immediately shoot, or immediately skip the ball over the defense that is crashing down. Coach Hamilton commented in the post game that the game plan was to attack out of the corners, and his players executed. It wasn’t a great shooting night, but they made enough to win easily. They also had 17 assists on 25 made buckets, which was the 3rd highest assist rate of the season.
  4. James Banks III is a top-70 recruit who transferred from Texas. FSU typically fronts the post further out than any team in college basketball, but against Georgia Tech they spent much of the game playing as if Banks wasn’t on the floor. The Seminoles sank Christ Koumadje and Kabengele back into the paint, and overplayed the perimeter with the other four defenders. This was because Georgia Tech is a poor shooting team, and they like to attack off the dribble, where FSU was able to funnel them repeatedly into the help camped in the paint. Banks, left in space, had the worst shooting game of his career. He made just one of nine shots and finished the game with four points.
  5. FSU won 69-47 in a 73 possession game. Georgia Tech scored 40 versus the scholarship players, and then a quick seven against the walk-ons. They finished by scoring 0.64 points per possession, which is not only the worst game of the year for the Yellow Jackets, but the lowest allowed by Florida State against an ACC opponent since advanced data became available in 2001-02. Georgia Tech made just 22% of their 2s, which is the 2nd lowest versus FSU in Coach Hamilton’s tenure.