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Inside the box score: FSU’s defense is peaking at the right time

The ’Noles wrap up a special regular season.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
  1. The ‘Noles wrapped up the regular season at 25-6 (13-5), with the 25 wins and 13 ACC wins both being program bests. The members of the 2015 recruiting class still with the program - Terance Mann and Christ Koumadje - are now one win shy of tying the record for most wins by any recruiting class. It’s just the 2nd time since joining the ACC nearly 30 years ago that Florida State has won 20+ games for four straight years. Next season they’ll have the opportunity to extend that streak to five, and will need 21 wins for Trent Forrest to become the winningest player in FSU history.
  2. Trent Forrest led FSU with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds, and zero turnovers. He also knocked down just the 9th 3-pointer of his career. His 32 minutes were the most he’s played since 39 in the overtime win against Louisville. It was the 4th time in ACC play this season that he did not commit a turnover, after only doing that once last year. Since beginning conference play he has reduced his turnover rate and increased his assist rate.
  3. FSU blocked six shots and kept possession on five. For the year they’ve retained possession on 60% of their blocks, which is an increase from 55% and 57% that past two seasons. Florida State dominated on the interior (see No. 4), and Wake stayed in the game by going to line, scoring 16 of their first 31 from the stripe. At one point the players became so frustrated with the refs that David Nichols played most of a possession with his hands locked behind his back.
  4. Wake Forest made just 29.5% of their 2s. The hallmark of a good defense is how well they shut down the interior, and this was the 2nd time this year that FSU held an ACC team below 30%, which is the same number of times they’ve done this in the past six seasons combined. Florida State finished conference play holding ACC opponents to 41.9% from inside the arc, which is the lowest for any ACC team since Virginia in 2014-15. The Florida State defense is currently rated 12th nationally, which is their best in seven years. Since February 1, the Seminoles have the 5th best defense in the nation.
  5. FSU won 65-57 in a 65 possession game. Coach Hamilton is now 5-1 vs Danny Manning. Florida State began the game in a somewhat unusual twin post look, with Phil Cofer and Christ Koumadje assuming those roles. After four possessions and zero points, the ‘Noles called a timeout and immediately scrapped that plan, reverting back to their more traditional 4-out 1-in look, but the ‘Noles still scored just two points in their first 10 possessions. So Ham put in all the new guys, which kick started the offense. They scored 63 points over the next 54 possessions before ending the game by letting the shot clock expire on their final possession.