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Inside the box score: FSU 69, Indiana 67

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Florida State basketball picks up a nice win

Mike Olivella
  1. The Scottie Barnes experience is off to a good start. After watching teammate Cade Cunningham dominate the ball handling in high school, Barnes has adjusted well and looks to be a solid floor general in the making. After five assists vs Indiana, he now has 11 in two games to just four turnovers. He’s assisted on 38% of FSU buckets when on the floor. The highest assist rate in Leonard Hamilton’s 19-year tenure is from Luke Loucks (30.3%) in his senior season. He’s also been defending smaller players without fouling. He’s only committed 2.2 fouls/40, which makes Ham sitting him for the final 7 minutes of the first half even more noticeable. He’d picked up two fouls at that point, and finished the game with three.
  2. A potential red flag occurred vs the Hoosiers with M.J. Walker playing 41 minutes, which was one minute short of his career high vs LSU in overtime. The functional depth may be limited this year, as only nine players have played at least 20% of the minutes, compared to 11 last season. In total, five players played 30 or more minutes, and two players (RaiQuan Gray and Anthony Polite) had cramping issues. The ‘Noles play the Florida Gators on Saturday.
  3. Malik Osborne has had an odd opening to his junior year. He’s only attempted 9% of the shots when he’s on the floor - compared to 17.3% last season and 19.2% in his freshman year at Rice. But he’s doing other things that are keeping him on the floor, including being the 4th best offensive rebounder in the ACC, and 9th in steals.
  4. While my arrow is pointing to assists, it’s supposed to be pointing to steals (oops). Last year’s team forced the most turnovers in school history, and this year’s team is picking up right where they left off. Through two games, FSU’s forced turnovers on 26.8% of opponent possessions. That number should come down as the season progresses, but it’s clear last year’s rate of turning teams over (23.7%) shouldn’t be considered safe.
  5. A strength of Coach Hamilton offenses has always been his team’s ability to crash the boards. Against Indiana, the ‘Noles grabbed 40% of their own misses, including four offensive boards each for Osborne and Polite. For the season, FSU has grabbed 43% of its misses, which is 3rd nationally behind UConn and North Carolina.