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Inside the box score: FSU 105, Penn 70

Florida State basketball dominates the season opener

NCAA Basketball: Pennsylvania at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Penn had no answer for Malik Osborne. Matt and I discussed this on the latest podcast. Not only is Malik a skilled and experienced player, but his skillset on this team is unique. FSU is going to want to play small much of the season, and Malik is really the key to that. Since Raiquan Gray went pro, Malik is the only guy who can handle 5s out of the small lineup. His 18 points and 13 rebounds were both highs for him at FSU. The last time an FSU player had at least seven offensive boards was Terance Mann against LSU in November, 2018.
  2. Four of the top-5 scorers for FSU did not begin their collegiate careers in Tallahassee. Malik Osborne (Rice), Caleb Mills (Houston), RayQuan Evans (JUCO), and Cam’Ron Fletcher (Kentucky) were all transfers into the program. Yesterday, Florida State signed a six-man class, but if any scholarships open, look for Coach Hamilton and staff to reach into the transfer portal and find a player that fits the culture and playing style of Florida State.
  3. FSU had 24 offensive rebounds. The college basketball reference database goes back to 2011, and the previous high in that category was 22 against Syracuse in a double OT game four years ago. On the night, Florida State grabbed 57% of their own misses. For one game at least, FSU is the best offensive rebounding team in the nation. In non-overtime games, Penn last allowed an opponent to grab at least 20 offensive boards in 2013.
  4. FSU’s defense rarely allowed Penn to get into their set offense. The ‘Noles caused 26 turnovers and had 15 steals. Cam’Ron Fletcher led the way with five steals while committing only two fouls. In nine games with Kentucky last season he had five steals total. Other notable individual efforts include Scottie Barnes getting six steals last season at North Carolina, and Trent Forrest getting eight at Duke the year before. FSU last forced 26 turnovers 11 years ago against UNC-Greensboro.
  5. FSU won 105-70 in an 80-possession game. The last time FSU played that many possessions in regulation was in the regular season final against Boston College in 2018. Florida State scored 1.31 points per possession, which was bested only once last season (vs. NC State).