FSU (10-5, 4-2 ACC) is coming off its third straight win, a close back-and-forth affair vs. Syracuse, while Duke (14-2, 4-1 ACC) has bounced back from an upset loss to Miami by racking up consecutive wins vs. Wake Forest and NC State.
One of the largest issues for Florida State this season has simply been inexperience, attributed to a combination of youth and a long layoff in December. However, head coach Leonard Hamilton is beginning to shy away from any perception of leeway given.
“I’m expecting them to play at a higher level, just like the players that we are playing against. I’m not willing to accept the fact that these guys are inexperienced, everybody’s inexperienced at some point in time.
“I’m gonna quit talking about their inexperience. I want them to go out and get the job done regardless of who we’re playing. Duke’s up next so we’ve got to be at our best. The inexperience, the adjustment, learning each other, at this point, we’ve got to get past that.”
Hamilton was also complimentary of the makeup of the Blue Devils, saying they have national championship potential.
“It might not have some of the preseason decorated players with the reputation that some of those guys have had coming to Duke, but in terms of execution, in terms of playing the right way, they have the ingredients
“I personally think they’re the No. 1 team in the country regardless of where they’re ranked.”
From our sister site Duke Basketball Report:
Unlike most years, Duke has a counter to FSU’s size in Mark Williams but it won’t surprise us if the ‘Noles manage to give Paolo Banchero trouble. They have a ton of guys to run at him.
It’s a tough game to get a fix on honestly. But keep this in mind: with AJ Griffin in the lineup, Duke’s starting five is 7-0, 6-10, 6-7, 6-6 and 6-5. It’s unusual for Duke to meet FSU with a similarly sized lineup.
FSU vs. Duke is scheduled for a 9 p.m. tip from Tallahassee and is set to be broadcast on ESPN.
According to DraftKings, the Blue Devils are 5 point favorites over Florida State.
Game notes, via FSU
FLORIDA STATE VS. DUKE – THE LAST MEETING
Tre Jones had 13 points for the Blue Devils, who shot 45 percent and hit seven of 17 3-pointers to overcome 21 turnovers to defeat Florida State, 70-65, on February 10, 2020 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke’s defense also gave Florida State tough looks and forced Trent Forrest to carry the offensive burden for much of the night for the Seminoles. Forrest finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight steals to lead the Seminoles, who shot just 38 percent from the field. Contributions came from throughout the Duke lineup on a quiet night for big man Vernon Carey Jr. Junior guard Jordan Goldwire matched his career high with 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting — including three 3s — after coming in averaging 4.0 points. Alex O’Connell had five straight points during a key second-half sequence after FSU had gone up 52-50, then freshman Matthew Hurt went 4 for 4 at the line in the final 11.7 seconds as a clincher.
SEMINOLES ARE THE ACC STEALS LEADERS
With three players (Caleb Mills, fourth; RayQuan Evans, 10th, and Anthony Polite, 11th) ranked in the top 15 in the ACC for steals, the Seminoles are the top ranked team in the ACC for steals with 145 and a 9.7 steals per game average. The Seminoles lead the ACC in both total steals and steals per game. Florida State has earned double figures steals in six different games with its season-high of 16 steals coming at Wake Forest. Florida State has led the ACC in steals two times – 2012 (ACC Tournament Champions) and 2020 (ACC Champions) and have won the conference championship in both of those years.
Game notes, via Duke
» In an battle of teams near the top of the ACC, No. 6 Duke takes on Florida State Tuesday night at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee.
» The Blue Devils and Seminoles are meeting for the first time in more than a year as both of the meetings last season were canceled by COVID-19 protocols.
» In Duke’s last visit to Tallahassee, Cam Reddish nailed a threepointer in the closing seconds for an 80-78 victory on Jan. 12, 2019.
» Duke has won nine of the last 10 in the FSU series and leads the all-time series 41-10, including 38-9 under Coach K.
» The ACC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time, Paolo Banchero has scored 20+ points in three straight games and four of the last five. His seven 20-point efforts lead all power conference true freshman and his 17.9 points leads all true freshmen nationally.
» Banchero is the ACC’s sixth leading scorer at 17.9 and his 21.0 points in ACC games are tied for second in the conference.
» Sophomore Mark Williams is fifth nationally and leads the ACC in blocked shots (3.44). He is coming off a near triple-double against NC State with 19 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots in just 27 minutes of court time.
» Since the calendar turned to 2022, Duke opponents are shooting just .239 (17-of-71) from three-point range — the second-best percentage defense by power conference teams in that span (10th overall).
» Duke has held five straight opponents — and 11 for the season — to .300 or worse from behind the arc.
» Freshman Trevor Keels is second in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio (2.6) and third in the league in steals (1.94). In two games last week, Keels totaled 23 points, 13 assists, four turnovers and seven steals.
» Duke is 12-0 when Keels scores in double figures. » The Blue Devils have been whistled for fewest fouls in the league per game (13.8) — 16th fewest nationally. Duke has made 48 more free throws than opponents have attempted this season (225-177), which represents the largest disparity in the ACC.