Florida State Seminoles basketball, with just six games left in the regular season, finds itself in a position that has become unfamiliar to the program over the last few years — on the outside looking in of not just the NCAA Tournament, but perhaps the NIT, as losses continue to accumulate at a startling rate.
Those on-court losses have been deepened by personnel losses, with the Seminoles being forced to resort to its depth in the final aughts of the season. Head coach Leonard Hamilton, who had his squad at the top of the ACC just a month ago, is acknowledging the reality of the Seminoles’ season but refusing to go quietly into the good night.
“I think what you have to do is be honest...We’re not having a pity party. We’re not blaming anyone. But we need maximum effort from everybody in order for us to be successful.”
“You have to be able to realistically evaluate each individual and then as a team, we have to all come together. This is the frame of mind we have to be in to maximize each individual talent.”
FSU has struggled in increasing amounts during its six-game slide, culminating in last Saturday’s blowout loss to North Carolina that was much less close than the final score indicated, which is saying something considering it was a 20-point loss.
The key for Florida State as the season winds down is to not let that trend continue — failures are going to happen, but letting them roll and multiply can have compounding effects, ones that can linger into the next season.
If Florida State is going to get back to its winning ways, it starts with the visiting Clemson Tigers, who haven’t won since facing off against FSU earlier in the month. The Tigers themselves have struggled to find success amongst a rash of injuries.
“Our guys have competed really hard and we’ve dealt with some adversity with injuries...I hope people see that we’re fighting and our kids are giving it what we got right now. We’re not playing great all the time, but we are a little over-manned at time,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said on this week’s ACC teleconference.
“We obviously have had to deal with some injuries here, and with David being out, and you hate that for any of the teams. Leonard [Hamilton] has been hit really hard. But they aren’t drastically changing how they are playing. I hate it that they have a couple of guys out and it’s hard to keep morale when guys are out.”
From our SB Nation sister site, Shakin’ the Southland:
The Tigers were pretty helpless in trying to defend Notre Dame without Hunter Tyson and David Collins, easily two of the top four defenders on the roster and two above average rebounders. Nick Honor has shown why he was a mid-major recruit. While he is certainly capable of putting some strong games together, he cannot do so consistently vs. the bigger, stronger, and more athletic guards he sees night in and night out in the ACC. I’ve been a big Alex Hemenway fan and he is a player that you need, but he also is dependent on playmakers around him to cover for some of his shortcomings. Al Amir Dawes was a ferocious rim attacker two years ago despite being relatively small, but he has become almost entirely a catch and shoot three-point specialist.
Clemson basketball has had their moments, but more often than not, they have been bad. It’s time to accept this team for what it is, they will be lucky to make it to the NIT.
Florida State vs. Clemson tips off tonight in Tallahassee at 7 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on Bally Sports or ACC Network Extra in select markets.
Bally Sports, ACCNX
According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are 2 point favorites over Clemson.
Game notes via FSU
FLORIDA STATE AT THE DONALD L. TUCKER CENTER IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
Florida State is 85-8 at home in the last five (plus) seasons (.914 winning percentage). The Seminoles have won 85 of their last 93 home games since February 27, 2015. The Seminoles won their final three home games of the 2015-16 season (Notre Dame, Syracuse, Davidson) and have won 82 of 89 home games (.921 winning percentage) in the last five seasons. The Seminoles have lost just four ACC home game since a 77-68 win over Clemson on January 22, 2019. Florida State has won 29 of its last 34 ACC home games since defeating the Tigers and won 25 consecutive ACC home games from January 22, 2019 through March 3, 2021 – the second longest conference winning streak in ACC history. Only Duke, who won 26 straight ACC home games from 1997-2002, has a longer streak than then Seminoles in the history of the ACC.
HAMILTON, FLORIDA STATE WITH TWO NATIONAL HISTORICAL RECORDS
…Under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles have won a NCAA record 13 consecutive overtime games. The streak began with a 101-90 double overtime win over Syracuse on January 13, 2018 and continued on January 18, 2022 with their 79-78 overtime win over Duke;
…Speaking to the ability of Head Coach Leonard Hamilton and how he develops talent, Hamilton has now won an NCAA record 55 games over ranked teams while his teams were unranked. Hamilton’s 55th win over a ranked team as the coach of an unranked team came as a 79-78 overtime win over Duke on January 18.
HAMILTON TO BE INDUCTED INTO FLORIDA STATE HALL OF FAME
The Florida State University’s Athletics Hall of Fame will induct nine new members on Friday, April 8, including men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and All-Americans from six different sports. Hamilton, who is the Seminoles’ all-time winningest basketball coach and currently the fifth all-time winningest coach in ACC history, will be inducted along with one of his former players in star point guard Toney Douglas.
FLORIDA STATE DEFENSIVELY
Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Clemson ranked first in the ACC in steals (9.3 spg) and third in the ACC in blocked shots (4.3 bpg). The Seminoles are the only team in the ACC that is ranked in the top five for both steals and blocked shots.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Clemson and win its seventh consecutive home game at the Donald L. Tucker Center against the Tigers. The Seminoles’ home winning streak against the Tigers began on February 5, 2017;
……Defeat Clemson and win its seventh ACC game of the season. It would mark the school-record 17th consecutive season the Seminoles have won at least seven conference games under Leonard Hamilton.
HAMILTON IS THE FIFTH WINNINGEST COACH IN ACC HISTORY
Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton is the fifth winningest coach in ACC history with 390 career wins and ranked fifth in ACC history with 173 career ACC wins at Florida State.
SEMINOLES AT HOME IN THE TUCKER CENTER
Florida State has won 28 of its last 32 ACC home games since defeating Clemson on January 22, 2019. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, the Seminoles have won 45 of their last 52 ACC home games (.865 winning percentage) including 21 of their last 26 since the start of their 2019-20 conference schedule.
FLORIDA STATE CONTINUES TO LEAD THE ACC IN STEALS
With nine steals against North Carolina on Saturday, Florida State increased its team total to 222, and maintained its stronghold on the steals lead in the ACC. The Seminoles enter Tuesday’s game against Clemson with 222 steals and a league-leading 9.3 steals per game. Florida State has earned double figures in steals in eight games with its season-high of 16 steals coming at Wake Forest. The Seminoles’ 16 steals against Wake on January 4 is the second highest total in the ACC this season.
FLORIDA STATE IMPROVED TURNOVER MARGIN
Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Clemson ranked third in the ACC with a +2.7 turnover margin. The Seminoles totaled a season-low five turnovers in their win over No. 5 Duke on January 18 and totaled only nine against Clemson on February 2. Florida State ranked 11th in the ACC in the turnover margin category with a -0.6 margin during the 2020-21 season.
SEMINOLES AMONG ACC ASSISTS LEADERS ENTERING TUESDAY’S GAME
Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Clemson with double figure assists in 12 consecutive games and are one of eight teams in the ACC who are averaging at least 14 assists per game. The Seminoles earned their season-high of 22 assists in their win over Lipscomb on December 15 with their ACC high of 21 coming in their win at Syracuse on January 15.
SEMINOLES’ COLLEGE BASKETBALL RECORD OVERTIME WINNING STREAK
Florida State defeated Duke, 79-70, in overtime on January 18 in Tallahassee for its all-time college basketball record 13th consecutive overtime victory. The Seminoles have won each of the their overtime decisions since a 101-90 double overtime win over Syracuse on January 13, 2018 in a game played at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Florida State has defeated 11 teams during their overtime streak including Clemson on February 14, 2018. The Seminoles are 2-0 in OT games this year.