Over the years, there’s been a great level of mutual respect between the two coaches, even in circumstances where FSU has played spoiler (unlike a certain already-retired ACC basketball coaching legend.)
“He’s been very generous, one of the most generous people I’ve been around with his time, to the important things of college basketball,” Hamilton said of Krzyzewski. “He’s been one of the greatest ambassadors to the game that I’ve ever seen — we’re going to miss him. I consider him a friend, and he’s somebody who I have a tremendous amount of respect for.”
Unfortunately, it’ll be a starkly different game than the thriller we saw earlier this year between the two squads in Tallahassee. Injuries have depleted FSU’s reserves, with head coach Leonard Hamilton saying Friday that it’s going to be a game-time decision for both Caleb Mills and RayQuan Evans, as Mills nurses an ankle injury and Evans deals with a swollen knee.
“What we have to do is be the best version of who we are with who have available,” he said on Zoom ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
No. 9 Duke is coming off a near-upset vs. Wake Forest, a game that came down to the final 0.4 seconds. It was a game that had a bit of emotion twisted into it, as Krzyzewski departed after the first half to what he chalks up as a concern about getting light-headed and possibly passing out.
From our SB Nation sister site, Duke Basketball Report:
Mark Williams slammed home a Paolo Banchero miss to give Duke a 76-74 win over Wake Forest Tuesday night in Cameron.
With 0.4 seconds left. And then a desperation Wake 3-pointer drew iron and it might have counted or its might not have and at least no one had to go to the monitor and find out.
Because the basketball gods were kind to Duke this night.
But only after the Deacons erased all of a 19-point second-half Duke lead and after they erased all of a nine-point Duke lead with only 3:58 left.
It’s going to be a tough go for Florida State, between the personnel issues and the soft factor of Duke being a little bit more motivated after the return of their coach, but it’ll be a key litmus test for the progress of the Seminoles’ freshmen and newcomers and, hopefully, a catalyst for continued progress.
FSU vs. Duke tips off at 6 p.m., with the game set to be broadcast on ESPN.
According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are 15 point underdogs to the Tar Heels
Game notes, via FSU
HAMILTON, FLORIDA STATE WITH TWO NATIONAL HISTORIC COLLEGE BASKETBALL 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 No. 5 Duke on January 18.
ACC BLOWOUTS ACCORDING TO FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Duke with five one-point victories this season – 81-80 over Boston University (November 24), 65-64 over Miami (January 11), 79-78 over No. 5 Duke (January 18), 61-60 at Miami (January 22) and 81-80 over Clemson (February 15). The Seminoles’ five one-point wins are the most by any team in the nation. The Seminoles are the third team in the ACC since 1980 with at least four one point wins in a season – joining Duke in 1981-82 and Maryland in 1982-83.
PRIETO NAMED TO THE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT MEN’S BASKETBAL TEAM
Redshirt senior Harrison Prieto, who earned a double double of 13 points and 13 rebounds against Wake Forest on February 5t, has been named to the 2022 Academic All-District 4 Men’s Basketball team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors (CoSIDA) of America. The 2021‐22 Academic All‐District Men’s Basketball recognizes the nation’s top student‐athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom. Prieto earned a 3.61 GPA as an undergraduate in Meteorology and holds a 3.58 GPA as a graduate student in Meteorology. Prieto and RJ Davis of North Carolina were the only two players from the ACC to earn Academic All-District honors.
FLORIDA STATE DEFENSIVELY
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Duke ranked first in the ACC in steals (9.1 spg) and third in the ACC in blocked shots (4.4 bpg). The Seminoles are the only team in the ACC that is ranked in the top five for both steals and blocked shots.
THE SEMINOLE STEP-UP AGAINST CLEMSON
Florida State started its ninth different lineup of the season (John Butler, Wyatt Wilkes, Tanor Ngom, RayQuan Evans, and Matthew Cleveland) in its 81-80 victory over Clemson on Wednesday in Tallahassee. In scoring 81 points in their victory over the Tigers, Florida State scored nearly nine points (+8.7) higher than its season scoring average of 71.3 points and scored at least 80 points in an ACC game for the first time since scoring 83 in an 83-81 win over NC State on January 1. Led by RayQuan Evans, who scored his career-high of 28 points (+20.5 points above his scoring average entering their game against Clemson), a total of four Seminoles eclipsed their season-long scoring averages in their seventh ACC victory of the year.
WHAT THE SEMINOLES ARE MISSING BECAUSE OF INJURIES TO THREE STARTERS
With three starters sidelined for either the remainder of the season, or much of the remainder of the season, the Seminoles will be without Malik Osborne (10.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 20 3-point shots made), Anthony Polite (9.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 22 3-point shots made) and Naheem McLeod (4.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg) in Saturday’s game against Duke – a total of 24.2 points, 14.5 rebounds and 42 3-point shots made.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Duke for the second time this season. The Seminoles defeated the Blue Devils, 79-78 in overtime on January 18 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Duke and gain a second win over the Blue Devils in the same season for the second time in program history. The Seminoles defeated the Blue Devils twice during the 2012 season with a buzzer-beating win in Cameron Indoor Stadium (76-73 on January 21, 2012) and in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament in Atlanta (62-59 on March 10, 2021). Florida State defeated North Carolina the next day to win its first ever ACC Tournament championship;
…Defeat Duke and gain a win against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time since January 21, 2012 when the Seminoles won 76-73 on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot by Michael Snaer.
Game notes, via Duke
DUKE VS. FLORIDA STATE
Duke is 41-11 all-time versus Florida State, which includes a 22-2 mark in home games — all coming at Cameron Indoor Stadium … The last five games in the series have been decided by a total of 30 points (6.0 per game). That includes Duke’s win on Feb. 10, 2020, 70-65, at Cameron Indoor and an 80-78 win in Tallahassee on Jan. 12, 2019 thanks to Cam Reddish’s three in the final seconds … Duke and FSU clashed for the 2019 ACC Tournament title — a 73-63 Duke win behind 21 points from Zion Williamson … Under Coach K, the Blue Devils are 38-10 in the series … The teams had a pair of meetings canceled last season by COVID-19 protocols — at FSU on Jan. 2 and in the ACC Tournament quarters … FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton has 186 ACC wins (regular season and tournament) to rank fifth all-time behind Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith, Roy Williams and Gary Williams.
LAST MEETING: FSU 79, DUKE 78 (OT)
Duke rallied from a nine-point deficit with under seven minutes left in the second half to force overtime, but a Wendell Moore Jr., attempt in the final seconds was blocked to give Florida State a 79-78 victory on Jan. 19 at the Tucker Center in Tallahassee … Duke took a 67-65 lead with 30 seconds left thanks to a Mark Williams’ dunk that capped a 17-6 run, but a RayQuan Evans bucket with 1.6 seconds left sent the game to overtime. Duke led 76-74 with 60 seconds left in OT, before FSU scored five of the final seven points … Freshman Paolo Banchero posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Williams added 15 on 6-of-8 shooting … Duke played the final 10 minutes without freshman Trevor Keels, who suffered a lower leg injury that kept him out of the next three games.
SCOUTING THE SEMINOLES
Florida State is 14-11 overall, 7-8 in the ACC and coming off an 81-80 home victory over Clemson that snapped a six-game skid … The banged-up Seminoles have been without a number of key players due to injury, including Anthony Polite, Malik Osborne, Naheem McLeod. Caleb Mills also did not play in FSU’s last game … Caleb Mills is the team’s leading scorer at 12.7 points and shooting .430 from the field and .372 from three-point range. RayQuan Evans leads the team in assists (2.9), while scoring 8.4 points … Florida State leads the ACC in steals (9.1), ranks second in offensive rebounds (11.3), ranks third in the conference in turnover margin (+2.64) and third in blocks (4.36).
ON THIS DATE
Duke is 20-11 all-time when playing on Feb. 19 and has won eight of the last nine games … Duke last played at home on this date in 2006 — a 92-71 win over Miami.
WILLIAMS: THE NATION’S ONLY 70/70 PLAYER
Sophomore Mark Williams is the only player in the country shooting better than .700 from the field and better than .700 from the free throw line this season (min. 100 field goal attempts) … The 7-foot-1 center that possesses a 7-foot-7 wingspan is also one of the nation’s best rim protectors, averaging 2.96 blocks per game to lead the ACC and rank 12th nationally … His 22 multi-blocks games this season are tied for lead by power conference players … The .717 field goal percentage this season would lead the nation, but Williams falls just short of the minimum five field goals per game to qualify (4.5) … Williams is also on pace for one of the best single-season field goal shooting efforts in Duke history, currently ranking second on the list behind only Christian Laettner’s .723 in 1989 … Williams, whose tip-in dunk was the game-winner against Wake Forest with 0.4 seconds, is averaging 14.5 points and shooting 24-of-30 (.800) from the field over the last four games … Williams’ KenPom offensive rating of 137.6 is the best of any player nationally (min. 15% of possessions used) … His 65 dunks are fourth most in a season at Duke.
BANCHERO POURING IT ON
A Blue Devil has been the ACC’s freshman scoring leader in seven of the last eight seasons and eight of the last 10 … Freshman Paolo Banchero is looking to keep that run going in 2021-22, as the six-time ACC Freshman of the Week leads all true freshman nationally in scoring (16.9) and is second among true freshman in rebounding (8.5) … His eight double-doubles are the second-most among power conference true freshmen and ranked third in the ACC … Duke is 11-2 this season when Banchero leads the team in scoring … Of his nine 20-point games this season, seven have come against power conference teams — six in ACC play — in addition to 21 points in the win over Gonzaga in Las Vegas … Over his last 10 games, the Seattle native is averaging a double-double with 15.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists … He has reached double figures in all but once this season and has 15+ points in all but four ACC games … Banchero had a career-high 15 boards at Louisville on Jan. 29 to go with 11 points for his fifth double-double, while his sixth double-double came at North Carolina with 13 points and 10 rebounds … He nearly had his first triple-double vs. The Citadel, with a career-high 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
SHARING AND SHOOTING THE ROCK
Duke enters the game with the nation’s seventh best assist/turnover ratio of 1.59. The Blue Devils also rank top 20 nationally in field goal shooting (.482, ranked 17th in the NCAA) and assists (17.1, lead the ACC and ranked 10th in the NCAA) … Duke has had a positive assist/turnover ratio in 21 of 26 games … The Blue Devils posted their best assist percentage in the Jan. 22 win over Syracuse, dishing out 25 assists on 30 made field goals (83 percent). Duke’s 25 assists were an ACC season high and matched its season best (25 vs. The Citadel) … Duke has assists on at least half of its field goals in a game 20 times this season, including in nine of the last 11 games … For the season, Duke is assisting on 58 percent of its field goals — the second best percentage in the ACC (Virginia) and 44th nationally.
ON THE DEFENSIVE
Since January 1, Duke opponents are shooting just .280 (80-of-286) from three-point range — the second best percentage defense by power conference teams and 14th best overall in that span … For the year, Duke is 26th nationally in three-point defense (.296) — was 119th nationally (.314) on December 31 … Duke leads the ACC in both field goal defense (.403) and three-point defense (.296) — on pace for top-five single-season performances in the Coach K era at Duke … Duke has held 11 of its last 14 opponents — and 17 for the season — to .300 or worse from behind the arc (14-3 in those games) … Duke has held 18 of its 26 opponents this season — including eight of the last nine — to 70 points or less … Junior Wendell Moore Jr., is one of the nation’s premier perimeter defenders, regularly drawing the opponent’s best offensive match up. This season, opponents are shooting just .310 from the field and .253 from three-point range with Moore as the primary defender … Sophomore Mark Williams, who leads the league and is 12th nationally in blocked shots (2.96), is one of the best rim protectors with his 7-foot-7 wingspan … Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Virginia and Boston College each made their fewest number of threes of the season against the Blue Devils … The three-point percentages by Gardner-Webb, Lafayette, Syracuse, VT, Wake and ND were each their lowest this year … In Duke’s defensive gem at Notre Dame, the Irish were limited to a season-low 43 points, and it marked the fewest points Duke allowed in an ACC game since a 68-40 win over Clemson on Jan. 8, 2013. It was the fewest points Duke allowed in an ACC road game since a 56-41 win at Virginia on Feb. 16, 2011.
CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM
Duke has posted an all-time record of 929-170 (.845) at Cameron Indoor, including 571-74 (.884) under Coach K … Duke is 264-64 (.805) in ACC regular-season games at Cameron Indoor in the Coach K era … Duke has won more games at its current home venue than any team in college basketball … Now in its 83rd season as the home of the Blue Devils, Duke has averaged 11.1 wins since the venue opened January 6, 1940 — a 36-27 win over Princeton … The Blue Devils have 18 undefeated home seasons, including 11 under Coach K.