It’s been a rough go for Florida State Seminoles basketball these last few weeks, as not only have the Seminoles stumbled out of first place in the ACC to middle of the pack, but they’ve lost key players while doing so.
While the loss of redshirt senior Malik Osborne to an ankle injury was known, having seen him struggle through it for the bulk of January, the news came this week that freshman Naheem McCleod had undergone surgery on his right hand and that redshirt senior Anthony Polite would be missing time as well, having suffered a wrist injury.
Those three losses, perhaps as large as any on-court loss this season, could end up likely being the death knell for FSU’s NCAA Tournament chances.
But, it’s not over until Cimarron sings, and today, Florida State will face off against Wake Forest in part two of a season series that saw the Demon Deacons win the first won in blowout fashion.
“In sports, you just have to make the adjustments,” head coach Leonard Hamilton said ahead of the game, adding, “other guys step in and you just have to hope and pray that the young men who are going through these things come back healthy so that they can come back and participate accordingly.”
The Demon Deacons have won six of their last 8, only dropping games to Duke and Syracuse. Their last action saw them take on Pitt, taking down the Panthers 91-75.
From our SB Nation sister site, Blogger So Dear:
This was exactly the type of game Wake Forest needed to build a little momentum heading into an important stretch with some pretty tough games. The Deacs now face a 5-game slate of at Florida State, at NC State, Miami, at Duke, and Notre Dame. That stretch will likely be a huge factor in where the Deacs finish in the conference this season. It sounds crazy to say it after playing in the dreaded opening day every year since the most recent expansion, but a double bye in the ACC Tournament is well within reach for Wake Forest.
Florida State vs. Wake Forest tips off at 12 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on Bally Sports.
According to DraftKings, the Seminoles are 2 point favorites over Wake Forest.
Game notes, via FSU
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. Joining the pair from men’s basketball will be the induction of ACC volleyball player of the year Brianna Barry (posthumously), All-America golfer Jonas Blixt, soccer All-American Becky Edwards, 2008 Lou Groza Award winner and current NFL star Graham Gano, track and field sensations Ngoni Makusha and Kimberly Williams and former athletic trainer Randy Oravetz.
ALUMNI WEEKEND SET FOR FEBRUARY 4-6, 2022
Florida State will honor its illustrious history and past players as it welcomes back former coaches, players, managers and administrators to its bi-annual Men’s Basketball Reunion February 4-6, 2022. Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, his staff and the FSU Varsity Club welcomes back approximately 100 former Seminoles for a weekend of friendship and remembrance.
SEMINOLES TO HONOR GEORGE MCCLOUD WITH JERSEY CELEBRATION
George McCloud, the first NBA Draft Lottery selection in school history in 1989, will become the seventh player in school history to have his jersey (No. 21) honored and hung prominently displayed in the Donald L. Tucker Center on February 5 during the Seminoles’ game against Wake Forest. McCloud was twice named to the All-Metro Conference First Team and was named the Metro Conference Most Valuable Player in 1989. He averaged 13.5 points during his career as a Seminole (1986-89) and was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award which recognizes the nation’s top player. McCloud enjoyed a productive 11-year career in the NBA.
FLORIDA STATE AT THE DONALD L. TUCKER CENTER IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
Florida State is 82-6 at home in the last five (plus) seasons (.932 winning percentage). The Seminoles have won 85 of their last 91 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 87 home games (.943 winning percentage) in the last five seasons. The Seminoles have lost just two ACC home game since a 77-68 win over Clemson on January 22, 2019. Florida State has won 28 of its last 30 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 greatest conference in college basketball history.
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.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its eight consecutive home game against Wake Forest. The Seminoles have defeated the Deacons in each game between the two teams since a 51-47 win on March 8, 2010;
…Defeat Wake Forest 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.
SINCE THE LAST TIME THE SEMINOLES PLAYED WAKE FOREST
Florida State has won six of its last nine games – including a season-best five-game ACC winning streak – since the Seminoles’ first game of the season against Wake Forest. The Seminoles defeated ACC opponents Louisville (79-70, January 8), Miami (65-64, January 11), Syracuse (76-71, January 15), Duke (79-78 in overtime, January 18), and Miami (61-60, January 22) while also defeating UNF (86-73, January 20).
ACC BLOWOUTS ACCORDING TO FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Wake Forest with four 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) and 61-60 at Miami (January 22). The Seminoles’ four one-point wins are the most by any team in the nation. The Seminoles are the third team in the ACC since 1980 with four one point wins in a season – joining Duke in 1981-82 and Maryland in 1982-83.
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST TEAMS IN THE CURRENT ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25
Florida State is 1-1 against opponents who are currently ranked in the top 25 of the Associated Press poll (for the week of January 31, 2022). The Seminoles defeated No. 9 Duke by a 79-78 score in overtime on January 18 in Tallahassee and fell at No. 4Purdue in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge on November 30 in West Lafayette.
Game notes, via Wake Forest
Several Deacs currently rank at the top of the conference leaderboards in several categories:
Jake LaRavia: 58.5 percent from the field ranks second.
Alondes Williams: 19.6 points per game and 5.3 assists per game each rank first.
Daivien Williamson: 91.7 percent from the free throw line ranks first.
Isaiah Mucius: 49 made three-pointers ranks tenth.
Dallas Walton: 1.5 blocks per game ranks seventh.
Wake Forest is third in the country in two-point field goal percentage (59.6) and 11th in effective field goal percentage (56.1), according to KenPom.
Wake Forest is in the top 5 in the ACC in multiple statistical categories, both offensively and defensively -
• 2nd in field goal % defense (.406)
• 1st in field goal percentage (48.8) • 2nd in scoring margin (+10.43)
• 2nd in scoring offense (79.78/game)
• 3rd in defensive rebounds per game (28.09)
• 4th in 3-pt field goal % defense (.317)
• 2nd in assists (15.09/game)
• 4th in blocked shots per game (94 total, 4.09/game)
• 4th in rebounding offense (36.65)
• 5th in free throw percentage (.744)
Versus Florida StateSeries: Florida State leads, 29-26