FSU basketball finally returns home after a three game trip to take on another ACC opponent, the Clemson Tigers, in an afternoon showdown.
After a tough stretch of three consecutive road games, FSU basketball returns to the friendly confines of the Tucker Center today as they play host to a somewhat hot Clemson Tigers team that has won their last two games.
The Seminoles may be 1-2 in their last three games, but are coming off a huge road win against the Miami Hurricanes. The win propelled Florida State to a 19-4 record (7-3 in ACC play). They currently trail the North Carolina Tar Heels by one game for the conference lead.
As of his most recent update, Joe Lunardi still has FSU pegged as a three-seed for the NCAA Tournament. KenPom has them as the 15th-best team in the country, with the 23rd most efficient offense, 24th defense. So even despite the recent dip in play, things are still a-okay in Tallahassee.
Let’s get to it, and preview the Seminoles and the Tigers. (Hopefully we don’t get the same refs who called the football game between the two schools. Yeah, I’m still mad.)
Last Time the ‘Noles Took the Court
Florida State bounced back in a huge way on Wednesday night. Losers of two straight, the Seminoles faced a road game against a tough Miami team, who were coming off blowing out the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes were even the favorites according to Vegas – by no means was this game a gimme.
Both teams struggled to score in the first half. The Hurricanes are one of the better defensive teams in the country, so that was to be expected. FSU went into the break trailing by three. The second half was a completely different story. The Seminoles outscored Miami 45-23 over the last 30 minutes, ultimately winning the game 75-57. The performance was impressive enough to catapult FSU’s offense from 31st to 24th on KenPom.
Jonathan Isaac scored 15 points on seven shots, Dwayne Bacon had 15 and three assists, and Terrance Mann 11 points, three rebounds and two assists. Solid performances by all three of those guys.
Clemson comes into this game with a 13-8 record, 3-6 in conference play. They are on a bit of a hot streak though; they’re coming off back-to-back wins against Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. So they have that going for them, at least.
KenPom ranks the Tigers as 31st team in the country (two spots ahead of Wake Forest, who FSU already defeated). They boast the 28th-most efficient offense with the 65th defense. They are a team that likes to keep it slow, averaging just over 70 possessions per game, which is the 264th slowest pace in college basketball. And their rebounding rate is 244th, so the Seminoles should be able to dominate the glass. (Both stats provided by Team Rankings.)
Florida State Seminoles Basketball
The players FSU fans should be wary of are Jaron Blossomgame (awesome name) and Avry Holmes. Blossomgame is a senior who is projected to be a first round pick after this season. The 6-foot-7 small forward is an athletic and efficient player. He averages 18 points, 5.7 rebounds and over a block per game. He shoots 52 percent from the field, but just 25 percent from three, and 67 from the foul line. So FSU must force him into deep shots, and if he gets a good look at the basket, just foul him.
Holmes, meanwhile, is a senior guard who is one of the best three-point shooters on the roster. He scores 11.4 points per game, to go with 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 three-pointers. He shoots 42 percent from behind-the-arc.
Despite their record, they are a solid team who could give the Seminoles trouble if they come out sleepwalking (like they did twice last week). If they do come out focused, this game shouldn’t be too much trouble for FSU.
Point Spread/How to Watch
Florida State opened up this game as -7.5 point favorites according to Odds Shark.
To watch this game, all you have to do is tune into ESPNU at 12:30 PM. Should be a good one, and a win keeps the Seminoles in the hunt for the regular season ACC title. Go ‘Noles!