ACC Tournament: 3 Keys to victory for Noles over Clemson

FSU basketball will get its first taste of ACC Tournament action against the Clemson Tigers Thursday. Here are my three keys to victory.

No. 4 FSU basketball (26-5, 16-4 ACC) will be returning to action for the first time since clinching the ACC regular-season title with an 82-60 win over Boston College Saturday.

The Noles will be facing a familiar foe in the Clemson Tigers, who ironically are the last team to defeat FSU on the season.

It was a game that saw FSU basketball control in the first half before Clemson seized moment late in the second half behind some erroneous calls from the officials.

Trent Forrest scored the go-ahead basket with about 10 seconds remaining, but Clemson took the ball the length of the court to score right before the final buzzer sounded to win by one.

The Noles need to win three games in three days and already have an advantage by not having had to play Wednesday.

3 Keys To Victory

  • Stop dribble penetration
  • Make Free throws
  • Don’t turn the ball over

One of the biggest weaknesses this team has is stopping dribble penetration. Clemson’s Al-Amir Dawes was able to get to the rim at will in the last matchup, including the game-winning lay-up as he scored 18 points. The Noles must force Clemson to beat them from the outside, making jump shots or three-pointers.

Free throw shooting is something the Noles have done well all year for the most part. However, there have been a few times this year where poor free throwing shooting has cost them wins. The last Clemson game and the Duke game come to mind.

The Noles had 16 turnovers in their last game against Clemson, which Clemson converted into over 20 points of offense.

FSU rolled Clemson by 19 points in their first outing this season. They shot 70 percent from the free-throw line, only had 13 turnovers, and held Dawes to just 13 points while shooting well from the floor.

Next: Why Noles Can Win The ACC Tournament

They shot 50 percent from the floor in their last outing against Clemson. They’ve shot it well against them in both games, it’s on the defensive end that will make them or break them. A win Thursday puts them two wins away from their second ACC Tournament title.

This will be the first game of ACC Tournament play Thursday, with tip-off set for 12:30 p.m. ET while airing on ESPN.

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