FSU basketball (9-5, 3-2 ACC) has won back-to-back conference games against teams previously unbeaten in conference play.
A large reason is the play of freshman guard Matthew Cleveland, a player I’ve been lobbying to see more minutes from for a while now.
Cleveland helped spark the Noles in the second-half comeback win against the rival Hurricanes Tuesday night and finished the game with 15 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes on the floor.
Those numbers are right on par with what he’s been doing in the last four games that have seen the Noles go 3-1.
Here’s Cleveland’s average stat line from the last four games:
- 24 mins
- 14.5 ppg
- 5.25 rebounds
- 61.6 FG %
- 74 FT %
We saw some flashes from the freshmen in the first handful of games, but he’s gotten much more consistent with his play over the last four games. If you want to see the difference from his overall numbers for the season:
- 22.3 mins
- 10.8 ppg
- 4.3 rebounds
- 50 FG %
- 56.5 FT %
His uptick in production couldn’t have come at a better time for FSU basketball because they were in real danger of having no chance of making the post-season.
However, some postponed games are back on the schedule, and FSU has other conference games where they should be betting favorites. There’s no guarantee they win those games, but I think they’ll continue to improve with more game experience under their belt since the team is young and there are so many new faces.
The continued emergence of Matthew Cleveland will play a large part in how FSU basketball fares the rest of the season. It’s clear his confidence is beginning to grow and the game is likely beginning to slow down.
If FSU can find some consistency, they could be a team that surprises FSU fans compared to what we thought a couple of weeks ago.