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NoleGameday

FSU Completes Sweep of Miami: 3 Game-Changing Plays

Florida State wins their 20th game of the season, making this their fastest to 20 wins in a season ever, while also completing their season sweep of Miami.

They may have won 99-81, but it didn’t always look like FSU was going to win by such a large margin, as they were up just 3 at halftime and letting Miami hang around by turning it over and not communicating well on defense. They eventually fixed things in the second half and ran away with it, even letting the Classless Caucasians get into the game and have some fun.

The ‘Noles started slow, letting Miami start the game on a 10-2 run before FSU woke up and outscored the ‘Canes 97-71 the rest of the game. Most of the action that mattered was in the first half, but that doesn’t mean this game didn’t have plays that altered the course of the game. Let’s get into those after some box score notes.



Florida State was trying to let their depth win this game so their main players could get their rest before the big Duke showdown on Monday. Only MJ Walker played more than 24 minutes, and I think they were trying to let him play the rust off. Because of the longer bench, rotations were a little slower, but the ball was spread around so much more. As a result, 5 ‘Noles finished in double figures, 2 finished with 8, and 2 more finished with 6.

That kind of scoring throughout the roster is insane, and is incredibly tough to prepare for.

Leading the way was MJ Walker, who started slow, but ended with 14 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal. He hit a 3 from Panama City as time was running down on the shot clock, and was much more locked in after that.

Patrick Williams was right there with him, also finishing with 14 points, but was much more effective everywhere else with 5 rebounds, a steal, a block, and an assist. His athleticism is game-changing in itself, but his length makes him so disruptive. He’s constantly in passing lanes and challenging shots, and is a perfect Coach Hamilton player.

Devin Vassell was named player of the game by the ACC Network broadcasters, and finished with one of the quieter 13 point, 5 rebound games you’ll ever see. He had quite a few highlights from this game, but his top highlight was telling Patrick Williams he should’ve windmilled on a breakaway dunk.

Wyatt Wilkes was delivering the bread once again, going off for an 11-point first half, and was hitting all sorts of shots; from catch-and-shoot 3s to pump fake fall-away bank shots. Most of his damage was done in the first half.

Trent Forrest had a very Trent Forrest-like game, ending the game with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals. He was a little more loose with the ball than normal, but still a very productive game from a player who needs just one more win to become the winningest player in program history.

Dominik Olejniczak had another great game after his one really bad turnover, finishing with 8 points. Malik Osborne and Travis Light added two 3-pointers RayQuan Evans looked really comfortable today and also had 8 points. A great offensive performance scoring the basketball for a lot of players.

Florida State shot 53% from the floor, 50% from deep, 94.1% from the FT line, and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. That’s a great way to overcome turning it over 19 times and Isaiah Wong going for a career high 23 points.

Miami had four scorers in double figures, and none of them were Chris Lykes, although it felt like it. Wong was the main contributor, but he also had 6 of Miami’s 13 turnovers. He was hitting some tough shots that I wouldn’t normally expect to see him hit.

Sam Waardenburg was perfect tonight, going 4/4 from the field and 6/6 from the free throw line on his way to 15 points. This ties his career high that he set earlier this year against Coppin State.

Harlond Beverly and Dejan Vasiljevic finished with 14 points and 12 points, respectively, but also shot 13 times each.

The benches were the main difference this game, as Miami’s bench had 11 points to FSU’s 54 bench points.

Onto the plays.

Play 1

Scenario: 4:41 remaining in the first half, shot clock winding down

It only takes one shot going through for players to have the confidence needed to get back on track. Even if it’s a 1/3 court heave from the parking lot as the shot clock winds down.

First of all, shoutout to Dalvin Cook and Rob Gronkowski for being in attendance. Florida State can’t lose to Miami when Dalvin Cook is in the building, so a smart move there.

There was a lot of good movement between the ball and off-ball players, it was just a great defensive possession by Miami, and made it better when Waardenburg hits the pass attempt from Polite to Walker.

Walker just recognizes there’s little time on the clock and no one from Miami chases the loose ball and he’s able to fire. This isn’t a shot that’s practiced much, if at all, and it got MJ Walker going in this game.

Play 2

Scenario: 35 seconds remaining in the first half

RaiQuan Gray may have only scored once, but these 2 points got Florida State the lead just before halftime, and they’d never give it up after this.

I honestly have no clue how this shot went in, but it did, and it was a huge basket. Nothing fancy, just a straight line drive to the middle of the floor and a hook shot (shot-put? Fling?) towards the rim and in. Good bucket.

Play 3

Scenario: CLASSLESS CAUCASIANS ALERT

So this was fun. Let’s enjoy this team having fun.

This first one is a great play by Justin Lindner, who beats his man and forces extra help. Then he takes extra contact to make sure the pass gets to Light, who is already a very good shooter.

Then the second made 3 for Travis Light starts with a great contest by Harrison Prieto, with an energetic runout by FSU and lazy transition defense by Miami. Splash.

The Tuck always goes crazy for the walk-ons, and it’s great to let the unheralded members of the team get some action.

Florida State now has just a day of rest before taking on the Duke Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor on Monday Night. As Coach Hamilton pointed out in his postgame press conference, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence the ACC only has a day of rest for FSU before they take on UNC, Duke, and Louisville this season.

Check back on Monday for the game preview on the Blue Devils.


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