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NoleGameday

FSU Obliterates NC State: 3 Game-Changing Plays

What a performance. Leonard Hamilton and company heard your displeasures and answered EMPHATICALLY.

Florida State dominated this game pretty much from start to finish, with NC State only ever having a 1-point lead in the first four minutes of the game. After that, it was all FSU.

FSU made a lineup change with RayQuan Evans starting in place of Scottie Barnes and rode it to a 105-73 win, the most scored in an ACC game for FSU since 2017, when they put up 108 on Clemson. FSU won by 42 and it felt like the lead was much larger than that; the game was just an absolute offensive clinic for the Seminoles.

Before we get into the plays, some box score notes.

The Seminoles shot a blistering 41/58 from the floor for 70.7% on the game, 12/18 for 66.7% from 3, and a perfect 11/11 from the free throw line. According to KenPom, this is Florida State’s most efficient offensive game EVER, and the highest major conference game offensive efficiency for anyone since Michigan four years ago. The only thing that needed to be cleaned up was turnovers, since it was a lot of unforced errors to finish with 11 turnovers. But when that is the only thing to complain about, it’s a pretty good game. Two separate players put up career highs for Florida State tonight.

NC State was without Manny Bates, but I’m not sure it would’ve made much of a difference. He was a non-factor in this game a year ago, and when DJ Funderburk is putting up just 7 points and 4 rebounds, NC State isn’t going to be doing much of anything.

Outside of turnovers, which was tied at 11 apiece, FSU dominated every facet of this game: rebounds (32-19), assists (24-10), FG% (70.7% to 44.4%), 3pt% (66.7% to 42.3%), points off of turnovers (16 to 9), fast break points (27 to 7), and bench points (44 to 25). An absolute clinic from start to finish.

Florida State was led by RayQuan Evans with a career high 24 points on 9/11 shooting while chipping in 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. He tied or set a career high in points for a third straight game, and gave Florida State a much needed boost with Scottie Barnes not looking 100%. If Florida State can get a consistent 7-10 points from Evans every night, not saying we need performances like THIS consistently, but it’ll go a long way for the growth of this team.

Speaking of career highs, Nate Jack was making shots from Pensacola on his way to a career high 18 points on 7/8 shooting, 4/5 from 3, and adding a rebound to boot. He was bombs away in the second half, making shots from the logo, quick releasing in transition… he had the green light and made the most of it. This is another player where if he can just come in and hit a couple threes, it makes this team much better.

MJ Walker had a fantastic night with 19 points and 4 assists on just 6/7 shooting. An absurd level of efficiency. He had a couple of turnovers which is somewhat typical, he’s still not the best ball handler in the world, but he’s absolutely one of the best players in the conference.

Scottie Barnes only played 13 minutes, but still had 11 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. He was sluggish for… reasons. He also rolled his ankle about midway through the second half. His status will be an interesting one to watch in the coming days.

No one else had more than 7 points, but Tanor Ngom has his best game in garnet and gold. He looked much more comfortable with his assignments and was active on the defensive end. FSU just needs guys like him and Jack to step up more, and this team becomes so much better.

For NC State, Thomas Allen led the way with 16 points off of the bench. I’ll be honest, I never noticed this until I looked at the box score because the game was so out of hand when he started getting minutes.

Jericole Hellems talked a lot of smack to start the game after a quick 6 points in the first few possessions, then went into halftime with 10 and ended the game with 12. I don’t think he’s talking as much anymore. Devon Daniels finished with 14 points and 3 assists.

Onto the plays.

Play 1

Scenario: 17:00 Remaining in the First Half, FSU is in half court offense

I joked on our Discord server (DM me on Twitter for more information) that the game changing plays would be tip-off, the first basket, and the second basket). In reality, not that far off.

FSU took the lead on this play and never looked back so this counts, I guess?

Basketball is a simple game when the ball goes in the rim, and this was a simple play. Two players commit to Barnes, he kicks it to Anthony Polite who knocks it down. Polite is shooting 53.6% from 3 this season. Remember when fans were scared every time he shot the ball? Crazy how things have changed.

Play 2

Scenario: 12:23 Remaining in the First Half, Tanor Ngom blocks a shot

This is just such a beautiful sequence.

Ngom blocks Devon Daniels’ shot off of the glass, and instantly Florida State is out and running. Malik Osborne should’ve filled to the left corner, but Evans finds Walker, who fins Calhoun open in the corner and knocks it down. There is a total of one dribble from the time Evans passes it to when Calhoun shoots it. Phenomenal basket. This closed off a 16-4 run that was started by the play above.

I’m still of the opinion that Calhoun needs more minutes. I think he’s a phenomenal scorer when he plays in control and in the flow of the offense, and his scoring punch is going to be needed in some games going forward.

Play 3

Scenario: 3:21 Remaining in the Second Half, FSU Enters Half Court

I still just cannot get over this sequence from Nate Jack.

Jack caught this from the teeth of the Seminole head and just fired it. Absurd confidence. Not to be outdone though…

In transition, three feet behind the line? That is no problem for Nathanael Jack. If this version of Jack can show up every so often for Florida State, watch out going forward. He is beaming with confidence every time he touches the ball now, a far cry from where he was last season.

Florida State is back on action Saturday against UNC at noon EST from Tallahassee.


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