FSU Wins 6th Straight Against Miami: 3 Game-Changing Plays

Florida State’s offense wasn’t always perfect tonight, but they did enough to never let Miami get close and were good enough defensively to disrupt Miami. FSU became the first team this season to shoot below 36% from 3 and win the game, continuing their trend breaking that they started last season.

This game was never really close. At one point it was 33-11 and FSU had more points in the paint than Miami did total points. Miami had 7 points in the first few minutes of the game, but were able to settle it down throughout the game to take more care of the ball. Miami was only able to score by hitting long contested 3s, creating turnovers, and midway into the second half they finally started being able to take it inside. By the time they were doing that, it was much too late.

Florida State was able to keep the lead in double digits for most of the second half after Miami went on a little mini run to cut the lead to 8, then FSU blew it open on their way to an 81-59 win, their fifth straight ACC win, all by an average of 18.6 PPG.

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

Florida State dominated this game, leading for 38:57 compared to just 0:24 for Miami. Stats paint a pretty clear picture outside of a few things:

FG%: 52% to 37%

Miami is good at creating turnovers, something I pointed out in the preview, but FSU was just unnecessarily loose with the ball at times. They got complacent and too care free. The bench points and points in the paint difference are insane.

Florida State had four players in double figures tonight, yet none had more than 11 points, a testament to the depth that is finally emerging for Florida State.

Sardaar Calhoun is finally getting minutes and finally making the most of them. We had 17 minutes last games against Clemson and finished with 13 points, then followed it up with 25 minutes (second most on the team) and 11 points tonight. His offensive rhythm is something sorely needed with the bench.

Malik Osborne has also been stepping his game up recently after a slow start this season with a double-double on the night: 11 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes. FSU needs him to play well. His versatility is something that can mold FSU’s game to fit any opponent.

RaiQuan Gray also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He started the game off slow at 1-6, but was able to start capitalizing in the second half. I wish there were better ways in a box score to point out his defensive impact, because he was everywhere on that end of the floor. Hard close-outs, quick feet to cut off drives, and good hands to poke out passes.

MJ Walker was the last Seminole in double figures with 11 points and 2 rebounds, bringing his career total to 954 points. He should hit 1000 career points in these next few games, and is something to watch out for. His steady-handedness this season has been a pleasant surprise, and something much needed for this team.

We could sit here forever and have something good to say about pretty much every player. It was a great night from Florida State, especially in the box score.

For Miami, Isaiah Wong led the way with 21 points on 16 shots. He was making some tough shots all game, and he could use some help out there. Kameron McGusty and Anthony Walker each added 13 points.

Onto the plays.

Play 1

Scenario: 17:52 Remaining in 1H, FSU Enters Half-Court

This is a solid pick-and-roll from Florida State. They get into their corner set and MJ Walker is able to get the defender on his hip before attacking the rim and finish with a tough lay-in/floater.

It was good to see Walker healthy and able to play in this game, FSU needs his experience and shot making in the game. FSU took the lead on this play and would never give it back.

Play 2

Scenario: 13:27 Remaining in 2H, MJ Walker Gets a Steal

Great steal from MJ Walker to come off of his man and jump this pass. It was bad spacing from Miami, but still great recognition. Miami was trying to make a game out of this, but MJ pretty much shut the door on it with this play, and Wyatt Wilkes would finish it off later with a great shot following a fantastic pass from Scottie Barnes.

Play 3


I knew Sardaar Calhoun had athleticism, you could see it a little bit on his JUCO tape last year with his step-backs and tough fall aways. You didn’t see THIS a lot though. This is absurd athleticism.

Fantastic penetration and delivery from RaiQuan Gray, and a great finish from Tanor Ngom to finish with an exclamation point. This was the very next offensive sequence from FSU, and to have two plays back-to-back like this, it’s fun.

It was just announced that FSU/Pitt will be rescheduled for February 6th, meaning the ‘Noles will have a four game road stand, starting with playing at Georgia Tech this Saturday at 4pm.

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