Clemson basketball vs. Florida State scouting report, score prediction
Clemson basketball simply cannot afford to lose Wednesday night at home against Florida State.
The Tigers, after three straight losses and dropping out of the ACC lead, are seen by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi as one of the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament field of 68. With games at NC State and Virginia looming, this is one of the easiest games Clemson has left on the regular-season schedule.
Florida State has lost five of six, including 82-81 Jan. 28 at home against Clemson. The Tigers suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season Saturday at North Carolina, 91-71.
Virginia (19-4, 11-3) and Pitt (18-7, 11-3) are tied for first in the ACC. Virginia hosts against Boston College at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Miami (20-5, 11-4) is a half-game back, followed by Clemson (18-7, 10-4) a full game back. NC State (20-6, 10-5) is next, followed by Wake Forest (17-9, 9-6).
Clemson will have just five regular-season games remaining: 7 p.m. Saturday at Louisville, Feb. 22 vs. Syracuse, Feb. 25 at NC State, Feb. 28 at Virginia and March 4 in the home finale against Notre Dame.
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Gr. F Hunter Tyson (15.6 points, 9.6 rebounds) is the focus of opposing defenses and had just two shots against North Carolina, guarded by Leaky Black, one of the best defenders in the country. Tyson was held to seven shots (making five) in the previous game, a 78-74 loss to Miami. He had seven points recently against Duke.
Jr. C PJ Hall (14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds) had just three rebounds against UNC for his lowest total since playing only 16 minutes Jan. 11 against Louisville. He’s adding more 3-pointers to his game, was 3-for-3 against UNC and has made at least one in eight straight.
Jr. G Chase Hunter (14.1 points, 90 assists) has struggled with his shooting during the three-game losing streak, going 10-for-42, including 1-for-16 on 3-point tries. He is getting to the foul line and is 39-for-40 in the past eight games, including 8-for-8 against UNC.
So. G Matthew Cleveland (14.0 points, 7.8 rebounds) had a quiet game against Pitt with just six points, the first time held to single digits in ACC play this season. He has 28 rebounds in the last three games, however, and had a double-digit streak of eight in midseason.
Jr. G Darin Green Jr. (13.9 points) is FSU’s best 3-point shooter (38.6 percent) and almost all of his points come that way, but he’s streaky. He was 1-for-8 against Pitt and had a 1-for-10 game recently against Miami.
Jr. G Caleb Mills (12.7 points, 93 assists, 39 steals) bounced back from a five-point game against Syracuse (1-for-10 shooting) with 16 against Pitt. But he’s streaky, too, from long range, going just 1-for-11 in the past two games after 7-for-15 in a pair.
NET – Clemson 77, Florida State 212. RPI – Clemson 70, Florida State 208. KenPom – Clemson 78, Florida State 188. ACC scoring – Clemson 8 (73.7), Florida State – 11 (70.2). ACC shooting percentage – Clemson 5 (46.1), Florida State 11 (43.9). ACC shooting percentage defense – Clemson 1 (40.1), Florida State 12 (44.6). ACC 3-point shooting – Clemson 4 (36.3), Florida State 10 (33.7). ACC rebounding margin – Clemson 6 (+1.24), Florida State 15 (-3.92). ACC assist-to-turnover ratio – Clemson 7 (1.21), Florida State 11 (1.15).
Clemson 76, Florida State 67 – The Tigers are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives and they’ll show it in breaking their three-game losing streak in front of the home fans. Clemson should overmatch FSU on the boards and outshoot the Seminoles on 3-pointers for a relatively easy win.