Thu, 02 Apr 2020

No. 6 Florida State looking to maintain momentum at Clemson

Field Level Media
28 Feb 2020, 18:19 GMT+10

For Florida State, it's all about finishing.

The Seminoles will attempt to cap their regular season with a flourish, beginning with Saturday's game at Clemson.

"We've been building to get to where we are," Florida State senior guard Trent Forrest said. "Now we just have to finish."

The No.6-ranked Seminoles will continue their attempt to do just that Saturday at Clemson, where they'll face a team not only fighting for its postseason life but one that is capable of knocking off anyone.

Clemson owns victories this season against Duke, Louisville and Syracuse.

"Clemson's been playing really well at home," Forrest said. "They've got some big-time wins, and I know they're going to be trying to get one over us."

Clemson has indeed played well at home, but Florida State presents plenty of problems -- 10, in fact. The Seminoles have 10 players who average more than 10 minutes of playing time per game, which explains why coach Leonard Hamilton's team thrives on simply wearing down opponents.

"There is no doubt that we win games by committee," Hamilton said. "It's interesting that our players embrace that. People keep asking questions about how do we keep everybody happy with playing so many guys? These guys are happy to come out of the game because they give tremendous effort.

"We feel like that is who we are, that is the style of play that best suits us, and we have different guys stepping up every night."

The latest example of Florida State's depth was underscored Monday night, when the Seminoles trailed Louisville by 12 points with 14 minutes to play, then wore down the Cardinals late to win going away, 82-67.

That victory has left the Seminoles (24-4, 14-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) to the top of the conference with three regular-season games remaining. Florida State has a half-game lead on Louisville and a one-game lead on Duke in the standings.

The Seminoles have won four straight games and seven of their last eight and already have locked up a double-bye in the upcoming ACC Tournament.

Clemson (14-13, 8-9), just two years removed from a Sweet 16 appearance, is locked in a three-way tie for seventh place and is hoping for a sixth postseason berth in coach Brad Brownell's 10 seasons.

The Tigers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night with a nine-point loss at Georgia Tech, have mimicked many of the league's middle-of-the-pack teams by having a few key players perform well one night, then poorly the next time out.

"Just not consistent," Brownell said. "If we have a couple of guys not play well, we're really just not good enough to overcome that."

Brownell is well aware that the Tigers, who have lost 14 of their last 18 games against the Seminoles, must take care of the ball to have success against Florida State, which has been a bit problematic of late.

The Tigers are averaging 14.5 turnovers over their last four games.

"Just toughness and taking care of the basketball -- those are both premium things when you play Florida State," Brownell said. "We have not taken care of it very well late, so that's something we've got to really work on."

--Field Level Media

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