Just 11 days after a thriller that saw Florida State Seminoles basketball win the closing seconds over the Miami Hurricanes, the two teams are set to square off again, this time in Coral Gables and for the top spot in the ACC.
While Miami (14-4, 6-1 ACC) has just had one game since then, a blowout win vs. UNC, FSU (12-5, 5-2 ACC) has lived a lifetime in that time span, beating Syracuse on the road, upsetting No. 6 Duke, and outlasting a freak 3-point performance from UNF.
“Learning experiences help absorb all the game preparation with different teams and different systems,” head coach Leonard Hamilton said after Thursday’s win vs. the Ospreys. “When you have not gone through a stretch like this, for our first-year players as well, it’s a little challenging as well because you’re doing more communicating. You’re not able to go out and drill as much as you’d like to in order for the different things that we’re doing to become a habit. You hope that your players will retain your walk-throughs and your verbal instructions. When they don’t have an opportunity to execute them, you learn by doing it over and over and over.”
“But we are fairly familiar with the University of Miami, because we played them not too long ago. Hopefully, we will retain that, but they seem to be playing better and better. They are who they are. We are who we are. It’s going to be a team playing as close as they can to their potential to win the game. They’ve proven that they’re are an outstanding team. We don’t want them to have a little edge, but I’m sure that no one wants to lose someone nine times in a row. That’s going to be an added motivation for them.”
The Hurricanes’ beatdown of the Tar Heels was UNC’s worst conference loss since 2012 (when they lost 90-57 at Florida State), with Miami at one point leading by 33.
“Right now, there are not a lot of changes,” Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranga said ahead of part two of the season series. “We’ve played Carolina, [FSU has] played [Syracuse, Duke and North Florida] and now we’ve got to play each other again. They’ll have a chance to watch our game against North Carolina. We’ve already watched their game against Duke. We recognize that Florida State is the longest, tallest, and most athletic team in our league. They’re a very hard matchup for us.”
Florida State vs. Miami is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m. and is set to be broadcast on ESPN.
Game notes, via FSU
SEMINOLES IN THE GIVING MOOD
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Miami ranked fifth in the ACC in assists with a 14.6 assists per game average. The Seminoles earned 20 assists (against only 13 turnovers) in Thursday’s win over UNF in Tallahassee. The Seminoles’ assists total marked the fourth time this season Florida State had earned at least 20 assists in a game and are 4‐0 when they earn at least 20 assists in a game. The Seminoles have earned 20 or more assists in two of their last three games (against Syracuse and North Florida), are averaging 15.8 assists per game (79 total assists) and have an assist:turnover ratio of 1.6:1 (79 assists and 49 turnovers) in their current five‐game winning streak.
SEMINOLES LIMITING THEIR OPPONENTS’ OFFENSIVE REBOUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Florida State has held each of their last four opponents to eight or fewer offensive rebounds and are surrendering an average of 6.8 offensive rebounds (34 total offensive rebounds) during its current five‐game winning streak. The Seminoles are allowing 6.2 second chance points per game during their winning streak. Florida State limited Miami to eight offensive rebounds and eight second chance points in its 65‐64 victory over the Hurricanes just 11 days ago. After allowing nine double figure rebounding efforts by their opponents (132 offensive rebounds / 12.5 second chance points) in their first 12 games (for a 7‐5 record), the Seminoles have since held the opponents to single digit offensive rebounds (34 offensive rebounds / 6.2 second chance points) four times during their current five‐game winning streak (for a 5‐0 record).
Game notes, via Miami
The Hurricanes are playing Florida State twice in a span of three games. Since joining the ACC in 2004-05, it is the second time Miami is playing the same team twice in three outings during the regular season, including the first in league play. The other was back-to-back games against Charlotte in November 2014. Miami has four other occurrences that include the ACC Tournament: March 2015 back-to-back against Virginia Tech, March 2016 backto-back against Virginia Tech, Feb/March 2018 against North Carolina and March 2019 against Virginia Tech.
TAKING DOWN THE TAR HEELS
Miami logged a 28-point win, 85-57, Tuesday over North Carolina, the Tar Heels’ largest loss in ACC play since 1/14/12 at Florida State (90-57) and first 25-point loss in league action since 2/9/13 at Miami (87-61). Jim Larrañaga is 7-10 against the Tar Heels in his Miami tenure and the Hurricanes are one of three teams with at least seven wins over North Carolina since his 2011-12 arrival, including the only one with three by 15-plus or two by 20-plus.
DISHING, SWATTING & SHOOTING
Sam Waardenburg is the only Power Five player averaging 2.0 assists and 1.0 block per game while shooting 45% from deep. Ben Lammers (2016-17) is the lone ACC player to finish a season with those marks in the last 30 years.
TAKING (AND NOT GIVING) IT AWAY
Miami has forced 249 turnovers and committed just 167, good for a +4.56 margin to lead the ACC. Only twice have the Hurricanes logged more turnovers than their foe and they own a 307-172 edge in points off turnovers, a +7.5 margin. Miami is fifth nationally in offensive turnover percentage (13.5), per KenPom. After logging 14-plus steals twice in its first 296 ACC games as a program, it did so back-to-back against Syracuse (14) and Duke (15).
Jim Larrañaga ranks second at Miami with 214 victories and fourth with a .615 winning percentage. His six 20-win seasons at The U are the most of any coach and a third of the program’s total. Coach L has also led Miami to all three of its 25-win campaigns, two of its three Sweet 16 berths and four of its 10 NCAA Tournament trips. FLORIDA STATE The Seminoles, at 12-5 (5-2), are led by redshirt sophomore guard Caleb Mills’ 13.8 points and 2.9 assists per game. Florida State was picked second in the ACC preseason poll after going 18-7 (11-4) and making the Sweet 16 last year.