There are about 5,000 writers that will write this post game story better than I could ever do so I wont even start to insult your reading intelligence. What I will do is go through some of my thoughts and observations from both teams. OK well I was about 90% right from my pre game scouting report. I said that FSU would be a thorn in Duke’s side. I thought the game would be close and it was definitely that as I believe the game was tied 10 different times throughout the game. My scouting report said that if Florida State used their bigs and attacked Duke’s they had a chance to win and they did. The problem was I predicted that Duke would win in a close game and that’s where I was wrong. My gut was to go with Florida State because of their size as well as their wing’s ability to put the ball on the floor and attack Duke’s defense. My only thought was that Duke’s point guard play was going to be the deciding factor in a close game. Duke’s guard play was still better, but in the end Florida State’s toughness and size was too much for Duke to handle.
What is terribly obvious is Duke’s lack of depth. They are about 7 players deep maybe 8 in a pinch. Their guard play is good, high basketball IQ , and can make shots. Their inside play is where they are lacking as far as offensively. Ryan Kelly is a stretch 4 that can step out and make shots as well as pick and pop and attack off of the dribble. He’s not a great athlete, but has toughness and shot making ability. Mason Plumlee plays with energy and athletic ability. His length and size give teams issues with his ability to attack the rim. Where he gets in trouble is when he’s forced to make plays on the block, this gives him issues with strong bigs that defend him and stay on their feet. Austin Rivers is obviously the team’s best player. His ability not only to make shots but also change speeds to create space off of the dribble makes him a very tough player to guard. Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins are good shot makers which gives Duke the ability to stretch the floor and make shots as well as drive on long closeouts and get in the lane.
Florida State is very similar to Duke as they rely heavily on the three point shot, but they have more weapons on the block that can control the paint. Their bigs run the floor and can duck in to score in the paint, something that Duke doesn’t have this season. Their wing players can handle the ball and make shots which makes them big weapons. Michael Snaer and Delvidas Dulkys give them two very good shot makers that can also drive the ball. Their shot making ability makes them tough to guard especially on the weakside when the ball is skipped to them forcing defenders to close out long and allow them to get the ball on the paint. Their four headed monster of Xavier Gibson, Bernard James, Okaro White, and Jon Kreft give them plenty of options to protect the paint as well as give them extra scoring on the block. If FSU can stay healthy they will be in the top 3 in the ACC for sure.
For both teams in my opinion rely on the three point shot way too much. This effects Florida State more than it does Duke. Duke has better play makers and smarter guards. With their ability to get in the paint draw help defenders and hit spot up shooters makes them very tough to guard. My opinion is Duke shoots the ball way too early in the shot clock and settles for three point shots too much. They can stretch the floor with 4 shooters, but without a true go to scorer on the block hurts them in games like this where their opponents have good size and length in the front court. With the way they screen and move without the ball I feel as though they can get more out of their cuts to the basket even with Kelly. Kelly can pass so even though he’s not a great low post threat can act as a passer out of the post. Even if he faces up from the mid post area can still be a post up threat for Duke. Florida State takes a lot of three point shots which isn’t a huge issue because they have multiple shot makers on the floor. I just feel as though they have two active bigs in the front court that they can use to give teams issues. They aren’t super skilled on the block but can duck in or score on deep post catches. They run screen and roll, bur need to make sure they roll one big hard after the screen and duck in the other form the weak side. I think this team will be as good as their front court shows. I can see an energy issue with them as this is not good. If you are greatly skilled on the block you can afford to play without energy at times, but when your game is energy and you don’t show it then you are in for some long nights.
Either way it was a great game today. Just another night in the ACC