IN THE CROSSHAIRS

Hamilton Dissects Seminoles after FSU’s loss to Clemson

Ken Cross

January 23, 2024 at 11:18 am.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Clemson defeated Florida State, 78-67, on Saturday. The Seminoles had moved forward in their progression with six wins out of the last seven games and five in a row while Clemson had lost three out of four.

Clemson may have saved its season with the win as the Tigers had lost three out of four games and had dropped to the lower portal of the ACC.

“Today, we didn’t quite have the focus to be as disruptive as you have to be in the ACC in order to be successful,” said Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton. “We need those extra deflections; we need those extra steals. We need to be able to contest shots and get long rebounds and today, we were not able to do that.”

Hamilton, one of the game’s top professors, will revisit a lesson in basketball psychology before Florida State works to utilize the elements that pushed the Seminoles to only one game out of first in the ACC before this loss.

“Hopefully what we can do is learn from this game,” explained Hamilton. “There are things we have to do in order for us to win by closing out with the hands up, taking away vision, getting steals, getting some contested shots and forcing long rebounds.”

Florida State led, 23-16, midway through the first half, but the Tigers’ Jack Clark and Chase Hunter scored nine of the Tigers’ 14 points as Clemson tied the game at 30-30 at halftime.

Clemson then used a pair of baskets by PJ Hall to immediately push the lead to 37-30 even after Hamilton called a timeout to get his team to reset after halftime.

“They were able to get the ball inbounds without any resistance,” said Hamilton. “That sent a bad signal to me. We were not quite energized enough. We normally have been effective in not letting some folks catch the ball and that sent me a bad signal from the beginning.”

Florida State couldn’t seem to pick up enough energy or maybe even confidence to turn up the defensive intensity and produce an offensive run that it had been using to push its game forward in recent weeks.

FSU didn’t score from the floor for around three minutes as the Tigers were able to move the lead out to 65-52 when Josh Beadle scored on a layup.

“We have been very disruptive up until today with deflections and steals not allowing our opponents to get comfortable running their offense,” explained Hamilton.

Florida State shot only 40.7 percent from the floor while making only four of 18 three-point attempts. That lack of offense combined with Clemson making 51 percent of its shots to disallow the Seminoles from finding opportunities to make an offensive run or allow any defensive stops.

“I told the guys, I am not sure anyone is going to win the ACC with only two losses, so we have a lot more work to do,” Hamilton said. “We have as much chance as anybody else.”

In addition, the Tigers out-rebounded the Seminoles, 39-22, and 32 of those rebounds were on the defensive end of the floor.

“One of the players said that they were physical and I can’t see that when we normally have been flying from the corner to the top of the key and tonight, we weren’t as focused on offensive rebounding as we have been,” Hamilton explained.

Keys for the Seminoles are finding ball movement and ball reversal to be a successful shooting team; however, Saturday gave memories of how Florida State was struggling from the floor earlier in the season.

“Clemson was executing their system and getting the ball where they wanted to and that allows a really hard-fought loss,” Hamilton said. “They executed their game plan. We have been very disruptive up until today with deflections and steals not allowing our opponents to get comfortable running their offense.”