Deep 3 with T.O.: FSU brings Final Four-type team to Littlejohn


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Deep 3 with T.O.: FSU brings Final Four-type team to Littlejohn

Coach Leonard Hamilton brings in his most talented team to date to Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday at 2p m, and will be greeted by a sold-out crowd of Tigers ready to bring some serious energy to the game. The Seminoles look to be about as deep a team as there is in the country while playing 11 players over ten minutes per game. That depth plus their size and athleticism has given teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference fits all season. They are spearheaded by both Trent Forrest and Devin Vassell. Forrest, a big guard standing 6’4 and weighing in at 215lbs, has been the best point guard in the league not named Tre Jones and Vassell has the makings of an NBA Lottery Pick in the spring. The entire team is long, athletic, and really like to pressure the basketball.

Individual Plays - Poise vs. Pressure

FSU has long been known to get out in the passing lanes with their elite length. This creates problems for opposing offenses because simply put, they take you out of every offense the opposing coach calls. The Tigers have to be ready to compete on offense this game and need to be able to make one on one plays to make the Seminoles pay for their over aggressiveness. My high school coach always told me, “you can’t fight fire, with fire." Clemson cannot get rattled at the constant pressure they will face the entire game on Saturday. The Tigers will need to remain poised because the pressure will not stop. FSU plays so many players, so the Tigers are going to be in for a war and the entire 40 minutes.

Attack 4’s and 5’s with Quickness/Ability to Handle the Ball

The spots that Clemson will have to take advantage of is at the four and five positions. Aamir Simms and Tevin Mack are going to need to have good games to relieve the pressure put on the guards. Both players have shown the ability to handle the ball both in transition and in half-court sets. This will be needed to pull FSU’s big out of the lane. The fact that both Mack and Simms have elite quickness for their positions will give them the ability to get some looks around the rim if cuts to the basket are as good as they have been recently. It is worth mentioning that over the past two games Simms has accumulated 11 turnovers. To give his team a chance to win that will have to be cut down dramatically.

Defensively KNOW YOUR PERSONNEL

Offensively, the Seminoles don’t run an extraordinary list of set plays. In large part, FSU runs a lot of NBA-style offenses that result in one-on-one or ball screen situations. That means there isn’t a ton of play scouting to be done and Clemson needs to know who they are guarding and each person’s tendencies every time a new person checks into the game. Know who your shooters are and guard everyone else accordingly. For example, Devin Vassell has had a fantastic year shooting the ball at close to 43% from 3, but the key is when he looks to put the ball on the floor he ALWAYS looks to score going to his right hand. On Vassell, the Tigers must close out accordingly and know he is much more aggressive to score going right so you must shade that direction on the closeout.

This will be Brownell's and company’s biggest challenge this season. Florida State is once again the tallest team in the country, and Leonard Hamilton’s brand of basketball doesn’t allow for softness. Tigers have to be strong with the ball and be ready to compete for the entire 40 minutes to come out with a win.

As always, I will be sure to hit the “follow” button on twitter @CoachTO22. I will be tweeting the game in real-time and love going back and forth with the Tiger family about the game.

Also, for a more in-depth pregame analysis give my podcast “Let It Fly with Terrence Oglesby” a listen as I talk about Florida State and many other topics relating to the Clemson Tigers and ACC basketball.

Click this link to give it a follow

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