Boston College looks to slow No. 11 Seminoles’ ACC title run


Leonard Hamilton, who on Monday agreed to an extension to continue coaching Florida State through the 2024-25 season, said the Atlantic Coast Conference is full of “blueblood” men’s basketball programs that have been successful for decades.

The Seminoles aren’t in that group.

“Our focus is on being the ‘new bloods,'” Hamilton said.

Whatever the definition, Florida State, ranked 11th in the nation with a 14-4 overall record and a 10-3 ACC mark, is a national contender.

Set to host Boston College (4-13, 2-9) on Wednesday night, the Seminoles lead the league by one game in the loss column, and their two remaining regular-season games are against programs in the bottom five of the 15-team ACC.

Barring a collapse, the Seminoles will finish the season ranked 16th in the nation or better for the fourth time in the past five years. There has never been another stretch in Seminoles history nearly as good as this one, which is why Hamilton, 72, got the extension.

Hamilton, a three-time ACC Coach of the Year, has the highest-ranked team in the league — ahead of those bluebloods such as Duke, North Carolina and Virginia.

Florida State is riding a streak of 24 consecutive ACC home wins — two short of Duke’s league record. Wins over Boston College on Wednesday and at Notre Dame on Saturday would give the Seminoles their second straight ACC regular-season title.

The Seminoles are known for their balanced scoring and deep bench, and this year is no different. M.J. Walker leads the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game, and he is followed by RaiQuan Gray (12 points per game), Scottie Barnes (10.2), Anthony Polite (9.5) and Balsa Koprivica (9.2).

Gray leads the team with an average of seven rebounds per game. Barnes, a projected lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, paces the Seminoles in assists (4.3 per game) and steals (1.5 per game), and Koprivica tops Florida State in blocks (1.3 per game) while adding 5.6 rebounds per contest.

Boston College is coming off a 94-90 home win over Notre Dame, giving Scott Spinelli a victory in his first game as the Eagles’ interim coach.

Boston College played a crisp game, turning ball over just five times, including no giveaways in the first half. The Eagles shot 52.5 percent from the floor and hit 9 of 19 3-point attempts (47.4 percent).

It was the Eagles’ first contest since Jim Christian was fired on Feb. 15.

“This was an enjoyable game for our seniors,” Spinelli said after Boston College earned its first victory since Jan. 12 and posted a season-high point total. “They deserved to have a fun locker room.”

Spinelli, who has been a college assistant coach for most of the past 25 years, benefited from the return of Frederick Scott. The senior scored 18 points on Saturday in his first game since sustaining a knee injury in November.

Jay Heath is averaging a team-high 14.6 points per game for the Eagles, who are 2-8 in their past 10 games against the Seminoles.

–Field Level Media

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