Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles have kicked off ACC play on track with a 75-69 win over Clemson on Sunday night.
The ‘Noles posted 47 second half points that lead to the come from behind victory. Junior guard Deividas Duhlkys chipped in 13 second half points of his own. Duhlkys provided Leonard Hamilton’s crew the clutch scoring they have been searching for and will need to be a force this season.
The Seminoles trailed most of the game but took their final lead of the game with three and a half minutes left courtesy of a three pointer by the sharpshooter Duhlkys.
Former ACC player of the year Chris Singleton had another solid performance posting 13 points, three boards, three blocks, and one steal. But it was the play of the of the “quiet” point guard Derwin Kitchen that really caught everyone’s eye.
Kitchen controlled all aspects of the game on both sides of the floor en route to a Jason Kidd esque stat line of nine points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. More impressively, Kitchen did all this while only committing one turnover.
Kitchen, the “glue guy” in my opinion, has done a great job of facilitating the ball around the court and making the best decisions every possession. While the senior from Jacksonville does a great job of playing the distributer, I think he has more in his repertoire than we often see.
Derwin once again showed his ability to score on the drive while proving he can step back and drain a three. Expect Kitchen to have more opportunities to score and keep the ball in his hands with his trustworthy decision making.
The ‘Noles also saw solid play off the bench from big man Bernard James and freshman Okara White. Both contributed nine points to help the ‘Noles out score the Tigers bench 25-14. Bernard “The Sergeant” James continues to bring excellent post toughness and solid play off the bench.
After the game Hamilton was quoted saying “I think tonight was a sign that we are moving in the right direction.” The conference win could end up being a huge one for the ‘Noles as they seek a third consecutive top three finish in the juggernaut ACC.
The Seminoles have another non conference warm up matchup tonight at home versus in state foe Stetson. Look for the ‘Noles to continue to search for a permanent “go-to” scorer with junior Chris Singleton and sophomore Michael Snaer struggling to find themselves on the offensive end this year.