Devin Booker contributed 19 points, 11 rebounds and 38 minutes to Clemson’s effort on Saturday, but it still wasn’t enough to lead the Tigers to a win over Florida State.
The senior center was extremely frustrated following the 71-66 loss.
“This was my last ACC season opener and we wanted things to turn out better than they did,” Booker said. “I’m a senior leader and I have to get with the guys and see what went wrong.”
Tiger coach Brad Brownell and Florida State boss Leonard Hamilton had nothing but praise for Booker.
“The guy can’t do much more than he did tonight,” Brownell said. “We knew this was a game where he had a chance to do some good things.”
Hamilton certainly thought he did.
“We played our fannies off on Booker,” Hamilton said. “We held him down to 19 points and 11 rebounds. Believe me, I was proud of the defensive effort that we gave. That just shows what kind of character he has and what kind of player he is.”
Guard Michael Snaer came into Saturday’s game as FSU’s top scorer, averaging16.3 points per game. But as the Seminoles ran out to a big first half lead Snaer was nowhere to be found from a scoring standpoint, concentrating mostly on defense.
He did finally join the scoring party in the opening moments of the second half, draining a three to put the Seminoles in front 41-25. He finished with 8 points.
“Michael Snaer took just one shot in the first half and that says a lot about him,” Hamilton said. “He was giving us tremendous leadership. It wasn’t about him individually, it was about us as a team and I think that says a lot about his unselfish spirit.
Clemson’s first ACC road challenge of the season figures to be a daunting one on Tuesday as the Tigers take on unbeaten Duke at Cameron Indoor.
The No. 1 Blue Devils continued their perfect start to the 2012-13 season on Saturday with an 80-62 rout of Wake Forest, improving to 14-0 on the year and starting off 1-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In the teams’ lone meeting last season Duke took a 73-66 decision at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 15.
Tuesday’s game is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.
“We’re not even thinking about Duke yet,” Brownell said after Saturday’s loss. “Our guys are down right now and we have to dust ourselves off and pick ourselves up. We just need to worry about Clemson right now.”
Clemson remains winless in games in which it has trailed at halftime this season. …Saturday marked the first time Brownell had lost to Florida State and now stands at 2-1 against the Seminoles in Littlejohn. …Clemson is now 13-18 all-time in ACC home openers. …Saturday was just the sixth time in 30 games the home team has lost in the FSU-Clemson series.