The Aftermath of Clemson
Posted by BillFromTampa
After starting several times to write up something about this game the only thing I could finally come up with is that had to be the most embarrassing last 1:24 any Florida State team has ever played. I have not seen every game obviously. But I’ve seen a good number of them over the years and I cannot recall seeing the Seminoles meltdown like that in the last 90 seconds.
Oh sure, we’ve had disappointing last second losses. Tulane in 1995 comes to mind quickly where a miracle turnaround shot from the corner went in as the buzzer sounded to beat Pat Kennedy’s team 78-77. That happens in basketball.
But this one was different. We found almost every way conceivable to lose the game. Missed free throws by Chris Singleton and Solomon Alabi (where Oliver Purnell’s time out to ice Alabi on the second attempt paid off). Ryan Reid attempting a shot with 20 seconds still left on the shot clock. And oh yes, Reid turned the ball over on that play not to mention Michael Snaer just losing all concentration and fumbling away an inbound pass from Luke Loucks.
I don’t even have to go into the open shots Clemson got in that last minute where we bit on a screen and failed to cover Andre Young (someone who FSU flirted with in recruiting) who nailed a jumper from the key.
It was just one thing after another.
Never seen anything like it from the Seminoles that I can recall. You’d think from that last minute and a half that FSU had not played or practiced in two months.
Obviously fans who attended the game were stunned at what they had just witnessed.
But following that loss let me just say that there were some mighty grumpy players hanging their head and even grumpier coaches notably a certain head coach. You were lucky to get one word out of them. They realized fully what they let slip away.
Derwin Kitchen didn’t even sleep Sunday night he was that upset.
And the funk from that loss was not confined to the players and coaches. Even Gene Deckerhoff was just so sick from what he had just called to cheer himself up he didn’t watch any basketball at all and instead put in his DVD of Mama Mia and sung along with the tunes (who knew Gene was an ABBA fan).
So with the loss FSU fell into a four way tie for third instead of having third outright.
And what is worse Clemson holds the tie breaker with the sweep over the ‘Noles. If the Tigers don’t lose (and you might have seen where Clemson just beat Georgia Tech Tuesday night) the best FSU could manage is fourth place.
The margin of error to remain in the top four teams to get that extremely valuable first day bye in the ACC is very small. It now becomes imperative for FSU to win the last two regular season games.
That starts with Wake Forest Wednesday night.
And that is no bargain as Wake has the size to match FSU. The Deacons may not have the overall athletic ability the Seminole frontcourt has, but they play very physical.
And the style defense they play in packing it around the paint highlights the ‘Noles weaknesses in perimeter shooting and making entry passes to the post. FSU will need to knock down three pointers to have any hope of breaking that defense to give the Seminole big men any space in which to work.
After the first loss to the Tigers earlier in the season, that seemed to be a turning point for Leonard Hamilton’s squad as the team began to play much better. Sunday night was a big step backwards in that progress.
The Seminoles should be more focused however with the sting of that loss still fresh in their minds and it being Reid’s final home game of his FSU career.
One thing for sure though, it would really be in the best interest of FSU to win that game if the Seminoles want to have any chance at going to their second straight NCAA tournament.