Friday, April 18th, 2014

FSU Sleepwalks Its Way To Win

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It’s a good thing Florida State can play defense because it certainly is not happening on offense for the garnet and gold.

Inventing new ways to turn the ball over 26 times against zone defenses almost all game long, FSU overcame a sluggish (some would call it boring) and mistake filled outing in beating the Hartford Hawks 60-38.
Maybe it was the cavernous civic center where the crowd in attendance was “generously” listed as 5,252 and the ‘Noles just could not build that energy.

Leonard Hamilton who literally sighed as he sat down to the microphone on his post game radio show called a problem with his team’s mental approach.

“If you want to be a team to challenge for the top of the conference you have to change your culture”, Hamilton said. “We seem to have stage fright once we step on the court.”

“We allowed to body us”, he added. “We did not looked organized at all.”

Now you may read those quotes from the head coach  and wonder what the heck he was talking about when you see the Seminoles won by 22 points.

What Hamilton was referring to was the ‘Noles not only turned the ball over constantly, they were devoid of any sort of aggressive play in the first half. Hartford through 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones at FSU all game long. Not exactly defensive systems that will force another team into miscues.

And obligingly the Seminoles played timid and uninspired against the weaker and less talented Hawks settling for lengthy jump shot after jump shot.

After taking a 2-0 lead on the initial basket of the game, FSU played catch up for nearly the rest of the half trailing by as many as nine points.

Michael Snaer’s three from the left corner gave the ‘Noles a lead of 28-27 with 1:17 left in the half and would never trail again leading 30-29 at intermission.

The difference in the two halves where FSU set a record for fewest points in a half (9) was defensively.
In the first half, Hartford connected on 7 of 18 three pointers. In the second, all the Hawks could manage was one lone trey out of twenty two attempts.

Obviously Hamilton addressed at the half closing out the shooters because wide open looks were gone after coming out of the locker room.

But shooting woes continued to remain as FSU was just 38% from the floor, 21% from the arc and 59% from the
stripe.

Hamilton insists the team shoots well in practice. He even mentioned how the TV crew doing tonight’s game commented on well the team shot the ball in the morning’s shoot around. That confidence however is not translating to the games.

There were some bright spots however.

Both Kitchen and Bernard James logged their first career double double with Kitchen scoring 10 points to go along with 13 rebounds and James scoring 11 to go along with his 13 boards.

Chris Singleton however had a very off night with 7 point and 8 rebounds but had a team high 9 turnovers.

At least FSU did thoroughly dominate the boards 59-31.

Notebook: James got his first start of his college career when Hamilton adjusted his lineup due to injury. Devidas Dulkys tore a finger nail on his non-shooting hand in practice. He was not dressed and had a split on the injured finger. ….With finals this week, FSU will not play again until Sunday night hosting Clemson.

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