Monday, September 1st, 2014

FSU Suffers Embarrassing Loss to Auburn


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Stop me if you’ve heard this scenario before.

Team can’t shoot the ball (35%). REALLY can’t shoot the long ball (19%). Can’t convert it’s free throws (13-26). Makes little if any attempt to pound the ball inside against a team that doesn’t have all that much height in the first place. No ball movement. Even less player movement.

That would pretty much sum up Florida State’s Monday night 65-60 loss to the Auburn Tigers, a team that was a double digit underdog to the ‘Noles.

If you wanted to tune into a headache inducing make you want to scream in frustration at yet another what the hell are we supposed to be doing out there on offense anyway kind of game …. Well, this was your game.

While the defense wasn’t all that much better in allowing Auburn to shoot 46% from the floor and 42% from beyond the arc, it was the offense that once again reverted to its old ways of poor ball movement, even less player movement, and an inexplicable lack of desire to attack the basket.

You would have to think Leonard Hamilton might have been thinking the same thing with how inept and inefficient his offense was.

“I didn’t like our attitude coming into this game”, Hamilton said. “Our game plan was to go inside and yet we only got it into the post four or five times.”

That might explain the numerous and plentiful three point shots. But converting just 5 of your 26 attempts … how does one explain that???

“It seems like if the ball doesn’t go in, we lose enthusiasm.”

Is it any wonder then that Auburn played virtually the entire game in a 2-3 zone sometimes morphing into a 1-2-2? Why play anything else when your opponent is willing to settle for the long ball and can’t knock them down?

Trailing 27-22 at the half, the Seminoles seemed to come out of the locker room playing with a little more intensity. Chris Singleton scored seven straight points to give FSU a 33-31 lead less than four minutes into the second period.

But not long after that things went south again. While FSU was shooting the ball better, so was Auburn who at one point was 71% from the field for the half.

Back to back threes gave the Tigers a 42-36 lead with 11:57 to play forcing the ‘Noles to play catch up.

And they did catch up knotting the score at 46 at the 6:38 mark after Singleton blocked a shot leading to a three pointer in transition by Michael Snaer from above the key.

But Auburn regained the lead on Josh Langford’s three ball from the left corner with 4:11 to play.

Singleton had a chance to tie the game half a minute later from the free throw line. Instead Singleton missed both and Frankie Sullivan canned a three to make it 52-47.

Singleton once again came to the line to try and make it a two point game only to misfire once again.

In fact, Singleton went to the charity stripe seven times in the last 3:01 converting just 2 of 7 attempts.
It mirrored the shooting woes the Seminoles had on the evening.

FSU would not get any closer than four points over the last couple of minutes. Only three uncontested baskets by Derwin Kitchen in the final 23 seconds made it appear better than it really was.

Had it not been for the 16 offensive rebounds and 7 blocked shots it probably would have been worse.

Singleton finished with 20 points. Kitchen had 12. After that there was not much help from anyone wearing the garnet and gold.

Auburn put three players in double figures with Langford leading the way with 16.

Hamilton said after the game that he hoped his team learned from this loss and that this game would be a wakeup call.
You would hope after fifteen games (11-4), the team would already be awake.

If they aren’t, it will be an unpleasant trip to Blacksburg when the Seminoles take on Virginia Tech on Saturday at 3 PM.  The game will be shown on ESPN2.

Hamilton guaranteed practices this week would reflect a greater intensity and effort. After tonight’s disappointing effort, focus and intensity couldn’t help but be improved.


One Response to “FSU Suffers Embarrassing Loss to Auburn”
  1. This is what seperates good teams from great teams. Good teams have a stinker every once in a while. Great teams don’t. I think loses like this also come down to senior leadership. The coach can only yell so much. Someone (besides Singleton) has to step up and say “We are not losing this game.”
    This is one of those games that people will bring up, but I think the team will be alright.
    Great write up, Bill.