Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Observations from Duke/FSU


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Watching Florida State basketball can be a frustrating thing for many fans at times. Its wins like this one over Duke that make it worthwhile. If only they played with this kind of intensity game in and game out. The team knew it blew it this past week in especially against Auburn.

Apparently the Seminoles REALLY like playing Duke in Tallahassee in particular when the Blue Devils are ranked number one. Amazing what they can do when they put their minds to it.

Perusing the message boards I find some have an issue with rushing the floor after a game like this. Not me. Not when it is the number one team in the country and that team is Duke.

The stats say that the offense functioned better than the previous two games. And it did. All you have to do is look at the lack of three pointers taken (13) versus the 50 we put up in the previous two games.

While they made four of their six threes in the second half it was the mid range shots that were falling. Definitely the ‘Noles enjoyed home cooking unlike the clangfest they have had on the road this past month.

Hamilton can say all he wants that he would like to have a scoring by committee team approach. But if he doesn’t put it on the senior Derwin Kitchen(22 points) and his star player, Chris Singleton (18 points), to carry this team on offense, he would be making a mistake.

Coach K got a good look at Singleton when he played for the USA Select team against the US Olympic team this past summer. He was impressed then with Singleton. He is even more impressed after this game. Singleton’s three pointer at the 3:37 mark to make it a five point game, 59-54.

This game was won however by the defense. Clearly FSU took some things from the Maryland at Duke game on Sunday and used them successfully against the Blue Devils such as being physical.  Had the ‘Noles let the Duke get into the 70’s they don’t come away with the upset win. And while Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith scored combined 39 of Duke’s 61 points, making them work for the shot most times paid off at the end of the game when Singler quickly launched a three ball that would have tied the game at 61 but didn’t come close. Instead Singleton gets the rebound and fouled and makes it a four point game with 33 seconds left. That put Duke behind the eight ball.

Terrance Shannon got the start tonight in place of Devidas Dulkys. Some would say keep doing that. But Leonard Hamilton indicated that was simply to match up better with the tall front line of Duke. I say keep it. Shannon did some nice things out there and frankly Dulkys seems to fare better coming off the bench although he was once again scoreless.

Dulkys and Michael Snaer are just in a real funk shooting wise and tonight was no exception as they were a combined 2 of 17. That just can’t continue. But when Hamilton brings in Luke Loucks who promptly gets three turnovers in less than three minutes, he is going to have to have them on the floor a lot.

I’m sure we are all glad Duke doesn’t like zone defenses. More accurately so is the Seminole team. Duke tried it once in the second half and promptly scraped it when FSU sliced through it for a relatively easy basket.

Now here’s  the real test for the Seminoles. Can they back up this huge win with another one on Saturday against NC State (Remember Scott Wood anyone?) who knocked off FSU twice last season? If the Duke win is to mean anything they need to.

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