Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Observations from Georgia Tech

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After Sunday’s debacle in Chapel Hill, Florida State wanted to win this game. And they played like they really wanted it jumping out immediately to a 20-4 lead. The Seminoles never looked back after that holding off Georgia Tech who closed the margin to seven on a couple of occasions but never really threatened.

The best quote after the game came from Michael Snaer. “To get that big jump and hit them first, that means a lot,” Snaer said. “Because they’ve got their crowd and they’ve got the momentum, so we’ve got to come out and snatch it right away.” That “crowd” was announced as 5,902. If there were 3,000 there they were lucky. Either that or the desired sellout crowd was fashionably late. Very late. Tech fans obviously have had it with Paul Hewitt and last night didn’t do anything to change that.

Tech showed why it is the lowest scoring team and last in shooting percentage in the ACC. They can’t shoot the ball. Well, actually they can. Unfortunately for them the Yellow Jackets are enamored with shooting from the perimeter. When you put up thirty one three pointers and only make seven, is it any wonder that Tech shot just 29% (19% in the first half? Of course FSU’s defense had a hand in that. Actually two hands as the Seminole defenders constantly had their hands in the face of the Jackets’ shooters. Yes Glen Rice Jr. and Iman Shumpert scored 24 and 25 points respectively. They had to hoist 51 shots to do it connecting on just 18 (35%). But clearly that is an inept GT offense as evidenced by the two blown alley oop attempts the Jackets tried where one pass sailed far over the head of the receiver and the other hit the back board. In one seven minute stretch, Georgia Tech missed eleven straight shots and turned the ball over five times. I can’t understand why Tech fans wouldn’t want to come to the games to see that.

“Most of the time, our defense is going to be there,” Singleton said. “It showed up tonight.” As Leonard Hamilton would say, “No doubt about that”.

This just in … Tech just grabbed another offensive rebound. The Jackets grabbed 26 of them for the game. That is not unexpected though. When you launch as many threes as Tech did, you are going to get a lot of long rebounds and most of them just seemed to fall into the hands of Tech. Fortunately for FSU numerous second and third shot attempts would not fall for GT.

Twenty six NBA scouts came to see Chris Singleton who responded to being back in home town by scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 boards. It was Singleton’s first double double in nine games.

The best play of the game in my opinion came from Singleton. No, it wasn’t a basket, a rebound, or even one his two steals. It was a hustle play that allowed FSU to maintain control of the ball. Singleton had the ball on the left wing and had it knocked out of his hands. The ball was tipped into the FSU backcourt and a diving Singleton managed to beat the Tech defender to the ball tapping it over to Luke Loucks. Guaranteed the scouts made note of that.

Aside from the offensive boards by Tech, the other stat that stood out was the 17 turnovers FSU had. I would have to look at my tape again, but I wonder how many of those 17 turnovers came in the closing minutes? After superbly handling Tech’s press the entire game the ‘Noles really looked like they had never seen it before that point in the game.

Next up for FSU is another bottom tier conference opponent. A very young Virginia team (12-11, 3-6) travels to Tallahassee for a 3:00 PM tip Saturday afternoon. The Cavs have played sporadically but have had their moments. Most of them though were before Mike Scott was injured and forced to have surgery ending his season. The Cavs may also be without another veteran with Tony Bennett unsure if Will Sherrill will play on Saturday. The Seminoles are 5-0 at home in conference play this season.

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