A week ago, rebounding – particularly on the defensive end – cost Florida State what could've been a win over the North Carolina Tar Heels.
“Your record's not going to change in practice,” forward Okaro White said.
And if the Seminoles haven't improved in that department in time for today's contest at Virginia (4 p.m., ACC Network/ESPN3), they might not even get many opportunities with the ball.
The Cavaliers (11-5, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) play a slow, methodic style of offense that wears on opposing defenses and often uses the entire 35-second shot clock.
“When you defend for so long, that takes effort and that takes a lot of energy out of you,” said junior forward Okaro White, who has averaged 17.5 points per game in his last two outings.
“A lot of teams break down in that last seven to nine seconds of the shot clock,” forward Terrance Shannon said. “They move the ball around a lot and they're very patient and that's tough.”
So when Virginia does finally take a shot – and misses – taking away and second-chance opportunities is of paramount importance.
The team's film review of the UNC game didn't pull any punches. The Seminoles were dominated on the glass, allowed 19 offensive rebounds and surrendered 19 second-chance points in a game that they lost 77-72.
“It definitely frustrated us to the fact that we didn't rebound well at all,” White said. “Rebounding is a pride thing and we got beat up all night on the glass.”
UVA averaged more than nine offensive rebounds per game. Akil Mitchell, a 6-8 junior forward, is the team's leading rebounder with 9.3 per game.
So, naturally, the Seminoles spent much of this week's practices focusing on rebounds and making sure that what happened last week doesn't happen again.
White maintained that while he was encouraged by what he saw, he can't help but remain skeptical until the Seminoles show improvement in a live game.
“Your record's not going to change in practice,” he said. “I'm waiting on the game.”