On Wednesday night, a struggling Florida State basketball team continued to struggle against their arch rivals, the Florida Gators.
The Gators blew the Seminoles out of their own building with ease, coasting to a 72-47 victory.
There weren’t necessarily any lessons learned, but facts that we already knew were made even more obvious – Florida is very good. FSU is young and has a ton of work to do before the Seminoles open up conference play.
“Tonight, I thought we ran into one of the better teams that we’ve played since I’ve been at Florida State,” said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. “I thought Florida executed extremely well offensively.
“Late in the game, I turned to my assistants and said, ‘Can we really be this bad?’”
Rebounding has been a glaring weakness early on for FSU and it didn’t get any better on Wednesday night. The Gators outrebounded the Seminoles 34-26 by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Then there were the turnovers.
FSU shot themselves in the foot all night long, racking up a stunning total of 22 turnovers by the time the night was finished. And an experienced Gators squad took advantage, scoring nearly half of their points off the Seminoles’ giveaways.
“It’s very tough when you’re turning the ball over, especially when you’re turning the ball over on the first pass,” Okaro White said after the game. “You can’t get into a good offensive rhythm when you’re turning the ball over.”
And then, of course, there was the poor shooting percentage, which has been a disturbing trend for FSU over the past three games. The Seminoles finished the night having shot 34.8 percent from the field, marking the third straight time FSU’s field goal percentage has fallen below 40.
You could try to search for a random bright spot in the midst of the ugly loss, but you’d be reaching. There’s no need to sugarcoat it -- a talented, but young FSU team struggled in every facet of the game against an experienced, elite opponent.
This team, which features seven new faces, will suffer through growing pains throughout the season as they search for their identities. Tonight was one of them. And a very painful one, at that.
“I didn’t think we matched that level of maturity that is needed to play against a team that is executing as well as they are right now,” Hamilton said. “And we can’t hide behind being youthful and inexperienced forever.
"What we do need, is for our veterans to hold the fort down until some of our young guys come around.”
However, White was optimistic after the game that FSU will sort all of its issues out.
“The message is, we’ll be okay,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. We’re lucky to play in one of the best leagues in the country, which we’ll have a lot more opportunities to play RPI games, like Duke, North Carolina, NC State. So we’ll be alright.”
The Seminoles will look to start fixing those issues this Sunday, as they face off with Maine at home at 4 p.m.
Florida's Michael Frazier had 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
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