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Transcript of Leonard Hamilton's teleconference

  • Chris Nee

    FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton

    COACH HAMILTON: We played two games last week, one against a very good Miami team. I thought we played pretty well against them. Probably was tired in the latter stages of the game. But like all great teams do, they found a way to pull it out there toward the end. Larkin made some great plays. They are a very good basketball team and we just didn't team to have an answer for Larkin down the stretch.

    We played an improving Boston College team who is in my opinion, I thought they might have been one of the best executing teams we played all year. I thought we executed well and we used patience with patience and we had the ball at the end of the game, we played both games.

    Many ACC games come down to the final periods of the game and we were very fortunate to come away with a victory against a very improved Boston College team.

    Q. I wanted to ask you about Shane Larkin, he's a guy you recruited. Miami has so many seniors and great upper classmen, but the difference you think he's made for them?

    COACH HAMILTON: Well, we are very familiar with Shane. I think he is probably one of the top one or two post guards in the ACC, if not the No.1 post guard, he's all of close. But I also think he's one of the top five point guards in the country. He's a coach on the floor. He very seldom ever makes a bad decision. The ball is always safe in his hands.

    I think he is the Most Valuable Player on the Miami team; regardless if they have guys who have got more recognition. He is the guy that I think drives that team. He makes tremendous decisions, he hits free throws and he knocks down open jumpers. Even though he's small in stature, he's a tremendous athlete and he has the quickness and speed to get to the basket if you give him the right angle.

    I thought we defended him as well as we had in the last five or six minutes of the game and he scored 12 points. Had he not been able to score those points down the stretch, that game probably comes out differently.

    I can't say enough about how he's improved and he is the one reason why they are probably one of the top two or three teams in the nation.

    Q. I just was looking at the oddity of the schedule, you play N.C. State but you actually play them twice in like 15 days. It's almost like an NBA thing. Can you talk about N.C. State and the problems they present, not having seen them all year, but you know a lot of their players from last year?

    COACH HAMILTON: I'm very familiar with N.C. State and I think they are one of the more potent offensive teams in America. You don't have any relief at any position. Wood will knock down every jumpshot that he gets. Brown, one of the top five point guards in America, and he scores in transition if you don't get back in defense.

    And you have to get backand then you have to worry about Woods attacking the basket, because literallyhe is a handful. He is tremendously athletic. He scoresan abundance of ways, he's a handful. And you have Howell who is having probably one of the top years of the conference, come off the bench with C.J. in double figures coming off the bench. And Lewis is‑‑ will be the starting ‑‑ one of the best in the country. You don't have relief and they challenge you at every spot. They execute their offense to perfection.

    This is a very dangerous team, and we know we have our hands full coming in there with them on Tuesday night.

    Q. Up here we don't get a lot of updates; is there any news on Terrance Shannon? Is there a chance he plays this season, or does that look bad?

    COACH HAMILTON: Terrance, today he's in Los Angeles with one of the top spine specialists in the country getting evaluated. We will know more after the evaluation comes back.

    Obviously we'll proceed with caution and he's being evaluated by doctors and they are positive he will have a complete recovery, but whether or not he's going to be able to play this year, a lot depends onjust us wanting to get a second opinion and make sure that we are as safe as possible as it relates to making good decisions whether he's going to play or not this year. We will know more probably by the middle of the week as to what to expect from him for the remainder of the season.

    Q. A guy clearly still developing is Michael Ojo. Can you talk about what specific things he needs to work on in the off‑season to become the force that he clearly could be down the line?

    COACH HAMILTON: Well, there's no doubt that Michael Ojo has made tremendous progress, and it's unfortunate that he has not been able to transfer how well he has practiced into the game. This is his first experience at playing, he's only played in ten or 12 games prior to this year. Has limited experience.

    But he's a very bright youngster. He's smart. He understands. The game just moves a little fast for him. He understands our options. He's a pretty good low post defender. He's just learning. We've been starting the last couple of games, just because he plays with so much energy, we think the future is very bright for him as well as Boris Bojanovsky.

    Both of those guys have different potential and one needs a lot more strength and physicality, and one has the body and needs to improve his skills. We are kind of a team in transition right now but we feel that Ojo has potential to be a major contributor in the ACC.

    Q. Scott Wood for N.C. State has done some damage against you in the past and had a big shot against Clemson and had a good night the other night. How does he keep getting those shots?

    COACH HAMILTON: Well, in the first place, they do a great job of executing their‑‑ they use what they call the UCLA offense, and obviously Coach was there at UCLA and Eric is on the staff. So they have that thing down to a science. They have guys who push the ball well and can penetrate and it's very difficult to keep up when they are comfortable attacking the basket as often as possible.

    So they execute their offense and give Wood wide open looks, and we all know from past experience, if you give him a wide open look, a high percentage of those shots will go in. He is representative of their team. They are a great basketball team. He is a guy who for a defense makes it very difficult to key on the interior because on one side of the floor, you can't leave him open, there's no doubt about that.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

    Chris Nee of You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.