Florida State travelled to Auburn for their final out-of-conference game and lost to a terrible Tigers team 65-60. Don’t be fooled by the name Auburn – they have no reason to be horrible in basketball, yet they are – this loss is every bit as bad as a loss to Mercer or Hawaii would have been. This is a loss that could haunt us on Selection Sunday in March. Had we scheduled like a Big East or Big Ten team this would simply be a bad loss, but thanks to completely inexcusable scheduling the stupid system known as RPI is now working against us. If you schedule a large slate of patsies and you accidentally lose to one, then you’re screwed in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee. Schedule like Florida and your RPI is 15 despite the exact same number of bad losses, and you’re projecting as a 4 or 5 seed. You can thank our clueless athletic director.
The Seminoles started ice cold against Auburn, hitting 1 of 15 3-pointers which led to a five point half time deficit. In the 2nd half we pounded the ball inside, but failed to finish, shooting 35% on the night, and 50% from the line (on 26 attempts). If we a) hit a couple 3’s, or b) make free throws, then we win this game handily. But we didn’t. Hat’s off to Tony Barbee’s club for doing enough to win.
Leonard Hamilton has been harping that no players beside Chris Singleton and Derwin Kitchen have been stepping up their game and demanding minutes, despite his insistence that he wants to shorten the rotation. If you doubted his sincerity before, you didn’t after this game. Singleton finished with 20 points, 10 boards and 3 steals. Unfortunately he went 4-12 from the line – but don’t let that persuade you, if even half the team showed up with as much intensity as Chris then we would have won this game going away. Kitchen, the other player who decided to make the trip, finished with 12 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
It’s too early to say exactly what we need in ACC play to make the tourney, but we will need a very good conference/conference tourney season. At 1-0 in league play, we next travel to Virginia Tech and host Duke. Tech will likely be a coin a flip or we'll be a 1-2 point dog, and Duke will be an overwhelming favorite.