The Virginia Tech Hokies used a late 1st half run to take a 10 point lead into half and never looked back. The Noles made a couple runs in the 2nd half but couldn't sustain them due to the usually litany of reasons: turnovers, bad decisions and poor shooting. The final was 71-59, in a 70 possession game.
Once again Chris Singleton was the only threat for the Seminoles, finishing with 22 points and 8 rebounds. He was efficient (22 points, 14 shots) where the rest of the team was miserable (37 points, 48 shots). The Noles turned the ball over 19 times (27%) with at least 6 coming on offensive fouls. There's really no other bright spots to point to, except for 15 offensive boards. But when you can't shoot and you can't take care of the ball then offensive boards don't have much effect. The Noles shot 39.4% on 2s, 29.2% on 3s and 57.1% on FTs.
Once again a good defensive team exploited our inability to penetrate. Why it's taken 8 years to recruit those types of players (Ian Miller, Aaron Thomas) is a mystery, but we're seeing the effects on the court, for yet another season. Good zones make our offense go completely stagnant. The other continual mystery is the rotation. Deividas Dulkys, in the midst of a slump, never came out of the game. Bernard James, who had the most efficient line behind Singleton, only played 17 minutes. Pierre Jordan played the most critical minutes of the 1st half (the final four) and VT promptly went on a 10-0 run. Losing to Virginia Tech isn't a big deal (they were favored), but how we lost is a big deal. If Leonard Hamilton wants to be the 2nd coach to ever lead FSU to three consecutive NCAA tourneys, he better turn this team around, and quick. Duke comes to town on Wednesday. We have a 1% chance of winning that game. Then we'll need to go 10-3 the rest of the season to play our way off the bubble.