Fans who showed their support of the Seminole basketball team on Sunday night were treated to a record performance by the men wearing garnet and gold. Dared by Maryland to shoot from outside, the Noles started the game a blistering 9-11 from three--which equaled the number of long balls made by FSU in the previous three games combined. But the hot shooting lasted the full 40 minutes and when the smoke cleared, Florida State made more three pointers--16--than they ever had against an ACC opponent. The previous best was 15 against UNC on February 21st, 2004.
Several other feats from the game will find their way into the Seminole record book when it's re-written this off-season.
- The 16 made threes was the third most all-time for FSU, three off the record of 20 set against Maine in 2007.
- FSU finished 16-24 from bonus land, good for 68.2%. This was tied for the 4th best 3-point percentage in school history (minimum of 10 attempts). However, none of the other games in the top five featured even 15 attempts, let alone nearly 25.
- Ian Miller (6-8 from three) became the 7th Seminole to make at least six threes in an ACC game. Other members of the exclusive club are Deividas Dulkys, Andrew Wilson, Von Wafer, Toney Douglas, Sam Cassell, and Tim Pickett.
Heard after the game:
Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon:
- "Ian Miller, you expect him to make shots; he’s a big time player."
- We weren't very good offensively, but you gotta give them a lot of credit. They're tremendous on defense...they protect the rim so well. We were stubborn; kept trying to score over those big guys instead of penetrating and pitching."
- "Our defense is just not very good. And tonight our offense wasn’t very good, but I think Florida State had a lot to do with that."
- "They're good. It's a heck of a team."
- "I think any coach in our league will tell ya you want FSU shooting jump shots over a hand, is what you want. And they made them tonight."
- "You get pissed because they haven’t made threes all year and then here they are just continue to make ‘em and make ‘em and make ‘em."
Coach Leonard Hamilton:
- "We defended exceptionally well for the full 40 minutes. We had a couple of mistakes but it wasn't because of lack of effort."
- "Obviously, making the extra pass and moving the ball, and executing on the offensive end gave us some high percentage shots and tonight they were falling for us."
- "We would love to shoot that way every night but that's probably not gonna happen."
- "We thought we would be a pretty good perimeter shooting team, but the game of basketball is such that occasionally...you go through those little periods where you just don't seem to make shots."
- "We shoot good in practice all the time. But I think that we are starting to understand that we have to…play to each other and create for each other." --When asked if they had shot this well in practice lately.
- "Going back and watching the Virginia film it was obvious that we were very impatient and didn't make the extra pass."
- "We have tried to challenge our guys to push the ball and play more in transition."
- "We have grown up a little bit in the last couple games and hopefully we can continue to improve."
- "[Ojo] and Boris both continue to really be a major factor in our defense."
- "You gotta have a rotation where you keep guys fresh enough to play with energy; this rotation works for all we are trying to do. Now sometimes it might not look like it's quite as efficient on offense, but when you look at the big picture of a 40 minute game and what we have to do with the talent that we have, it works for who we are and what we're about." --When asked about Miller and Thomas coming off the bench.
- "There are no upsets, there are no surprises in the ACC…anything is capable of happening on any night."
- "I don’t even think we’ve come close to reaching our potential."
· "Good movement leads to good shots and I think that’s what we got tonight."
· "I lead the ACC in steals, so I’m gonna go get one…I feel like I’m the best defender in the ACC, so I just go out there and try to do what I can." –When asked how he gets so many steals
· "10 steals any day." –When asked if he would rather have 10 steals or make 10 threes in a game.
· "Against Virginia we didn’t buy in. It was a lot of 1 on 1 and you can’t go 1 on 1 against Virginia. We weren’t able to get the ball moving, the ball was sticking a lot, and that game really woke us up."
· "The past three or four games we had all been taking hard shots and making 1 on 1 moves. And they were working to an extent, but when you play a good team and a good defense like Virginia, you’re gonna lose. So we know that if we move the ball and good wide open shots like we do in practice, we’re gonna hit a high percentage of them.
· "I told all the guys let’s just have fun. Whether we were hitting those threes or not, we were gonna have fun. When we have fun we dominate."
· When we are playing unselfish and hard like that, on defense and offense, it’s pretty tough to play against us."
· "I was happy to be back to the fast pace."
· "That Virginia game was a reality check that we are not as good as we thought we were without playing to each other and having each other’s back…when we all stick together like a balled up fist, we are pretty tough to beat."
Around the ACC:
It's been a crazy year in the ACC so far. Florida State is in a tie for 4th (with the Clemson team they just blew out) at 2-1. UNC is all alone in last place at 0-3. And two newcomers, Syracuse and Pitt, are atop the standings at 4-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Consider that Notre Dame beat Duke, Duke blew out Georgia Tech, and GT defeated ND. Or that NC State defeated Tennessee (on the road), Tennessee smacked UVA by 35, and UVA crushed NC State by 31 (on the road).
Factor in that Pitt just lost their best player off the bench for the season with a knee injury and it looks like 'Cuse may very well run away with things while second place is completely up for grabs.
So where does that leave FSU? While coaches and players need to take things one game--or even one half--at a time, we fans can look forward a little bit. FSU's next 6 games are: @Miami, @UVA, ND, @Duke, @NC State, and Clemson. Four road games in a six game stretch is never fun in this league, but on paper none of the teams look unbeatable. In fact, UVA, not Duke, may be the toughest victory just thanks to stylistic differences. If FSU can just go 3-3 over that stretch that would put the Noles at 5-4 as they make the turn for the back nine. And the back nine appears much easier (again, on paper at least) than the front nine. Meaning a few more victories this month and the Seminoles will be in prime position for a return to the Big Dance.