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FSU's season ends in round 1 of the NIT

The season-long demons haunted FSU in their final game.

Streeter Lecka

The season began at home losing to a Sun Belt team, and finished, at home, losing to a WAC team. Those teams combined to go 30-8 in their conferences, but still, it's not what was expected of the defending ACC champions.

The team struggled all year with turnovers and was the worst defensive rebounding team in Hamilton's tenure. And those two things stuck out against Louisiana Tech, a team which rebounded half their misses and turned FSU over on 28% of their possessions.

The final was 71-66 and could have been a lot worse if not for some final game heroics from Michael Snaer, who finished with 24 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He had one of the great FSU careers (and I'll have more on that in the next week).

To understand how the freshmen point guards handled Louisiana Tech's press, just look at the assist column in the box score. Terrance Shannon had half of the team's 8 assists. Bookert and Brandon combined for one.

Still, the season was not without it's bright spots.

FSU, in a down year, finished 9-9 in the ACC. That says an awful lot about this program. This year's Miami team is a lot like last year's FSU team. Let's see how the Canes do next year.

The freshman class - Devon Bookert, Montay Brandon, Aaron Thomas, Boris Bojanovsky and Michael Ojo - all showed flashes of high-level talent this year. Bookert, who will have his knee cleaned up after the season, has the makings of FSU's first true point guard in quite some time. Brandon saved his best for last, throwing down two nasty dunks in the 2nd half of last night's game. Thomas is already the 2nd best defender on the team, and the best just played his final game. And in Bojo and Ojo the Noles have a pair of bigs unlike any other ACC team.

Combine the freshmen (sophomores next year) with the rest of the roster, add in a very talented freshman class, and turn the keys over to Okaro White, and next year should have the Noles smiling. Okaro White just finished the season with the highest offensive rating (117.2) of any Nole regular since Al Thornton's senior year (117.3). FSU also gets its once-every-four-years foreign trip which will offer plenty of free practice and game time to help this team mesh.

And then, of course, there is Andrew Wiggins. When he finally lets people know where he'll be attending college next year's team could become a circus. If that happens then the bandwagon will be full, and the expectations - fair or not - will be through the roof.

Either way, FSU basketball is in good hands. Go Noles.