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Post-game observations from FSU's loss to Hofstra

Some analysis from Florida State's loss to the Hofstra Pride in the first round of the Paradise Jam.

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After a pair of impressive home wins to kick off the season, the Florida State men's basketball team suffered their first loss of the young season in the first round of the Paradise Jam tournament against the Hofstra Pride. This shaped up to be the first real trap game of FSU's season and they were not up for the test, falling to a scrappy mid-major that many have projected to win the Colonial Conference and go to the NCAA tournament.

Many things that had been going well for the Seminoles in their first few games were not working in the loss to the Pride. Most prevalently, FSU struggled from 3-point range. They missed their first 11 3-point attempts and didn't hit their first shot from 3 until there was 18:20 left in the game. Florida State, who entered today shooting 46.5% from behind 3, attempted 25 three-pointers, the most they have attempted this year, and made only 6, the lowest total this season, which equates to a undesirable 24.0%. While they struggled from 3-point range, the Seminoles allowed Hofstra to connect on 10 of 22 (45%) from downtown, including 6-8 for Pride sharpshooter Brian Bernardi.

Another issue that Florida State faced was a near-total lack of an inside presence on both sides of the court. Hofstra outrebounded FSU 39-36, even though there are no players on their roster taller than 6'10".Boris Bojanovsky, who checks in at 7'3" for the Seminoles, managed to wrangle only three rebounds. In fact, he was outboarded by Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who is nearly an entire foot shorter at 6'4".

The 'Noles, who showcased great ball movement through their first two home games, were unable to get into an offensive rhythm, largely due to an inability to penetrate the zone that Hofstra ran. By game's end, they had amassed only nine assists, meaning they assisted on just 33.3% of their field goals. The lack of ball movement, along with 12 turnovers (4 by Rathan-Mayes), led Florida State to a less than ideal than .987 points per possession against a Pride defense that finished last season as the 249th-ranked team in adjusted defense.

In the first two games of the season, the Seminoles had relied on strong performances from true freshmen Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon. Beasley continued his impressive play against the Pride, racking up 25 points, his third straight 20+ point performance, with 18 of those coming in the second half. On the other hand, Bacon showed that although he has a very high ceiling, he is just a freshman and will have off games. In the loss, Bacon had 9 points on 3-9 shooting, was 3-5 from the charity stripe, and had only 3 rebounds (He had 8 and 9 in wins over Nicholls State and Jacksonville) despite playing 25 minutes.

It is still undeniable that this team has a lot of talent but this game showed that the team is still young and has a number of issues that must be addressed before they reach the very difficult stretch of their schedule that comes early in conference play.