Boston College Head Coach, Jim Christian, talks about the loss, the challenge of playing in the ACC with so little depth, and what makes Olivier Hanlan so special:
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Florida State Head Coach, Leonard Hamilton:
--"First part of the game I thought I was having a nightmare and I couldn't wake up. We were--we tried to do everything we could to dig a hole for ourselves, and I thought we were very successful."
--"Second half, the only thing we did was what we had in the game plan for the first part of the game...we threw the ball inside, attacked off the dribble after ball movement, and got to the free throw line."
--"The effort is good, physically, but I think that we're still having a problem playing the way we have to play with this team in order for us to be successful."
--"I still think we're improving, it's just that we're not nearly as consistent with the way we have to play in order for us to be successful...I'm sure Virginia will not give us very much room for error. Hopefully we'll learn from this game and move on."
--"Obviously, Hanlan is just as good as it gets. He just had his way with us...I think one of the coaches made the comment that he only scored nice points in the second half...whenever you can be happy when a guy only scores 9 points in the second half that just tells you how much respect we have for him. He's outstanding."
--"[Montay Brandon] and Boris [Bojanovsky] and Devon [Bookert's] leadership obviously stepped up tonight along with [Michael] Ojo. I thought Ojo made two big free throws, got two big rebounds, had a big assist, made some good decisions with the ball. So I think our older, more experienced players did give us good leadership tonight."
--"Say what you want about Boston College--what are they, 1-12 (in the ACC)? But I told the coaches before the game if you looked at most of their games for 34 minutes, they probably could very well be the number one team in our league...this is a lot better team, I think, than their record indicates."
--"Hanlan is so good he probably makes up for having three scholarship players...if we were all trading like you do in the NBA, I'm sure most of the teams would give up three players."
--"I thought we did a much better job contesting. I thought that we were much more aggressive with him...we were switching 1 through 4, so all our guys were guarding him at some point in time. I think he scored so well in the first half...everyone just kind of turned it up two or three notches." -- On how they slowed down Hanlan in the second half.
Devon Bookert talks about the win, what getting back to .500 in ACC play says about the team, and what kind of challenge awaits in Charlottesville:
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Robbie Berwick gives a wonderful, wide-ranging and candid interview, discussing everything from his adjustment to moving across the country and the pressure he put on himself early in the season, to how close knit his FSU "family" is, to which assistants helped him tweak his shot for the better. Really hard not to root for a kid like this, and to top it off he seems like a fiery competitor as well. Reminds me of former ACC Champion point guard (and lead lobbyist for the new garnet seats) Luke Loucks:
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Like many Hamilton coached teams, these guys are improving as the season goes along. They have won 3 of their last 4, 5 of their last 7, and 6 of their last 9--with two of those losses coming on the road against UNC by 4 and at home against Duke by 3. Their overall efficiency rating on KenPom is up to its highest rank (103) since December 6th and, as Michael pointed out, the defense has not allowed an opponent to score more than point per possession in 5 out of their last 6 games (Duke being the exception).
And the Noles are doing all that while starting two freshman and playing another freshman solid minutes off the bench. (In case you were wondering how that compares around the country, FSU ranks 302nd out of 351 teams in terms of experience).
A month or so ago not a single person on here predicted the Noles to extend their streak of .500 or better finishes in the ACC, and now here we are in late February with FSU sitting at 7-7. Now, I'm not saying we will upset UVA, or that we will even come close. But there is something about the obstacles this team is learning to overcome that has me excited for the future.
Learning how to win is a skill just like learning how to walk. Well get your camcorders out (that would be your phones for you younger folks) because these boys are taking some baby steps.