After opening the ACC with losses at Clemson and vs North Carolina, the schedule didn't do the Noles any favors with a road trip to No. 12 Miami. The recipe in those two losses was pretty good offense coupled with a terrible defense. To counter the defensive woes, Coach Hamilton came out in a 2-3 matchup zone vs Miami, and stayed in it most of the game.
The defense responded and did their job, and just missed being the 2nd team this season to hold Miami's potent offense below a point per possession. But the offense was another story.
The Noles goal was to get the game into transition, and when that didn't happen, to settle in and get something at the rim or a wide open 3-pointer. Both of those things occurred with regularity, only the Noles couldn't make a thing. FSU shot just 2-19 from the arc, and missed as many shots inside of 5-feet as I've ever seen.
That's not a way to beat a top 15 team on the road, and Miami would go on to win 72-59.
Florida State began with yet another slow start, which may prompt a lineup change at some point. The Noles went down 10-2 early, with the freshmen duo of Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon not scoring a point until nearly 12 minutes had elapsed. Miami led 32-24 at the break.
FSU made a run coming out of the locker room, cutting the game to 36-33, but that was as close at they'd get. The Hurricanes answered with a run of their own and the game was played with a comfortable Canes margin most of the way.
Malik Beasley had 13 points (but took 19 shots) and led the team with nine rebounds. Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes each scored 10, while Boris Bojanovsky and Jarquez Smith each added eight.
The loss drops FSU to 10-5 (0-3). We knew the first seven games of ACC play were going to be a brutal stretch, but now the most important job the coaches have is to instill some confidence into a young team on a predictable slide. FSU now takes to the road again - the 4th time in five games - with a game at NC State on Wednesday night.