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Inside the box score: FSU 67, George Washington 48

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at George Washington Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Dwayne Bacon has been FSU’s best 3-point shooter. On an afternoon when he missed all four of his 3-pt attempts Florida State was still able to shoot a respectable 8-22 (36.4%) which is slightly above the NCAA average. PJ Savoy, who had previously played exactly one possession this season due to his turf toe injury, played 12 minutes and made 2-4 3s. CJ Walker made 1-3, and one of his misses was a 60-foot bomb at the halftime buzzer. And Braian Angola-Rodas made 1-2. These are all good signs for Florida State. Getting a healthy Savoy - FSUs best shooter if you believe the rumors - will take a while as he’s clearly not in playing shape. But he has an immediate role as a 3&D guy. For Walker and BAR, they began the season a combined 0-11 and have since made 7-15 (47%). We know BAR was a 38% shooter last year, so it seems he’s gotten over early nerves and/or bad luck. For Walker, if he can prove to be a 3-point threat then his minutes will increase as Coach Hamilton has already noted how much effort he and fellow freshman Trent Forrest bring to the floor.
  2. Christ Koumadje - as part of FSU’s 3-headed attack at the 5 - played 12 minutes, which is right in his wheelhouse. He’s played 12-17 minutes in six of Florida State’s eight games. And he’s provided something unexpected: an offensive spark. He’s made 68% of his 2s, which is up from 48% last year, and has been a trusted connection on alley-oops. When he’s in the game Florida State has averaged 1.31 points per possession, which is the highest for any player on the roster. FSU’s defense hasn’t been nearly as productive as it has been with Michael Ojo or Jarquez Smith in the middle, but look for an offensive run when he comes off the bench.
  3. FSU turned the ball over on 17% of their possessions (NCAA average is 19%), which is actually high for this team. On the year the ‘Noles have turned it over on 15.7% of their possessions, which is 27th nationally (of 351 teams), and 3rd in the ACC behind the annually stingy programs at Notre Dame and Virginia. Three players (Dwayne Bacon, CJ Walker, and Jarquez Smith) should be singled out for not coughing up the ball, as all three are turning it over on less than 12% of their possessions, which is outstanding. Against George Washington, CJ Walker made a careless pass in the first half and before the whistle stopped ringing he was headed to take a seat on the bench for a learning moment with an assistant coach. Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who is asked to do way more than any other player, has a slightly higher 16% turnover rate, but that is still an excellent number for a full-time point guard.
  4. George Washington got 23 offensive rebounds. Sure, four of them were from shots that FSU has blocked, but still, this is an ongoing issue. Last year’s team was the best defensive rebounding team that Coach Hamilton has at Florida State. This year’s team is 286th nationally. If they have hopes of having a very good defense, then they absolutely have to figure out to do better despite being in a system that makes it difficult to be a great rebounding team. Dwayne Bacon, in particular, needs to improve. Last year he grabbed over 17% of the available boards, and this year he’s below 9%.
  5. FSU won 67-48 in a 69 possession game. This makes back-to-back games in which Florida State has failed to score more than a point per possession. The Florida State offense is still excellent (22nd nationally), but as teams sell-out to slow the game down, FSU has had difficulty executing in the half court. It hardly mattered in this game though, as Florida State could have shot left handed and still beat GW. That’s because Florida State’s defense was elite for the first time this season. It was the first opponent Florida State has held below 0.7 points per possession since the national significant defense of 2011-12 did it twice, and that’s with GW making a big run in garbage time.