Following the gut punch of a loss to Miami there was a players-only meeting to lay everything on the table. The team was in danger of fracturing, and the seniors were trying to keep that from happening.
Five minutes into tonight's game, it was clear the meeting didn't have the desired effect.
Georgia Tech, with nothing to play for but pride, came into Tallahassee and promptly knocked Florida State off the tournament bubble.
In the first half, the rotations were lazy. Yellow Jackets were getting completely free in transition. They were getting good looks on just about every possession, and the issue was compounded when Georgia Tech knocked down the few shots that were contested. On the rare occasion Georgia Tech missed, they often did what they do best---grab offensive boards.
Maybe FSU's just a young team hitting the wall. It's hard to say.
At the break, Georgia Tech led by 9, although it felt more like 15.
In the 2nd half, the energy was greatly improved, but the result was the same. The Noles trailed by nine with 1:23 to go.
Then everything changed. For a long time, Leonard Hamilton has fouled way before other coaches, and tonight he started with a bit over 3-minutes left. The strategy worked great, but it was too little too late.
The Noles made an incredible run to cut the lead to two with 24 seconds to go, but they couldn't get over the hump.
Georgia Tech won 86-80.
Terance Mann led FSU with 18, while Devon Bookert - who should be commended for playing with great passion and focus - had 15. Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 12, while Dwayne Bacon and Boris Bojanovsky each scored 10.
Until tonight, FSU had avoided the dreaded bad loss. That changed against Georgia Tech at home. The good news is that FSU still controls their destiny. The bad news: they showed little tonight to make fans think they'll get it done.