In what was certain to be Florida State’s easiest test of a challenging ACC slate, the Seminoles took advantage of the opposing Boston College Eagles for a much needed “get right” game which saw FSU run away with a 104-72 victory which could have been much worse had the ’Noles not let off the gas throughout the second half.
Above the Rim
Offensively, Florida State did exactly what you would expect against a team as poor as Boston College. The Seminoles scored early and often from all over the floor and nearly at will.
In the paint, it was about as lopsided as you will ever see in a game between conference opponents. Boston College has three players who are 6’9 or taller, each of whom played 13+ minutes on Monday. Still, the BC bigs gave Florida State minimal resistance on the inside. The Seminoles outscored the Eagles 52-16 in the paint, many of those points coming from FSU’s guards or wings on layups or dunks. In all, the ’Noles hit 27-43 (62.8%) of their two-point shots. Of those 27 makes, 25 were on layups, dunks, or alley oops. This category heading which we use for each breakdown proved especially honest on Monday as the Seminoles spent large stretches of their offensive play above the rim.
FSU’s offensive dominance also stretched to the perimeter. For most of Monday’s win, it was shaping up to be one of the team’s more impressive three-point performances in ACC play. That dropped off a bit when the team missed its final eight attempts from outside the arc. Still, the Seminoles finished the win hitting 12 of their 29 three pointers (41.4%), their third best 3-point percentage in an ACC game this season.
Monday’s win may have been most necessary for Dwayne Bacon, who bounced back from the first scoreless performance of his career to put up 16 points in 26 minutes of play, surpassing the 1,000-point mark in his 62nd game at FSU in the process. It has been shown on multiple occasions this year, especially away from home, that the Seminoles go as Bacon does so the likely confidence boost afforded him by the solid bounce back showing could be essential for the team down the stretch.
Florida State’s bench players, who have collectively adopted the “Boom Squad” nickname as the season has gone on, played a crucial role in FSU’s success against BC as well. The Seminoles’ bench combined to score 59 points, outscoring the starters by 14 points. Meanwhile, Boston College’s bench contributed two points. That drastic difference is a glaring example of what sets this Florida State team, which is not nearly as chock-full of NBA talent as many other top ACC teams, apart.
A large part of Florida State’s success at the offensive end was led by exceptional distribution of the ball. The Seminoles saw assists on 26 of their 39 made field goals (66.7%), a welcome change from some of their recent games which saw minimal ball movement on a number of their offensive possessions.
Head coach Leonard Hamilton made it clear in his postgame press conference that the ball movement played a large role in the Seminoles’ success on Monday and laid special praise on Xavier Rathan-Mayes for what he did in his role as distributor. Rathan-Mayes finished with 10 assists and zero turnovers, pairing nicely with an accurate 3-4 mark from the floor which led to seven points as well as five rebounds.
At the defensive end, Florida State’s defensive intensity which has become a regular occurrence within the confines of the Tucker Center this season was on full display against BC. FSU forced 15 turnovers which led to 22 points off turnovers. However, the Seminoles were also a bit guilty of leaving open shooters, as they did against Pitt on Saturday. Luckily for the ’Noles, they encountered an unfortunate Boston College team that was unable to take advantage of the open looks like the Panthers did. BC finished the game shooting 38.8% from the floor (32.3% from 3).
Boston College coach Jim Christian had some high praise for Rathan-Mayes in his press conference, saying, “I think he’s probably the best ball-pressure guard in the league.”
A trio of Florida State players also addressed the media in Jonathan Isaac, Rathan-Mayes, and Braian Angola-Rodas:
Waiting at the Scorer’s Table
Florida State begins a stretch of its final two road games of the regular season on Saturday when the ‘Noles travel to Clemson to take on a Tiger team that they pummeled by 48 in Tallahassee earlier this season.