Despite the final score of 83-67 being about as expected, this was not the blowout of Troy that FSU was supposed to roll through. The ’Noles were often unfocused and seemed just to be going through the motions for large portions of the game. The sloppy play allowed the Trojans to cut a 9-point halftime deficit to only 2 within the first three minutes of the 2nd half. From there, the Seminoles would stretch their lead to beyond double digits just to let Troy get back to within single digits several times before eventually pulling away late in the game.
You can get away with playing like this against teams like Troy more often than not, but against better competition, this type of effort will get you beat, and badly.
Above The Rim:
FSU shot 15-20 from the free throw line on the night to remain the 27th best free throw shooting team in the nation at 76.6% on the season. Converting at that clip with a free throw rate of 39.9% has 22.9% of this season’s total points coming from the charity stripe. However, the ’Noles are sending opponents to the line too often, granting 40.6 attempts for every 100 field goal attempts. (KenPom)
Taking open shots as the defense gives them seems obvious, but the Seminoles decline to do so on seemingly every possession (with the significant exception of PJ Savoy). During several separate possessions tonight the ’Noles passed up multiple wide open threes. The team ranks 18th in the country in grabbing 37.6% of available offensive rebounds, so there is no reason not to be more assertive from the field. Coach Hamilton has mentioned a few times this year that there is a certain number of passes they want to be made on each possession. Maybe that mandate should be loosened to allow for less open looks being thrown away.
Ball control continues to be an issue for FSU as they turned the ball over 17 times against a team that does not force them. The ’Noles are turning it over on 21.7% of their possessions.
PJ Savoy led the way in scoring for both teams with 16 points on 5-12 shooting (4-10 from three). He added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Savoy contributing in multiple categories is a nice bonus, but his three-point daggers seem to really light a spark for this team.
M.J. Walker was the Seminoles’ second-leading scorer with 14, including 2-3 from deep. He did not take care of the ball, turning it over 5 times on the night.
Terance Mann entered the game only 14 points away from 1,000 in his college career but finished with a lone three. As usual, Mann filled the stat sheet in other ways with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Anyone can have an off night, but Mann’s lack of points seemed to be more about hesitating on open looks and being as assertive taking the ball to the hoop. Due to that lack of aggressiveness in attacking the rim tonight, Mann attempted zero free throws against the Trojans.
Troy Head Coach Phil Cunningham:
Florida State will matchup with UConn on Saturday at 6:30pm EST (ESPN2) as part of the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, NJ.