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Basketball Observations: sloppy, cold shooting Seminoles get stomped by NC State

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FSU sits at 8-8 in ACC play with two games remaining.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Spectacular shooting from NC State and sloppy play from FSU led to a wire to wire blowout for the Wolfpack.

Above the Rim:

  • Perimeter shooting continues to be a problem. After solid shooting to start the season, Florida State came into the game ranked 12th in the ACC during league play with 34.4% shooting from deep. That average will go down after this one. FSU shot 0-15 from beyond the arc, making it the first ACC game since 2006 that FSU failed to make at least one three. Compounding the problem, NC State made their highest number of threes (13) since draining 15 in a January 27th win at UNC.
  • The game featured terrible decision making by guards, especially in the first half. Jumping in the air with no plan or purpose. Lazy, cross-court passes that were easily picked. Tough passes to big men who have difficulty catching passes cleanly. Not running down the clock at the end of the half leading to two more points for NCSU. All this led to turnovers on 21.6% of first half possessions—most of them live ball—and the Wolfpack turned that into 11 points. FSU did a better job protecting the ball in the second half, but by then it didn’t really matter.
  • Florida State’s defense gave up 92 points in a 75 possession game. That. Is. Bad. Some of it was obviously “tip of the cap” shooting by NC State, and some of it was a result of sloppy offense leading to easy buckets for NCSU in transition. But a lot of it was just undisciplined play. FSU’s defense is now 14th in the ACC during league play, giving up more than 110 points per 100 possessions. That’s the worst in the Leonard Hamilton era and a solid 15 points per 100 possessions worse than the Junkyard Defenses, circa 2010/2011. The ‘Noles have little chance of winning if the offense has a poor night, which has to be mentally exhausting on guys like Braian Angola who are being asked to carry the load offensively. Even worse, when the defense fails to generate turnovers or run-out opportunities off of missed shots, the offense is forced to work that much harder against a set defense.

Court Level:

  • Trent Forrest continues to be aggressive to the basket and mostly good things continue to come from that aggression. Despite opponents knowing he can’t shoot, the sophomore is able to repeatedly break defenders off the dribble and either finish at the rim, get fouled, or both. Trent also continues to display nice playmaking abilities, lead FSU in points (16) and assists (7). Unfortunately, this was also one of Forrest’s sloppier games, racking up 3 turnovers.
  • Terance Mann’s late season struggles continue. The junior finished with 10 points, but most of those came after the result was no longer in doubt. In fact, Mann was shut out in 18 first half minutes and wasn’t much of an impact defensively either.
  • Ike Obiagu played some solid minutes after the game was out of reach. The freshman is still lost on offense—which isn’t surprising—but his defense was impressive, notching 6 blocks in 10 second half minutes. Obiagu was never expected to play huge minutes this year, but he appears on track to be a real difference maker down the road.
  • Braian Angola followed up his 5 minute, 0 point performance against Pitt by scoring 14 points on 4-11 shooting from the field and 4-5 from the charity stripe. It’s just his third double-digit scoring output in the last seven games. After shooting 53-128 (41.4%) for the first 23 games of the season, the senior is now 1-21 from deep in the last 5 games, bringing his season average down to 36.2%. FSU is 2-3 in those 5 games.
  • Phil Cofer was nearly invisible in the box score, finishing with 6 points, 2 rebounds, and a turnover in 22 minutes of action. It’s the 6th time this season Cofer finished with fewer than 10 points in ACC play, with the Seminoles going 2-4 in those games.

Looking Ahead:

Florida State heads to Clemson, South Carolina for their final road game of the season this Wednesday. The Tigers lost two straight games without starting point guard Shelton Mitchell, but got back in the win column on Saturday against Georgia Tech as Mitchell came back to the lineup. Clemson is 14-1 this season in newly renovated Littlejohn Coliseum, including wins over UNC, NC State, Louisville, and Miami.