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Hoops post-game: Hamilton, Gray, Osborne discuss Florida State’s win over Louisville

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Hear post-game comments after the Seminole’s third straight win

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Louisville Louisville Courier-Journal-USA TODAY Sports

In their second game in three days, Florida State held off the Louisville Cardinals 78-65 in another impressive performance. FSU quickly opened a huge lead and were ahead 35-13 at one point in the first half. Junior RaiQuan Gray contributed 17 points and 8 boards, while Malik Osborne had 12 points off the bench.

After the game, head coach Leonard Hamilton, Gray, and Osborne joined the media for post-game comments.

Leonard Hamilton’s comments-

Opening statement: “I thought our guys were extremely focused at the beginning of the game. We got out of the box early. Defensively, I thought we got a lot of deflections. We were on point with our execution, made a lot of shots. That just shows that we are kind of growing up. We stubbed our toe last time we were on the road in the ACC. That was a bad taste. I was glad to get that taste out of our mouth just being able to go on the road and adjust mentally and emotionally. This team has potential, but we are still growing, we are still coming together.”

More opening statement: “What I was most impressed with-two things. We maintained our composure, we didn’t lost our poise. We regrouped and we came back and made effective plays. The second thing I was impressed with was M.J. Walker did not have a great night offensively, but he had 10 assists and 2 blocks and gave us great leadership out on the floor. That is the leadership you like to see from your senior.”

On Anthony Polite’s injury and Wyatt Wilkes’ performance in a starting role: “Anthony had a sore shoulder. This time of year, I just want him to be 100 percent. Hopefully we will have him back Saturday. Wyatt is probably one of the most knowledgeable players on our team. He understands everything that we are doing. We weren’t hesitant at all to move him into that position. He makes great decisions with the ball. He is shooting the ball really well right now. So he stepped in and gave us great floor balance. I thought that he gave us a couple baskets there early to fill in for Anthony. Anthony is shooting over 50 percent from three, so I thought that Wyatt coming in we really didn’t miss very much, so that was very good.”

On RaiQuan Gray’s performance: “He is becoming more comfortable with his role. Obviously early on, it is a big adjustment. Now he in is more of a leadership role, he is experienced. Whether we are successful or not, a lot of it has to do with how well he plays. I think he is maturing into that, understanding his strengths and his weaknesses. He is going to the basket more, he is being patient with his shot selection. He is leadership on the floor. He gives us a unique ball-handling and decision-making for his size, which is challenging. You will see him get more and more consistent with his offensive game, and he is playing great defense.”

“If this team keeps growing by February, we can be a pretty good basketball team.”

On Louisville’s offense: “We had our good moments tonight, but I thought we still struggled to contain the dribble. There were times when they just blew by us to the basket, and that is unacceptable. But you have to give them credit, that is one of the strengths of their team. You don’t like to get beat on the first step, but that is a strength of their team and I thought they did a very good job of challenging us.”

On the past three games: “I am learning that we have some strengths. We are shooting the ball well from the perimeter. We are not moving the ball as well and executing in the half-court nearly as well as we should. We are just still trying to put it together, still have some growing to do.”

On Balsa Koprivica’s big dunk: “That just shows that he is growing and maturing. That was a very big play during that part of the game. He got the steal, had the confidence to take it to the basket, and had the focus to go back up on the missed shot.”

“Louisville is a good basketball team, I thought our guys did a very good job on the road against a very good basketball team. You have to give them a lot of credit. They are well-coached, they play hard, the never back down. They kept coming back at us every time we extended the lead.”

RaiQuan Gray’s comments-

On the early lead: “Every game we want to get off to a good start and get in rhythm. We obviously got off to a good start tonight, shooting the ball well and getting stops. That really helped. That was our focus in the game plan to get off to a good start on the road.”

“We can compete with anyone in the country when we are locked in and focused on the scouting report. When we are locked in as a team, all on the same page and clicking, we are a scary team. We are just starting to hit that peak. It is early still, we won’t be playing our best basketball until March. But we are definitely on the right track.”

Feeling more comfortable in his role: “It is definitely a new thing for me coming into this year, and us losing guys from last year. I still think that we as a team have better basketball in us. We are just getting starting as a team, and myself individually also. Just trying to figure out ways to play my best game and be myself throughout the game and throughout the system.”

On Malik Osborne: “Malik is our energy guy, he brings us energy. He is a guy who gets us going coming off the bench making those emphatic plays like that dunk today. He is embracing his role, and we are still learning where we are as a team as a whole. That is something he is still adjusting. He is obviously making progress.”

On Balsa Koprivica: “He is super skilled. Obviously you saw on the break to get the steal and handle the ball that way and get the put back dunk before anyone else could jump, it shows how quick and agile he is. And how skilled he is as a seven-footer.”

On his offensive game: “I worked extremely hard over this offseason with the coaches to get in the gym and work on that. I was never a bad shooter throughout my life, as a kid growing up or throughout high school I just had a bad shooting year last year and that kind led me to reopen up and go back to my basics. Our coaches do a great job of getting us reps.”

On Draymond Green comparisons: “I am blessed. He is an all-star, he is a champion. The main thing, he is a champion. People respect him. I am blessed just to be in that conversation with him.”

Malik Osborne’s comments:

On his great last two outings: “These last two games have definitely been a confidence booster. I know at the beginning of the season, I wasn’t starting off too well, but the coaches noticed it as well. They were just telling me to play my game and to have fun and just enjoy the journey. Don’t think about anything just play your game and everything will work out. Coach Jones always tells me everything comes full circle. I am still taking it one game at time, I am not going to dwell on one victory. Enjoy the win but 24 hours later we are on to the next one. It feels good to be productive again, but it is a long season ahead so the productivity needs to continue.”

“I was just enjoying being on the road, playing one of the top teams in the ACC and being able to come on their court and get the win.”

On getting used to coming off the bench: “I saw Fi [Mfiondu Kabengele] come off the bench, I saw Pat (Patrick Williams) come off the bench, so I know whether you start or come off the bench it really doesn't make a difference. It is all about productivity. I just stayed with it, the coaches stayed with me. I believed in them and they believed in me. Coming off the bench doesn’t make any difference, the theme is now just productivity. Just be as productive as possible whether you are starting or coming off the bench.”

On the team defense tonight against Louisville: “The first 15 minutes the junkyard defense came alive, that shows you the potential of who we are and what we can be. Even though we were playing really good defensively there the first 15 minutes, there is still room for improvement. That is what Florida State can be, that is what our junkyard defense really is.”

“I believe we can compete with anybody in the country. This team has no ceiling. I feel like this team can compete with anybody.”