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Leonard Hamilton talks season-opening win over North Florida

Late game surge, suffocating defense leads to blowout.

Mike Olivella

Florida State basketball started their season with a comfortable 28-point win over the North Florida Ospreys inside the Tucker Center. The ‘Noles struggled shooting the ball most of the night, but found their rhythm late, as they closed the game on a 16-2 run.

FSU and Leonard Hamilton showed off their two biggest tools in the victory: depth and length. Here’s what Hamilton had to say after the win.

Leonard Hamilton

On the four freshman against UNF: “It’s almost impossible to get one game under your belt and make the progress we are going to need to be as efficient in a league like the ACC. But I was pleased with their effort. They showed moments of what they are capable of doing. They just need game experience.”

On Balsa Koprivica: “I was pleased that Balsa was able to go in, and he had his moments where he showed he is improving along with the other guys. The theme of our team is that those guys have improved. The returning guys. I think you see that in Evans, Polite, Gray, Osborne. I like the progress those guys have made along with Balsa.”

On Scottie Barnes: “Scottie has potential to be really effective for us this year. First games, you know, are somewhat challenging for first-year players. And for us, adjusting to the rotation. Scottie I just think he is going to grow with the more experience that he has, he is going to get better and better, because he has the high IQ, gives tremendous effort. There are times when he can effect the game without even scoring. We are very pleased with the potential that we saw in him tonight.”

On the challenges of coaching during the pandemic: “As a coach, we’re trying to feel them out. I am trying to come to grips with how to best utilize these guys in a game. I’m just as inexperienced with coaching this team as they are inexperienced with playing with each other. That’s the challenge that we have...I’m still learning exactly who do I play in certain situations...How do we rotate those guys, how do they fit in certain situations, right now, is something that as a head coach I am still trying to figure out myself.”