Florida State basketball quickly jumped out ahead Wednesday evening against Miami and poured it on in the second half for a decisive 81-59 victory. Juniors RaiQuan Gray and Malik Osborne each recorded a double-double for the Seminoles (10-2, 6-1 ACC).
After the game, FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton, Osborne, and Gray met with the media for post-game comments.
Quotes from Leonard Hamilton
On Malik Osborne: “He is playing within his abilities. He is giving us tremendous effort, energy. He is playing with a lot of confidence. He gives us the ability to go small…A big guy who is an active inside rebounder but also who is quick enough to help us overplay the pressure on the perimeter guys and switch 1 through 5. So, he is a very valuable asset to our program.”
On a pair of teammates each recording a double-double: “I don’t think I have ever…I don’t know in my coaching career in college that I have ever had two guys get double-doubles in the same game. You are always just happy for one. It’s a unique outing. Our three-point shots weren’t falling. They kept switching their defenses. We turned the ball over a little too much. But our guys found ways to win and contribute when maybe their shots weren’t going. Turk was 1-5 in the first half but he came back in the second half and found ways to contribute.”
On Florida State’s recent strong rebounding: “There’s no doubt that earlier in the year we were not doing a very good job rebounding. I think the progress that we are making is that guys are locking into the game plan a little better. They are having their meetings and discussing the game plan, making sure they are holding each other accountable for their executions.”
On the team’s energy tonight: “Our energy came in spurts. Normally, we pick up man-to-man. Tonight, we went a little bit more zone in our full-court defense, because we didn’t want to put them out in space as much. Once we started playing man-to-man, their eyes kind of lit up, they just gave the ball to their guys and then they went one-on-one. In the first half, they had to bring the ball down the floor against our zone, and I thought that that was somewhat effective. It took some time off the clock, and then when they got into their half-court offense they didn’t have nearly as much time.
More on the team’s energy tonight: “But we thought we lost our energy a little bit so we went man-to-man just so we could generate a little more energy. It had its plusses and minuses. We got more deflections, we got stops, and we were able to get out more in transition. But that just shows those are areas of our game where we gotta continue to keep working on it and improving. We should be able to put pressure on the ball even though we were in a zone defense. We didn’t do a very good job of it tonight. I thought they had too much time to survey the floor. That’s part of who we are, there’s still another level we can get to.”
On Anthony Polite’s status: “He has one of those injuries, we just gotta be patient with it…The worse thing you can do is start rushing things. I’m sure they’ll let me know when he’s healthy. He is doing some exercises and it’s obvious that it is improving. I see him being a little more active with it. I have no idea how long it will take to heal.”
Quotes from Malik Osborne
On the last time he has recorded a double-double: “Man, I would have to take it back to the Rice days. That was the last time. I know the closest I came to it since I have been at FSU was probably N.C. State. But then I missed the free throws. When I got to the free throw line this time, I was like ‘We can’t repeat history’, I had to knock those free throws down and secure that double-double.”
On Florida State’s rebounding: “First of all, it has been a mindset. Coach Jones, coach Ham, coach Smith, and coach Young have been talking to us saying that we can’t be out-toughed. We are the second tallest team in the country, there is no way that anybody should be out-rebounding us. Them just telling us that, repeatedly telling us this over and over again, it finally started to stick and we realized that they’re right. There is no reason that we should get out-rebounded. We should be dominating the boards. Whether it be the first group, the second group, even the green team. Everyone should be getting the boards…Its also about technique. We have been working on box-puts. It has been a mentality but it has also been techniques as well.”
On big rebounding advantages affecting opponents mentally: “I definitely think it does. I think it discourages teams. It kind of plays with them mentally. You can have a really good defensive stance, and then we get an offensive rebound. Or we are on a run and they are trying to stop the run and they miss a shot, everybody is going to the boards and then we get the rebound, push it down and get an easy basket. Those type of things takes the momentum from a team, it takes the energy out of a team.”
On RaiQuan Gray also getting a double-double: “I was telling Turk, ‘Get you one man, you are right there, get you one.’ As soon as he got the basket, I was excited as if I had got my double-double. I am always excited to see my boys do well. Sardaar, Tanor, everybody that stepped up, I am always happy to see my other brothers succeeding in life. The fact that Turk got that double-double, I was watching it, the whole team was watching it. We were encouraging him to go get it. Now we are just on the chase for more.”
On the bench scoring versus Miami: “The first squad coming off the bench, we have accepted that role, we are going to be that group, the pick-me-up group. If the starters are rolling, we are going to pick up the energy even more to another level, and try to demoralize teams. If the starters aren’t doing so well, we are going to pick them up. Let them know that we have their back. Once the starters are ready to go back in, we hit them with that next wave. That’s the role we have accepted. That is really our job. Sardaar, Scottie, Tanor, Quincy, all of these guys have bought into that. Right now, it’s a mentality. We know that we are all good, and all capable of doing anything that the coaches ask of us. Now we are just trying to provide and produce.”
Quotes from RaiQuan Gray
On big leads for FSU in ACC games: “I kind of think that we are capable of doing this each night, regardless of what team it is. I just think that is how talented we are as a team. We just kinda just take it for what it is. Obviously we can’t control who we play, or whether they have injuries or not. So we just go out there and play basketball, and play winning basketball. Sharing the ball and playing defense, that is who we are. If we do that each night, then we have the ability to win big like this, like we have been doing the last few games.”
On Florida State’s rebounding: “Since the COVID-19 pause, we kind of just went back to the drawing board. That’s what wins games- rebounding. No team can win championships or games period without rebounding. I kind of took that upon myself, and we all challenge each other in practice. Get on each other. As a team, that is just who we are. That is our identity. We wanna keep rebounding the ball in order to win games.”
On Malik Osborne: “That is who he is. That is who he is for our team. When his energy is loaded, our team’s energy is loaded. He brings the energy night in and night out. We expect that from him, and it is a positive thing for our team. It kind of gets us going. You saw that tonight. When he is bringing that energy, we are a lot better team.”
On six straight wins over Miami: “I think that is kind of for you guys to write about and talk about. We just kind of approach each game as it is, like our Super Bowl. We want to go out there and compete each night. Regardless of who it is.”