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Inside the box score: UF 71, FSU 55

Mike White improves to 2-7 vs Coach Hamilton

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Florida Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
  1. In what has become the Ham Special, sophomore Caleb Mills committed two fouls in the first 2:55 of the game (well, he was called for two) and then promptly sat on the bench until the 2nd half started. It probably doesn’t matter this game, but it’s difficult to stay mentally focused when you know you aren’t going to see the court for an hour of real time. It makes even less sense on a team that is 10-deep. The end result of this ultra conservative move was that Caleb Mills picked up his 3rd foul with less than five minutes left in the game and the outcome already decided, and he finished the game with three fouls. Thus far in the early season, 76 teams have faced at least 25 minutes with a roster that included a 2-foul player in the first half, and 90% of the coaches have chosen to allow the player to play more minutes in the first half, whereas FSU has not allowed a single possession. In the past seven years, FSU’s most aggressive 2-foul participation was 324th out of 351 teams. In the past three years, FSU has finished 345th, 341st, and 345th.
  2. Colin Castleton exposed a big potential weakness in FSU’s defense. The 6-11 senior dominated in the post, showing why he was a preseason All-SEC 1st Team selection. He grabbed eight offensive rebounds, and was too much for anyone on Florida State’s roster to cover. Until Tanor Ngom returns, which likely won’t be anytime soon, the Seminoles lack any real experience at the jumbo post position. Luckily, in the modern game, not a lot of teams on the roster have guys who fit Castleton’s mold. The next game where we’ll see really skilled bigs is the road game at No. 7 Purdue. Zach Edey, a 7-4 sophomore, has scored 38 points in 39 minutes. They’re bringing 6-10 senior Trevion Williams off the bench, and he was 1st Team All-Big Ten last season.
  3. Lost in this game was that Florida didn’t shoot the ball efficiently. They were 47% on 2s, which is solild, but not great, and 29% on 3s. They did score seven more points at the line than FSU, but the real difference was....
  4. ...the Gators’ offensive rebounding. They had 17 offensive boards, which was 42% of their misses. This led to a 16-5 advantage in 2nd chance points. Only twice last year did Florida State allow more than a 42% offensive rebounding rate for an opponent. If you’re wondering about this Wednesday’s game (vs Tulane), they’re a pedestrian 203rd in offensive rebounding through two games.
  5. FSU lost 71-55 in a 68-possession game. The Seminoles had held that Gators under a point per possession in four straight contests. The .805 points per possession for Florida State was their lowest since the 2019 Sweet-16 loss to Gonzaga.