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Inside the box score: FSU 73, Loyola Marymount 45

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Seminoles play a complete game vs LMU

NCAA Basketball: Tulane at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
  1. The coaches envisioned a starting five which included Tanor Ngom to start the season. But after suffering a concussion, he failed to play in FSU’s first two games and came off the bench for just eight minutes against Tulane. Considering the offensive juggernaut that is Purdue is just over a week away, it’s essential to get Ngom into action. Purdue features 7-4 Zach Edey who has made 33-45 shots this year and may not even be the Boilermaker’s best post player. It was Trevion Williams after all, a bulky 6-10 senior, who was named to the All-Big Ten preseason team. Ngom played a career high 14 minutes vs Loyola Marymount, and scored 10 on 5-6 shooting. More importantly, he was able to run the floor with speed and dexterity. Multiple times he ran the floor in transition, and buried his man in the post. The FSU playmakers need to do a better job at getting him the ball in these situations.
  2. Caleb Mills, at 24 minutes, spent the most time on the floor for Florida State. The only other player to go more than 20 was Jalen Warley (21). In all, 11 guys played 11 or more minutes. Tonight’s opponent - the Missouri Tigers - needed overtime to get past SMU. Mizzou head coach Cuonzo Martin essentially used a 7-man rotation (the 8th guy played six minutes, and the 9th guy played one) and five of the seven played 34 or more minutes. Will Missouri have the legs to make plays in the 2nd half? Tune in tonight at 8:30 on CBS Sports for the game.
  3. Florida State did a great job on the defensive boards, grabbing 82% of the Lions misses, easily the best of the year. FSU only did better twice all of last season. Since Coach Hamilton’s teams front the post and sell out to block/redirect shots, the ‘Noles are never great on the defensive glass. This year’s team has been particularly bad, and is on pace to be the worst defensive rebounding team Ham has had since the 2014 squad which finished 329th in the nation.
  4. FSU forced 24 turnovers, which was 34% of LMU’s possessions. During the telecast the announcers told the story of asking Trent Forrest how many minutes he could comfortably play considering the energy level required to run Ham’s defense. His response: 24. Last night FSU flew around the court with the necessary energy, and looked like an FSU defense. This will be a crucial learning curve, considering their are six new faces on the roster. It’s one thing to do it in practice when the coaches can stop the action every time they need to make a point, but in games it’s on the player to execute with maximum effort on each possession.
  5. FSU won 73-45 in a 70-possession game. The 0.64 points per possession allowed by FSU was the lowest in the past 71 games, dating back to February 2019. Entering the game, LMU hadn’t been held below 1.01 per possession this season. This is Stan Johnson’s second season as a head coach, and it was his worst offensive game yet. FSU’s offense, meanwhile, was solid at 1.04 per possession, but not great. Turnovers (24% of FSU’s possessions) continue to plague the team, and the ‘Noles are currently on pace to commit the most turnovers since 2015 when FSU finished 323rd nationally in that stat.