Win or lose, Florida State has more often than not given Billy Donovan's team a good fight. This was not one of those games however as the Gators used its superior defense in soundly defeating the Seminoles 72-47.
You had to know it was coming. The Gators ranked number five in the country and looking every bit the part, utilized its versatile lineup and threw multiple defensive looks at a squad made up of more than half of first year players. Numerous full court presses, a 2-2-1 press, various zone defenses, mixed in with man to man created havoc with the youngsters and veterans alike.
To be brief about the game that was never in doubt as to the outcome, Florida led by twenty at the half and in the second period had the margin by as much as thirty seven points, 62-25 with 8:50 to play.
What was remarkable was at that moment in the game the Gators had more points off turnovers (30) than Florida State's total points. It was simply one run out after another as passes were picked off with ease.
Donovan essentially called off the dogs at that point and sort of coasted the rest of the way. Even with that Florida was held to its fewest points since a loss to North Carolina in 2002.
Stats don't always tell the story about a game. They do here however.
Florida State was out-shot 49%-35%, out rebounded 34-26, out scored in the paint 34-14, and turned the ball over 22 times to 15 that Florida turned into 32 points to just 8 for FSU.
Leonard Hamilton's post game comments reflected his frustration with the team's three game losing streak, dropping FSU to 4-4 on the season.
Listen to Hamilton's postgame lament here
"How can we play that well in New York and then come back here and see a team is unsure of what the game plan is? We have the same physical talents, but the mental aspect is just lacking consistency."
"At some point you have to grow up", Hamilton continued. " The veterans are not playing like veterans and the young guys are playing way under where freshmen should be playing."
"We're in a bad way right now."
Now those are comments you just don't hear from Hamilton very often. But he wasn't finished.
"I'm not sure where the talent level of this team is compared to past teams. I don't want to throw then under the bus, but the older players are not carrying this team."
Clearly Hamilton is looking to the few vets he has to provide the leadership the team needs and he is not getting it. And I'm not going to speculate why that might be.
After the Mercer debacle you were hoping for a better effort and especially against your hated rival. And that is the most disappointing part of the Seminoles losing streak, the effort and intensity were about the same or a little worse than against the Bears.
Michael Snaer was the only Seminole in double figures with 10 points. But he did not score his first point of the game until 12:30 were left in the contest and FSU trailing 50-21. Obviously FSU has to have more out of Snaer and much earlier in the game for the Seminoles to have a chance at success. He needs to take control.
And not to pin it all on the senior guard, because Ian Miller hit one basket, Okaro White had just 9 points, and Terrance Shannon had another dreadful shooting night shooting just 2 of 9. Plus the quartet combined for 13 turnovers.
Now they played the vast bulk of the minutes as Keil Turpin played seven minutes and Boris Bojanovsky only saw the floor for two minutes after getting owned by Florida's Patric Young in that span. So Hamilton is apparently going to go with his vets for now and hope they climb out of this funk.
A turn around, should this team make one, will not happen in one game. Hamilton vowed to keep doing what they as a staff have been doing to prepare the team for games. Whether that translates to wins remains to be seen. After just eight games and hearing Hamilton's comments it is feeling like a season already on the brink.
The 'Noles will get one more game in Sunday at 4 PM before the break for finals when they take on the Maine Black Bears, who are currently 2-5 with a game Thursday night against Fisher to play. You would like to say that Maine is a team FSU should beat. That apparently is not a certainty right now.