By "Bill From Tampa"
The game was never
in doubt with FSU leading at one point in the first half by 31 points. Right from the start of the game the Seminoles took control easily beating the New Orleans Privateers 69-50.
Had it not been for a sloppily played second half by the ‘Noles, the margin would have been much larger.
Coach Leonard Hamilton called it a “disease of complacency” in describing his team’s performance over most of the final twenty minutes.
“We had a little bit of a letdown” Hamilton said. “The second half we did not have a good mental effort. This is an area we need to work on.” Hamilton added “We need to grow up and realize this is a 40 minute game”.
Hamilton certainly was not disappointed with the first twenty minutes reversing the trend of slow starts seen in the first three games. The Privateers were no match for FSU’s superior athleticism as FSU led 12-0 before New Orleans got their first basket at the 14:25 mark.
Before six more minutes elapsed, Jason Rich’s steal going 70 feet for the highlight slam dunk, the ‘Noles led 29-4. With 3:12 left in the half, Florida State had its largest lead 38-7.
The ‘Noles completely dominated the first half on offense as well as on defense forcing New Orleans into 17 turnovers.
The second half FSU found it difficult to sustain that same intensity. A four on one break that resulted in the ball being fumbled out of bounds characterized the sloppy play of the ‘Noles in the second half.
With the ‘Noles out of sync, the Privateers chipped away at the lead. A three ball from Reynolds closed the gap to 56-41 with 7:54 left in the game. That seemed to spark the ‘Noles somewhat who went on a 9-0 run highlighted by a two hand jam by Rich.
Second teamers predominately finished the game as FSU cruised the rest of the way for the 69-50 win.
Leading the way once again for FSU was Al Thornton who finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds despite fighting the effects of a cold.
Joining Thornton in double figures was Rich with 11 points and Toney Douglas with 10.
More importantly all nine players scored for FSU.
Hamilton gave special note to Ryan Reid saying of his play “he is farther along than we thought he would be”. The freshman scored 7 points and added 9 rebounds as well as once again drawing a couple of charges.
Being the perfectionist he is Hamilton focused more so on the things he felt needed improvement such as the intensity factor over 40 minutes and the number of air balls shot despite getting good looks at the basket.
Also an issue was free throw shooting specifically the number of times FSU went to the line. “Going to the line just 8 times, that concerns us” Hamilton noted.
But the team did play better than the coach might let on displaying its athletic talent, working the ball unselfishly on offense, and playing strong defense in creating 26 turnovers for the game.
One aspect that did please the coach was its own turnover problem. Hamilton stated prior to the game that that aspect had been a point of concentration in practice over the last week. The Seminoles decreased the number of miscues to 15 for the game.
Next up for FSU is the meat of the out of conference schedule. “The tune up is over” said Hamilton. “We don’t have luxury of playing half a game.”
FSU will play at Pittsburgh on Friday at 7:30 followed by Wisconsin on Tuesday and returning home to host Florida on Sunday.
“Never in my career do I recall having to play the 4th, 7th, and 1st ranked teams in a row.”