Once again I had the time this morning to re-watch our game against the Virginia Cavaliers.
Obviously the defense by FSU got the big amount of attention in that game. I focused a little on that aspect but that was not my primary focus, instead watching the offense more so.
Just briefly on the defense, if you watched the game, you saw the same thing I did. The Seminoles were just everywhere. When the ball made it to a Cavalier there was a Seminole defender right there at the catch. And when someone did drive it in they were met with a host of ‘Nole defenders.
That game had to be quite pleasing to Hamilton who I’m sure will publicly acknowledge that it was good but there is still more work to do. And he’s probably right but it sure didn’t look like it yesterday. There were very, very few open shots Virginia got in the game.
While Sylvan Landesberg got 24 points ending a two game slump I’m not so concerned about that. His shooting percentage was pretty low with the FR guard getting most of his points at the FT line, something he does a lot anyway. But the good part there for FSU was that he didn’t get the three point play. No easy layups were allowed.
And it is just a real treat to watch Toney on defense in how well he anticipates the passes either tipping it away or getting the steal outright. The pass that he tipped away from Sammy Zelinski that ended up with Chris Singleton who smartly tapped the ball back to Toney for the easy one on none layup is just indicative of his abilities in that area of the game.
As for the offense, that had to be the best ball movement and patient offense I’ve seen this season out of this team so far. I counted 27 possessions where we were operating in the half court exclusively. Of those possessions 15 were successful in scoring points.
That’s a 55% conversion rate.
And of those that we didn’t score on, many of those had very good looks at the rim. Not all of them are going to go down. Or we were working the shot clock near the end of the game so much so that we got caught watching the paint dry.
But the point is that we worked the ball around effectively and quickly that gave us those good looks. Three of those possessions saw double digit passes while most were in the 5 to 7 range. It really had the Cavalier defense confused.
Now their defense is not especially good, but compared to earlier in the season where often the fans were just baffled as to what we were trying to do out there when on offense, this was a huge step away from those games.
Finally I think we are starting to see guys who can and are beginning to comprehend the motion offense. Even Toney was fantastic yesterday with some pick and roll plays giving up the ball to the screener, Solomon Alabi, who converted both baskets.
So combine what has been a darn good defense with an improving offense and we have the makings of a pretty good team.
We get to see how much improved the offense is and how well the defense holds up come Wednesday night when the competition is significantly better. Not that UNC is a defensive juggernaut because they aren’t. But it’s their offense that is their best defense.
This could be interesting to see which aspect on which team gives first.