FSU's roundball season has six game to go -- all tough ACC match-ups, starting with the Canes tomorrow night (followed by Va. Tech twice, BC, Clemson, and Duke). Will the Noles shake off the shell shock from the loss at Wake? Bill from Tampa checks in with answers and insights.
What did Wake do to shutdown FSU?
Wake plays a defensive system made famous by Dick Bennett at Wisconsin and Washington. Basically they pack it in around the lane, making entry passes difficult and cause you to settle for low percentage perimeter shots. And if they do get inside, the defense collapses on the ball, which does not give much room for a shot and thus either forces a bad shot, the ball returned back outside, or a turnover. FSU fell into the last category right off the bat, when you saw Solomon Alabi have three turnovers in the first three possessions.
Once we adjusted to it a little you saw us tie the game. But then Uche Echefu picked up his second foul and there went a senior to the bench. It's no coincidence that we began to struggle offensively when he sat down. And then it just snowballed from there, especially after Alabi was ejected. All the rotations and offensive game plan went down the tubes.
With six games to go, will other teams follow Wake's strategy?
No, because other teams don't have the same personnel to pull that system off. Wake is second behind FSU in height. They have long, lanky, athletic players that make that a viable system for them.
Will a bad game affect FSU's confidence in the stretch run (and can Hamilton do anything about it)?
I'm not concerned at all about the team's confidence. Hamilton is usually pretty good at getting his teams to focus on each game and forget about past debacles like Saturday night. It helps to have a senior leader like Toney Douglas. And every ACC team has had at least one of these games happen to them, including North Carolina and Duke. So right now I regard this blowout as an exception as opposed to the start of a trend.