When was this one over? At the 18:56 mark of the first half when Solomon Alabi made the first basket of the game for FSU. It was downhill for the Skyhawks after that. Really downhill.
Even Leonard Hamilton knew this one was going to be a blowout before the game started. He never had a doubt of how the game would turn out.
Frankly UT Martin is a terrible team. Except for three players who can shoot the ball fairly well there is not much else on that team. Nor can they play defense.
FSU certainly did however.
It was clear the Skyhawks were greatly outmanned and outclassed. So it should have come as no surprise that FSU would roll that team by a score of 95-68, even with just one day to prepare for this team.
The statistic that stands out to me was the season high 28 assists, 15 of them occurring in the first half and 6 of them on the Seminoles' seven baskets.
It was very clear what had been worked on in practice, passing and moving the ball. Numerous times a possession ended with a basket after the ball had been passed around four, five, and six times finding the right guy. And that continued all game long. And this was at times working the ball around quickly versus UT Martin's zone defense.
Only mid-way into the second half did FSU lose a little focus on defense but that was due in part to a lineup you don't see on the floor very often, that included Pierre Jordan who played well and has much quicker hands on defense than I realized. He's a little better than I originally thought even after considering the talent level of the opposition last night. Very quick at knocking the ball away if the other player puts it on the floor. He could be useful in ACC play.
Seriously, the 'Noles could have scored over 100 had a few shots gone down, such as Terrance Shannon putting a tad too much oomph on a slam dunk that clanged off the basket.
On defense that just stymied UT Martin not allowing a basket until the 13:57 mark of the first half. Our size and athletic ability was simply overwhelming. This time FSU did not play down to an lessor opponent and just put the pedal to the medal from the start.
Despite the opponent this is a performance you can take with you against better teams. Obviously against tougher teams Florida State will not have that kind of success, but the team gained an insight of how to better play the game on offense by moving the ball around.
Defense I don't worry about. It was interesting though that Leonard tried out some presses such as a 1-2-2 and a 2-1-2 and morphing that into a 2-3 zone.
Again, despite the level of competition, when you see a smiling Leonard Hamilton afterwards you know the team performed well. I mean he was almost gregarious.
"We're getting better", said Hamilton. "And we're going to use these days of practice (when the team comes back from Christmas break) to get a lot better."
Not to overlook them but fortunately the next two opponents are not the level of ACC competition when we get back to that part of the schedule (at Maryland). So the Noles will have the opportunity to work in game situations what they practice and hopefully continue to build on what we saw last night.On a side note, Ryan Reid was held out due to a pink eye infection.