Florida State men's basketball team looking to execute better coming off loss to Florida
Florida State’s men’s basketball team certainly has the talent on its roster to make another NCAA Tournament run.
But this past Sunday’s loss to the rival Florida Gators showed the Seminoles are still very much a work in progress.
Veteran FSU coach Leonard Hamilton and his players had plenty to dissect off the game film of his team’s first loss to the Gators in nearly a decade.
Hamilton was pleased with his team’s response during their first practice Monday since the defeat, and saw similar energy and effort on the court in Gainesville. But he felt his team is still very much going through an adjustment period as it retools following the departure of multiple players to the NBA this offseason.
“Our energy has been good for the most part, but the execution and a lot of the things that allowed us to be successful over the years is still developing,” Hamilton said on Tuesday morning. “And you got to give Florida credit for the mindset that they were in. I think that they, for whatever reason, found a way to have more of a sense of urgency than we did and that's part of the growth and development of any team. Hopefully we learned from the challenge of development mentally and emotionally. And as we move forward, it will continue to keep growing.”
Florida State (1-1), which dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 after the loss, will have a chance to take the next step in that process on Wednesday night when it hosts Tulane (1-1) at the Tucker Civic Center.
The Seminoles face a Green Wave squad they’ll be playing for the third time since 2017 and that plays a challenging zone defense which forced 21 turnovers in its most recent game against Southern University.
Hamilton said Tuesday he felt his team didn’t respond well enough to the raucous atmosphere that Florida created Sunday and it contributed to being a step slow during the final nine minutes in which the Seminoles were outscored by 18 points.
“Unfortunately for us, we allowed them to have the mental edge on us the other night,” Hamilton said. “It was obvious after watching the game film that they looked quicker to jump, they were quicker to contain, they were quicker to close out.
“I'll admit that we've had to make some adjustments into who we are with having so many new inexperienced players that are playing a really, really major role in who we are and what we're about. So we might not have as much room for error with this particular team and we need to execute just a little bit better offensively and defensively and I feel that we're not quite there yet.”
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Malik Osborne was one of the bright spots on Sunday with 18 points on 6 for 10 shooting. But the Seminoles made only 9 of 27 shots in the second half and shot 38.5 percent for the game. FSU was also outrebounded 44-33 and outscored 32-22 in the paint, with the Gators scoring 20 points off 17 Seminoles’ turnovers.
“The number of deflections, the number of ball reversals, the number of post lane sprints, those things we had not been able to capitalize on it even though we were up two without having those other things that allowed us to be successful over the years,” Hamilton said. “We still are developing, but I love the attitude.”
Tanor Ngom a game-time decision
Hamilton said he felt better about the chances of 7-foot-2 senior center Tanor Ngom (concussion) being available on Wednesday night, but said it would likely be a game-time decision.
FSU men’s basketball (1-1) vs. Tulane (1-1)
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m., Tucker Civic Center.
TV/Radio: ACC Network/101.5 FM.
Reach Andre Fernandez at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @FernandezAndreC.
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