Jan. 31, 2012
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The No. 21 Florida State men’s basketball team hasn’t played in a week — a lifetime between games, especially in the heart of the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule — but that doesn’t mean the Seminoles have experienced much time off.
Since defeating Wake Forest, 75-52, on Jan. 25 and pushing its winning streak to five consecutive games, FSU has been scrimmaging, practicing and preparing for Wednesday night’s game at home against Georgia Tech (8-13, 1-6 ACC) as well as the nine remaining regular-season league games that will follow.
“(We were) getting our plays together, running (the offense) more fluidly and moving the ball a lot more,” Xavier Gibson said Monday.
GIbson, his teammates and head coach Leonard Hamilton know that a five-game winning streak and ballyhooed wins over Duke and North Carolina can only get you so far.
The ‘Noles (14-6, 5-1) still have areas to improve on if they want to extend that winning streak even further leading into the ACC Tournament in Atlanta, Ga. in March.
“We’re trying to make sure mentally that we’re sharp and making sure that all the things we have in our system, that everyone’s familiar with them during critical parts of the game,” Hamilton said. “We have not always been as efficient in those areas.”
While Hamilton knows the areas that his team needs to improve upon if it wants to make another deep run into the postseason, there’s no denying that FSU has gotten drastically better in many areas since early January — particularly in second-half efficiency.
The ‘Noles enter the game against the Yellow Jackets shooting 54.2 percent in the second half of the last five games, including second-half shooting clips of 67 and 68 percent against Duke and Wake Forest, respectively.
Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Florida State has protected the basketball in the second half of the last five ballgames, too. In fact, FSU has committed just seven total turnovers in the final five minutes of each of those games during the winning streak.
“We are just executing and playing better,” Gibson said. “When it gets to the end of the game, we don’t lose focus.”
The Seminoles will be focused on beating Georgia Tech and setting the school record for most ACC wins in a row at 6 Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
|Stat Comparison||Florida State||Georgia Tech|
|FG Percentage Defense||.368||.404|
|3-Pointers Per Game||6.0||5.0|
|Assists Per Game||12.2||10.7|
|Turnovers Per Game||17.1||14.6|
|Blocked Shots Per Game||6.4||5.4|
|Steals Per Game||8.6||5.3|