CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (Seminoles.com) – The maxim throughout practice gyms all across America is that the only way out of a shooting slump is to shoot through it.
So that’s what the No. 11 ranked Florida State men’s basketball team intends to do.
In their loss at Pittsburgh on Monday, the Seminoles connected on just 2 of 22 3-point attempts and finished the game having shot 34.8 percent from the field – their lowest percentage of the season and more than 10 points below their season average.
FSU, of course, hopes that its performance at Pitt was the worst of a shooting skid that seems to have coincided with the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Through their first 13 games, the Seminoles connected from the field at a 47-percent clip and 34.2 percent from 3-point range. In four league games, the Seminoles have shot 38.2 percent overall and 22.9 percent from distance.
It might be frustrating, but Florida State has enough veterans to know that it also comes with the territory. The Seminoles (13-4, 1-3 ACC) will look to reset their course on Sunday, when they visit Boston College’s Conte Forum (noon, ESPNU).
“I feel like you take it the same, keep shooting it, honestly,” junior guard Trent Forrest said. “That’s all you really can do, just live with the results.
“That’s what our coaches preach to us all the time – take the open looks, live with the results.”
Besides, it’s not as if the Seminoles haven’t had some success to rally around.
As recently as last week’s game against Duke, FSU made a solid 8 of 24 from 3-point range, with senior Phil Cofer connecting on 5 of 8.
Based on that, based on the Seminoles’ success earlier in the season and based on what he’s seen on the practice courts, coach Leonard Hamilton is confident that FSU’s shooting will round into form.
“We didn’t all of a sudden become a bad shooting team from Saturday to Monday,” Hamilton said. “I think it’s just that time of year where guys are going through adjusting to this level. I’m sure we’ll shoot our way out of it and become a lot more consistent as we move throughout the season.”
Florida State on Sunday will meet a Boston College team that has had plenty of shooting struggles of its own. The Eagles rank 12th in the ACC in field-goal percentage (44.2) and 14th in 3-point percentage.
BC’s offense is, however, more productive than its shooting numbers suggest.
Junior guard Ky Bowman (19.9 points per game) ranks only behind Duke’s R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson on the ACC’s scoring leaderboard and is one of three Eagles to average double-digit points per game.
Bowman averaged 20.5 and 9.5 rebounds in two games against FSU last season. The two teams split those games, with the home team winning both.
“They have a lot of other players who you (might not) know their names, but they’re very good,” Hamilton said. “They shoot the ball very well. They execute very well. And watching those games (shows that) this is a good basketball team.”
Boston College is 9-7, 0-4 in conference and enters Sunday’s game on a five-game skid. But Hamilton noted that three of BC’s ACC games were played on the road – at No. 10 Virginia Tech, at Notre Dame and at Louisville. And the Eagles’ only home game so far was against No. 4 Virginia.
There’s a lot of teams that would struggle in a stretch like that.
“I feel like it just goes to show how good this ACC is,” Forrest said. “You have to bring it every night.”