January 9, 2012 - by
FSU Seeks 1st ACC Win At VT

Jan. 9, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — If Florida State is going to get back on track and earn its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season Tuesday night at Virginia Tech, Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said that his team must be better at the “little things” on offense.

“I didn’t think we did a very good job of coming back with that same level of focus and execution in the Clemson game,” said Hamilton, whose team lost to the Tigers 79-59 after beating Auburn 85-56. “We need all of those things working well in order for us to be successful with the team we have this year.”

Brandon Mellor
Brandon Mellor
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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Offensively, the Seminoles (9-6, 0-1 ACC) didn’t run the floor, post up in the paint, reverse the basketball and set screens well enough in the loss to Clemson. Each of those areas are their own requirement for a team to be successful even though they don’t show up in the box score.

For a team that prides itself on defense, the Seminoles also need to get back to doing what they do best when they take on the Hokies (11-4, 0-1) at 7 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va. 

FSU’s struggle to find a consistent offensive rhythm has been well documented this season but typically the Seminoles have been able to hang their hat on that “Junkyard Dog” defense that they have boasted over the last two years when the team has led the nation in opponent field goal percentage. But against Clemson, Florida State allowed the Tigers to score their second-most points all season and shoot 49 percent from the field.

In its 58-55 loss at Wake Forest Saturday, Virginia Tech shot 39.7 percent for the game but that number includes a second half that saw the Hokies bounce back from a poor opening frame and shoot at a 48-percent clip.

“We did not have that same intense, consistent effort with our defensive principles as we’ve had in the past,” Hamiton said. “If we are going to have the type of season that I think we are capable of having, it has to start with that.”

FSU will be looking to avoid falling to 13-13 in ACC road games over the past four years when it plays at Cassell Coliseum live on ESPNU. At 13-12 currerntly in league games on the road over that stretch, FSU is one of only three ACC teams with a winning record in those types of contests.

With games against North Carolina, Maryland and Duke next on the schedule, avoiding falling into an 0-2 conference hole is critical for the Seminoles.

“It’s more urgent for us,” point guard Jeff Peterson said. “Every game from here on out is urgent. We’re not where we want to be [and] where we need to be right now. We know that and we’re well aware of that. In order for us to be where we want to be we’e got to be urgent. We can’t be lackadaisical. We can’t take any plays off.

“We’re aware of that and the guys we have in the locker room, I think we have a good chance of bouncing back.”

Coach’s Corner: Hamilton on the Virginia Tech Hokies

“They are a little bit of a different type of team. Over the last four years they have had [Jeff] Allen at the power forward. He was a good jump shooter but he was a big, strong guy who was somewhat versatile. Now they have [Jarell] Eddie and [Dorian] Finney-Smith at the 3 and the 4 that are interchangeable; basically small-forward type players that are playing the power forward. That presents different types of challenges for our team because we have more 4-5 type players on the floor and they’re more perimeter, which can give us a challenge now. Terrance [Shannon] is not available and Okaro [White] is really the only guy that matches up well.” 

“They are more of a dribble-drive, attack-the-basket-off-the-dribble type of team than what they have been in the past. They are very solid. They present some challenges for us.”

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