Jan. 20, 2012
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton likes to say it’s not about the name on the jersey; as in, don’t be concerned with whom you’re playing but instead be considered with how you — yourself and your teammates — are performing on the basketball court.
After winning three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference games — including the blowout of then-No. 3 North Carolina last week — the Seminoles (12-6, 3-1 ACC) will put that mentality to the test Saturday at 4 when it plays at No. 4 Duke (14-2, 2-0) inside storied Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“This game is more about us right now,” Hamilton said. “We are who we are and we’re just trying to make sure that we’re playing the best we can with the talent we have and the system that we have in place. We just need to continue focusing on that. It shouldn’t matter who you are playing or who the opponents are if you are focused on doing things the right way.”
FSU has done nearly everything right during its winning streak.
Following a humbling 20-point loss at Clemson to start their ACC schedule, the ‘Noles have been a brand new team. After the trip to South Carolina on Jan. 7, the Seminoles were losers of six of their last 10 games while averaging 67.5 points per game during that span.
Since then, Florida State has averaged 79.0 points per game during the three-game winning streak while continuing to play the “Junkyard Dog Defense” that’s been typical of Hamilton’s team over the last several years.
“Our guys seem to be buying in a little more; unfortunately we were kind of forced back into that situation because we got our hat handed to us up at Clemson,” Hamilton said. “It was a very painful loss but I think that what we’ve done now we are communicating better. We are understanding now that we need to play together.
“Not that we were playing selfishly but we need to all be in sync and executing so that we can make sure we take advantage of the talents we have.”
ESPN will air the game live on television and online at ESPN3.com.
|Stat Comparison||Florida State||Duke|
|FG Percentage Defense||.367||.439|
|3-Pointers Per Game||5.8||7.8|
|Assists Per Game||12.0||13.5|
|Turnovers Per Game||17.7||13.3|
|Blocked Shots Per Game||6.6||4.8|
|Steals Per Game||8.8||6.9|