Florida State Must Upset North Carolina To Keep NCAA Tournament Hopes Alive

By Gregory Philson
Leonard Hamilton
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles have easily been the most disappointing team in the ACC this season based on the skills of Aaron Thomas and Ian Miller and the size of a front line that should be way more productive than it is. A lot of this probably has to do with coach Leonard Hamilton‘s boring style of play just not getting through to his players. If college players are not having fun on the court it becomes more difficult to go out and play well.

Florida State is 6-7 in the conference and has lost five of its last seven games. During that stretch, the Seminoles have scored no more than 73 points and are averaging just 66.6 points per game. The Seminoles are supposed to be a defense-first team, but this is not really working out either. While it’s not easy to score against Florida State, the defense hardly turns anything around to easy baskets. There aren’t enough quick turnovers that force opponents on their heels.

Florida State takes on the suddenly hot North Carolina Tar Heels at home Monday. It is safe to say the Seminoles are already on the bubble for the NCAA tournament and really should not be in the field as it stands right now. This means Florida State must beat North Carolina if it has any shot of making the cut.

This places a lot on the inside play of 7-footer Boris Bojanovsky and the entire front line that could disrupt North Carolina’s post play. Florida State may be the only team in the conference that can match North Carolina’s size, but it will come down to toughness and Florida State has certainly not displayed any signs of that. Miller and Thomas — both guards — lead the team in scoring. This is disappointing because the Seminoles have seven players who are at least 6-foot-9, but only Okaro White and Bojanovsky play significant minutes. White has the talent to score more than his 12.5 points per game, but his lack of aggressiveness and the pace the Seminoles play at hurts any chance of him being a real threat. Bojanovsky is way too mild-mannered inside and gets beat up by much smaller players.

Playing at home should help Florida State, but if the post players do not do more to slow down James Michael McAdoo, Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson, the Seminoles could be preparing for the NIT instead of the NCAA tournament.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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