The Florida State Seminoles were not looked at as one of the top teams in the ACC coming into this year, but after their 85-67 domination of VCU, we may want to rethink our thoughts of the Florida State Seminoles.
Ian Miller came off the bench to score 22 points on 6-11 shooting and added four assists. He was monumental in helping Florida State beat VCU’s daunting fullcourt press. Devon Bookert poured in 18 points to help the Seminoles come away with a huge non-conference win against Shaka Smart’s Rams.
Coming into the game, the biggest concern for Florida State was if they had they had the guard play to get by VCU’s “havoc” pressure. Tonight, they did, and Leonard Hamilton should feel very good about his squad after they dismantled VCU. The Seminoles still had 23 turnovers, but they often got layups or good shots by breaking the Rams’ press. They dominated the glass by out-rebounding the Rams by 18 and getting a bunch of second chance points. However, it wasn’t their offense or rebounding that allowed Florida State to dominate VCU.
We have all heard the saying, “defense wins championships,” and the Seminoles showed why their defense will be a big reason why they will have success in the ACC this season. VCU shot 22-74 from the field in tonight’s game, which was the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off; that is 29.7 percent. You are going to win a lot of games if you can hold teams like that offensively. Florida State forced VCU into a lot of contested shots, which has been a principle of Hamilton’s defense since he has been in Tallahassee.
Besides their defense, Florida State has an inside-outside game that can win a lot of games in the ACC this season. With Bookert and forward Okaro White, who had 14 points and nine rebounds, the Seminoles will be in a lot of games this season. Forward Montay Brandon is another player that will cause teams’ matchup problems with his athleticism and size; he had 14 points and 11 rebounds on the night.
Preseason expectations have to be taken with a grain of salt, and the way the Florida State Seminoles beat VCU tonight reassured that.