Jordan Pandy, Correspondent
Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State basketball dominates offensively, blowing out Southeastern University 119-58 in their first exhibition game of the season. Phil Cofer was the top scorer for the Seminoles, putting up 20 points in 20 minutes.
The Seminoles were playing much faster than they were last year, 20 of their points came off of fast breaks. A lot of the increase in tempo comes with the slight change of the lineup. The Noles started the game with three guards, one forward, and a center, essentially playing with four ball handlers on the floor at a time.
“You guys have been asking me, ‘who’s playing the four, who’s playing the three, who’s playing the one?’ the only position we really dominate by is the post guy,” said Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton. “We’re trying to create a system where we’re more difficult to defend because we have multiple handlers, multiple guys who are pushing – anybody who gets the rebound has the ability to push the ball up the court and create early offense.”
One player who seemed to really flourish in this system was second-year guard Dwayne Bacon. Bacon shot 62% from the field, 60% from three, and finished with 13 points. He commented on the, close to, positionless system.
“Like it says in the stat book: guard, guard, guard – we have a lot of guards,” said Bacon. “We want to play all guards and one big. We want to run up and down.”
One of ball handling big men was the number one high school recruit in the state, Jonathan Isaac who made his Florida State debut. Isaac ended the game with a solid double-double, 17 points and 11 rebounds. Listed at 6’10” Isaac handled the ball well and was looking to push it on many of his defensive rebounds. Coach Hamilton liked what he saw from his freshman star, but also attributed his success to the offensive system.
“What I saw was effort,” said Hamilton. “This team is going to have to win by committee – he had a night tonight. He’s a talented player but when we move the ball and make the extra pass we’ll create those kinds of opportunities for each other and every night it will be somebody different.”
Isaac also impressed his fellow teammates.
“He’s a freak,” said Bacon. “That guy is just crazy. He’s going to be a great guy for us this year. He can lead us in so many ways. Not just offensively but defensively too – he got a couple blocks and a lot of rebounds. He’s going to be a great addition to our team this year, for sure.”
The Seminoles used a total of 10 players throughout the game, each player played around the same amount of minutes. With the increase of speed this year it is important that players get enough rest during the game, even if that means a slight drop in minutes for some players.
“I’m fine with the rest because we have fresh guys that come and they can lead off right where we [first unit] left off,” said Bacon who averaged almost 29 minutes last season and played 23 in this game. “We have guys this year that, when we get out and they come in there won’t be any difference in game. Those guys will still compete at the highest level. When we come back in, we can play at our highest level – every time I come in I feel like I’m fresh.”
The Seminoles looked good but, according to coach Ham, there is still a lot to work on. The next preseason game for the Noles will be against Valdosta State November 3rd at 7pm.