This game was both better and worse than the score suggests. Don’t get me wrong: if you only watched a few minutes of the game–at any point–you’d be justified in saying that it was too ugly for prime time. In the end, though, it turned into a decent chess match between two coaches with a limited set of pieces. I think it’s too early to draw any conclusions about anybody, but it was an entertaining, if frustrating, game to start the ‘Noles season. Here are my quick takeaways:
- The Seminoles’ interior defense was elite at times. Perimeter defense, not so much. If Pitt had been warmer from the perimeter in the first half, we would have been chasing a deficit through most of the game.
- FSU doesn’t have an offensive identity yet. There are still a lot of question marks for me about our ability to consistently create scoring opportunities. We looked significantly better when Vassell was on the court, but Forrest and Vassell put the team on their backs. Together they were responsible for 33 of the team’s 61 points. On the bright side, FSU did a great job picking up offensive boards–which was necessary, because we only made 39.6% of our shots from the floor. Ouch.
- Discipline was an issue. The key stat in this game was free throws. FSU made 13 of 15 from the line. Pitt? 22 of 31 attempts. FSU took way too many of these calls on the offensive side of the court, too, because the scorers had to work extra hard to create scoring opportunities in the paint.
In the end it all came down to experience, and that’s going to be a problem all year long. This was an ugly but hard-fought opener for the ‘Noles. You can see the final stats here.
The Gators are up next, at the O-Dome, but I may need to sit that one out since I’m a Gator alum. I’m sure you get it.