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57 posts from November 2013

November 23, 2013

Five Things to Watch For: Idaho at FSU

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Here are five things to watch for when FSU takes on Idaho.

1.) Senior Day

If you're going to this game, get there early. Today Florida State will honor one of the most important senior classes in the school's history. When this group arrived at FSU, Bobby Bowden was done, the Seminoles had just scratched and clawed for a 7-6 season and nobody was talking about a national title in Tallahassee. Four years later they will walk on to Bobby Bowden field at Doak Campbell Stadium for the final time with their team 10-0 and on course to play in the BCS Championship game.

2.) Jameis Winston's Poise

Last week Winston was nearly perfect, completing 19 of his 21 passing attempts. But after another week of near-daily media blasts, rampant speculation and an impending fear he could be charged with a very serious crime, how does he handle himself today? So far Winston has been unflappable, whether it's a blitz or an exotic coverage -- or an off-field issue -- he has not been flustered all season. That's unlikely to change against Idaho, but every move he makes will be scrutinized and over-analzyed today -- just like it will be until this investigation wraps up.

3.) Second Team Defense

The 2014 and 2015 Florida State defense has seen a lot of playing time this season as a result of early leads and dominant play by the starters. That should continue today. Once again look for FSU's underclassmen to get a plenty of reps against the Vandals. Come next year, they'll have nearly a quarter of a season's worth of playing time under their belts. That's going to pay big dividends.

4.) Can They Stay Healthy

At this point in the season -- in the championship rounds as Jimbo Fisher calls them -- injuries are more detrimental than ever. If the Seminoles sustain a key injury or two today it could really impact them down the stretch. That -- as much as getting playing time for the younger guys -- is why you shouldn't expect to see the starters stay in too long once this game gets out of hand. Fisher needs his team to be healthy and will act to ensure that they are heading to Florida, the ACC Championship game and their bowl.

5.) Focus

How focused is Florida State, really? Last week they pummeled Syracuse 59-3 and Idaho is even more out-matched this week, but at some point all of the distractions are going to have to have some kind of an effect. This is too big to ignore. It won't manifest itself in any overt ways today, the talent disparity should ensure that, but signs that FSU isn't as poised or focused as it has been in weeks past could still be there and if they are -- especially with an upset-hungry Gator team waiting in Gainesville next weekend -- it could spell trouble for FSU down the road.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

November 22, 2013

Previewing The Opponent: Idaho Vandals

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Idaho Vandals
Record: 1-9
Head Coach: Paul Petrino
All-Time: First Meeting

Overview: FSU outclasses Idaho substantially and should have very little trouble doing whatever they want against the Vandals on Saturday afternoon. Idaho is 115th in points for and 125th in points against. Their lone win of the season was a 26-24 squeaker over Temple. They are out-matched in this game.

That's not a knock on Idaho, they probably shouldn't have been on the Florida State schedule to begin with. Last season -- upon moving to the Big 12 -- West Virginia had to back out of a home-and-away series with FSU. That mean Savannah State and Idaho were late additions to the past two years schedules. 

The biggest obstacle facing Florida State on Saturday will not be on the field. It will be the set of distractions that have ensnared the program since Jameis Winston was named in an 11-month old sexual assault investigation ten days ago. If FSU comes out focused and plays the game it's capable of playing -- it should be a short afternoon for the starters.

How FSU Stacks Up: Very well. Idaho doesn't have an advantage at any positon group or in any of the three phases of the game. If the Seminoles want to pound the ball on the ground -- that's there for them. If they Seminoles want to air it out -- that's there for them. FSU can dictate tempo in this ballgame early and as long as they come out focused this should get out of hand quickly.

This will also be senior day for Florida State, so you can be sure that the Seminoles' seniors will be looking to make a statement in their last game at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

"Hopefully, we’ll be able to send them off with a great victory, with as far as how we play if we play well.," said Jimbo Fisher on Monday. "But the fans [will be able to] send them off with their appreciation for what they’ve done here at Florida State. This senior class has accomplished a lot and I’m very proud –[ [but we] still have a lot more to go.

"But, still a very important day. Idaho is a very good football team. They’ve got a four-down team on defense, mix three-four packages, like to blitz, split safety team, [they’re] going to mix in some three-deep coverages. Coach Paul Petrino does a good job, he’s the head coach, he’s got a great background. [They] throw the ball really well, multiple looks, he does everything in the book. He’s got a great offensive mind. They do a very good job and very sound in the kicking game. We’ll have to play well, prepare well and practice well. We need to continue to get better this week and get ready to play Idaho.”

Three to Watch:

1.) Taylor Davis, QB - Idaho's senior quarterback will be facing his most difficult challenge so far this season against the FSU defense.

2.) James Baker, RB - The vandals will need a strong performance on the ground to keep the Seminole defense at bay.

3.) Dezmon Epps, WR - Idaho's leading receiver can really help his quarteback if he can make FSU respect him as a passing threat early.

Quote of the Week: "It’s kind of sinking in and that group is so special. There’s so many – characters is not the word, I don’t mean it that way, just influential guys in our program’s history and what it meant and what it let us get to and how they’ve influenced the other guys in the organization. There’s some guys that I’ll never forget in that class. This is a tremendous group.”

-Jimbo Fisher

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

November 21, 2013

Hoops: FSU Men Upset No. 10 VCU in Puerto Rico

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Florida State pulled off a stunning early season upset in Puerto Rico on Thursday night when they dominated no. 10 VCU.

The Seminoles lead throughout most of the evening, building a 12-point halftime lead and eventually pulling ahead by as much as 30 in the second half before cruising to an 85-67 win over the Rams.

 “I thought our effort tonight was a result of the healthy respect that we have for the VCU program. They’ve done a tremendous job over the last four or five years – how they have branded themselves and how well they have played in tough situations," said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. "Evaluating them and trying to come up with a game plan, we knew we had to be at our very best in a lot of areas."

FSU played well on both ends of the court, but their defense was elite on Thursday night. For years Hamilton's Seminoles teams have prided themselves on playing top-notch defense. Against VCU, Florida State fans saw the return of the "junkyard D."

Virginia Commonwealth was held to just 29.3 shooting during the game. The Seminoles forced 14 turnovers, blocked six shots and made VCU rush their possessions for most of the game -- in turn forcing a lot of errors and offensive mistakes that kept the Rams from ever really getting things rolling on that end. 

"Their players were very aggressive and overall they were obviously a much better team, tonight," said VCU head coach Shaka Smart. "I thought for us this was definitely a wakeup call or realization that we can’t just take the floor and be who we want to be, we’ve got to make it happen. We’ve got to get back to being more aggressive, but also playing with better discipline."

On the offensive end Florida State turned the ball over 25 times against VCU's fullcourt press, but they also managed to beat it with regularity too, shooting 53.7%. Seniors Okaro White and Ian Miller played exactly like a team's senior leaders should play in this sort of matchup, with Miller distributing the ball well against the press and White cleaning up underneath the basket.

“I think we can average a lot more points if we don’t have those turnovers in games," said Miller after the game. "We need to slow it down a bit, take our time and think things through sometimes. We get a bit sped up, but we’ll learn. We’re young and we’re still finding ourselves.”

Miller lead Florida State with a career-high 22 points and seven rebounds -- he also added four assists. White had 14 points and nine boards, Montay Brandon had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, Devon Bookert also added 18 points. 

It was not the most efficient effort FSU has turned in on the young season, but the offense looked potent, the team made good passes and the defense was suffocating. FSU made a statement on Thursday night.

"We’ve got a reputation of being a defensive team, but what we’ve done is try to play to the talent that we’ve had," said Hamilton. "Now we have a little different team and we’re trying to utilize the strengths of our basketball team.”

“Most of the teams that are rated high this early in the season, they are rated for what they did last year. And so, quite naturally, [despite the fact] we have been playing very good basketball for four years, we had to start over and regroup last year and weren’t quite as successful, so we get recognized for what we did last year. VCU went to the Sweet 16 and had a great season last year, so they’re getting their recognition. That’s one thing good about college basketball; you have the chance to earn your rightful place. That’s what our goals are right now. It’s too early to think about rankings, we try to keep it in perspective. We want to be in the power place at the end of the season. This is one victory, one game, and we’ve got a whole lot more to go.”

Florida State gets Michigan in the semifinal round of the Puerto Rico tipoff on Friday night.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

FSU Injury Report: Week Thirteen (Idaho)

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Here's the injury list for this weekend's game between Idaho and FSU. Not too many changes for the Seminoles. The biggest question will be the long-term status of Jameis Winston going forward. 

FSU Injury Report vs. Idaho  - Nov. 20, 2013

Out for Game
WR     Isaiah Jones (foot)   

Out for Season

QB      Jacob Coker (knee)
OL      Ira Denson (shoulder) 
WR     Jarred Haggins (knee)
TE      Kevin Haplea (knee)
DB      Tyler Hunter (neck) 
LB      Matthew Thomas (shoulder)

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Public Statements Undermining the Viability of the Winston Case

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The trial of Jameis Winston has already begun in the court of public opinion.

For the past eight days anyone with a Twitter handle and their own two cents has been able to weigh in on the situation that has surrounded the now week-old sexual assault allegations against Winston. Those allegations became public last Wednesday and since then a torrent of rampant speculation has continued to rage around Florida State and its redshirt freshman quarterback. 

There really is no way to describe this other than a circus, either. If this were an episode of Law and Order you'd criticize the writing as being too unrealistic. There have been fingers pointed, information has been leaked and conflicting statements have been made by the State Attorney, Tallahassee Police Department and the victim's family. 

And ironically, as Winston's trial in the court of public opinion continues it may be the very public nature of one of those opinions that will ultimately keep a real trial from playing out in a real court.

If Winston is charged -- and that is the 64,000 dollar question at this point -- pre-trial statements from the family of the victim and state attorney Willie Meggs could ultimately go a long ways towards getting the case tossed out and the charges dismissed -- at least in the opinion of some legal experts.

The statement from the family of the victim is less disruptive to due process but could still come into play at a later stage.

A victim can say whatever they want in a case like this. That being said, anything said can also be used as evidence. As one attorney told me, "if a victim is able to develop substantial local press, it could form the basis for an attorney to move to change venue.  The statements by a victim are also admissible at trial for, at least, impeachment of motive -- often used to explore whether the victim is trying to get a book deal, make money through public appearances, etc."

The more 'troublesome' of the public statements made in regard to this case was made by state attorney Willie Meggs though. Over the weekend Meggs told the AP: "Now they've been talking to lawyers, they've been talking to each other and getting their stories together. ... People have had 11 months to decide what they're going to say."

Attorneys are governed by the following rule in Florida:

Rule 4-3.6 Trial Publicity

(a) Prejudicial Extrajudicial Statements Prohibited.
lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding due to its creation of an imminent and substantial detrimental effect on that proceeding.

In addition, The American Bar Association has the following special rule on prosecutors. It has not been adopted in Florida, thus Florida attorneys are not bound by it, but it is worth noting.

Rule 3.8 (f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

Last Saturday Meggs stopped just short of telling the Associated Press, a national news organization, that Jameis Winston and his associates were perpetrating a massive cover-up.

In this case, as one attorney told me, Meggs' comment "is particularly troublesome, because it essentially alleges a conspiracy to obstruct justice and subordination of perjury, which are very serious allegations and probably not something that the prosecutor could prove. ... A statement like that can be used as a basis to file a motion to dismiss, alleging that the statements are so inflammatory and prejudicial that the defendant, particularly in light of his prominence and the knowledge that it would be used in the press, require a dismissal."

Jameis Winston could still be charged. That is well within the realm of possibility. But Willie Meggs -- who has accused the TPD of botching this investigation -- may have already laid the foundation for Winston's attorney to have this case thrown out. 

 

For all the latest Florida State news and update, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

November 20, 2013

ESPN: Winston DNA Linked to Victim

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This is still developing, but per an ESPN report Jameis Winston's DNA has been matched to samples taken from the victim on the night of the report, 12/7/2012. 

Per ESPN:

"According to the DNA analysis report, a copy of which was viewed by ESPN.com on Wednesday, the Florida state crime lab determined the chance of the DNA in the woman's underwear being a match for someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion."

While this is not evidence of a sexual assault in and of itself, it does indeed link Winston to the victim in a very real, physical way.

Earlier in the day the victim's family released a statement accusing the Tallahassee Police Department of impropriety in their investigation.

Winston's attorney, Tim Jansen, is yet to respond to the ESPN report, though he did decline comment in regard to the statement from the victim's family.

Earlier in the week Jansen issued a statement asking for silence from state attorney Willie Meggs and his office after Meggs implied Winston and his attorney were instigating a cover-up to the Associated Press over the weekend.

Winston has not been charged with a crime, but under Florida State University guidelines he would be suspended indefinitely if he were to be charged with a felony. 

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Eventually Winston's Situation is Going to Catch Up to the Seminoles

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It’s been one week since allegations of sexual assault against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston rocked the college football landscape.

It was just seven days ago that the Tallahassee Police Department released a heavily redacted report from an incident in December of 2012 and it has been a whirlwind of speculation and distractions for the Seminoles ever since.

Droves of new reporters showed up last Saturday as Florida State took on Syracuse. FSU’s staff had to give constant reminders to keep the questions football-related before every interview. The clutter-free, football-first bubble that head coach Jimbo Fisher had so carefully constructed for his team to play in, to succeed in, was penetrated by a set of very ugly, very disruptive allegations.

The Seminoles did their part last Saturday, smashing the Orange -- just as they had done to every other opponent -- and saying all the right things afterwards.

But it’s only going to get harder from here. Not just for Winston, for his whole team.

If Jameis Winston is guilty of what he’s being accused of he deserves every punishment he receives. But this past week has been a circus the likes of which is hard for anyone to ignore. While due process is waiting to play out, Winston is being tried in the court of public opinion.

Over the weekend State Attorney Willie Meggs -- during an interview with the associated press -- stopped just short of accusing the Winston camp of orchestrating a massive cover-up.

“Now they’ve been talking to lawyers, they’ve been talking to each other and getting their stories together,” said Meggs. “People have had 11 months to decide what they’re going to say.”

Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, had to issue a statement in response requesting that Meggs’ office maintain silence on what is ‘a supposedly confidential law enforcement investigation.’

On Tuesday the Tallahassee Democrat published emails between Tallahassee City Commissioners discussing the fact that the victim no longer wished to pursue the case. Then on Wednesday the victim’s family released a statement of its own through the Tampa Bay Times.

“Recent media reports compel our family to make a statement at this time,” the release begins.

Per the family’s statement, the victim was raped on 12/7 and the report was made that night.

“In early January, when the victim identified the perpetrator as Jameis Winston, the family grew concerned that she would be targeted on campus,” the statement continues.

The family then accuses the TPD -- in particular, detective Scott Angulo -- of attempting to convince the victim not to pursue the case. Alleging that Angulo told her attorney that “Tallahassee is a big football town” and “her life will be made miserable.”

The family also accuses Angulo of refusing to collect a DNA or blood sample from Winston, in addition to not interviewing his roommate (who allegedly witnessed the attack) for fear that things would “go public.”

The family also denies being the source of any of the information in regards to this case prior to the statement.

“There was no benefit in that,” the statement says.

On Wednesday Jansen declined comment on the statement released by the victim’s family out of respect to the request for silence that he made over the weekend from Meggs. Jansen has already turned over two sworn affidavits with witness testimony that he says will “completely exonerate my client.”

In the meantime Meggs’ office continues its investigation with no set deadline or timetable to make a decision.

To date Winston has not been charged with a crime.

All the while Florida State’s season sits in a state of purgatory. With Idaho on the schedule this weekend, all of the extra distractions -- the negative media attention and the rampant speculation -- are unlikely to catch up to it.

But it has to eventually. This is starting to become too big for anyone to block out.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

November 19, 2013

FSU Practice Notebook: 'One of the Best Tuesdays We've Had'

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“That was one of the best Tuesday’s we’ve had," said Jimbo Fisher moments after Florida State left the practice field. "Offensively, I was very proud of the way they practiced, execution [was solid] throughout, efficient. Defense was very good. Special teams, kicked the ball well. Very good Tuesday. One of the best Tuesday’s we’ve had all year.”

Florida State -- given all of the distractions currently circling the program -- probably needs a good week of practice.

In many ways hitting the field and focusing on football is likely a nice break from the whirlwind of speculation and uncertainty that's facing the program when the players walk off the field. They seem to be honed in this week, even with all the clutter currently dotting their landscape.

“This is the next opponent. This is the most important. That’s what we’ve been preaching and it does feel very good to have the effort and execution together on both sides of the ball," Fisher said.

As for the question on many Florida State fans' minds right now, Winston continues to take the first team reps but Fisher is also very high on Sean Maguire should the team need him down the stretch.

“I’ve been very pleased with Sean’s blitz pick-ups, his checks, you just see him growing every day and getting faster and quicker and very comfortable with what he’s doing," said Fisher. "He had a good day today and yesterday he had a good day.”

More from Practice:

##- FSU could potentially have two 1,000 yard receivers in Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw:

“That would be awesome," said Fisher. "It that can go within our team goals and we can reach everything, I think it’s great. [Greene's] individual performances and consistency and his leadership – I’ll tell you what, he’s a great leader too, not just out there playing, but off the field the way he talks to people, very intelligent guy. I have a lot of respect for him and I’m hoping for it.”

##- Fisher also discussed recruiting Lamarcus Joyner four years ago:

“I loved the way he played the game. He’s one of those guys, once you met him and got him in your organization you knew he was going to affect things positively all the time.”

##- And, finally, redshirt senior Bryan Stork was named a semifinalist for the Outland trophy.

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

November 18, 2013

Mondays with Jimbo: Idaho Edition

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Every Monday Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher holds his weekly press conference to discuss the week's opponent, the previous weekend's film and whatever else he feels like talking about that afternoon. We cover it in a weekly piece called, "Mondays with Jimbo.

This was not the usual Monday press conference. Jimbo Fisher was fresh off a flight after him and his wife, Candi, had appeared on Fox and Friends that morning to discuss their Kidz1stFund charity. Fisher was in the early stages of a cold -- at points having to stop and turn away as he sneezed and coughed -- and the media was under strict orders to keep the focus on football.

It was anything but a normal Monday.

“I liked our game after watching the film from the Syracuse game. Really was proud with the way our kids came out of the gate again," Fisher began. "Started the game very fast in all phases. Offense had a great first drive, we were able to execute some different run-pass options and things we had. Defense was dominant again. In special teams, I thought Roberto [Aguayo] kicked the ball exceptionally well. Cason [Beatty] did what he did on punt – we covered well. Kenny [Shaw] had an outstanding game in the return game, setting up field position and catching all the balls in the air.

'Again, I thought our defensive front played exceptionally well – affected the quarterback. I thought up front and skills position wise I thought we threw and caught the ball really very well – finished big plays. When we got in space we were able to finish downfield – great downfield blocking in my opinion. I think we’re getting better and better at that each week in what we’re doing. There’s still some things we have to continue to grow on and get better. Again, but very proud of the performance and the total focus."

Fisher's high point came when he discussed going to visit injured Syracuse player Julian Wigham after the game. Without knowing if Wigham would have anyone there with him that night, Fisher made it a point to go visit him after he was done at Doak.

“I’ve never had a player on the other team have to be hospitalized after the game here and I didn’t know if his parents were here and what was going on and you’re a coach and I know when you’re at the other side of that thing, when I had to leave Chris Thompson [after Wake Forest] I went to the hospital after the game and saw him as much as I could, but I had to take the team back home and get ready for the next game and when you’re a coach and I’ve got to leave one of my players, I just think when that young man was injured and I don’t ever want to see anyone injured, it scared us," said Fisher.

"They said he had some internal injuries and he’s fine now and all that, I wanted to go by and make sure he was okay. I didn’t know his parents were there, which was good because he was from West Palm Beach and his mom was there and got to see him and make sure if they needed anything. (We) made sure they had numbers to people here so we could help too if anything went wrong or communication or whatever they may need.

"We’re all competitors, but at the end of the day, these are kids, they’re somebody’s baby. If that was one of my children, I would want someone to look out for them.”

More from Jimbo:

##- On his senior class:

“What a group there. There’s some guys that you’ll remember to the end of your last dying days. Those guys made an impact on your life, not just with football, but people and how they impacted the guys around them. That’s a tremendous group of guys to me, ought to be remembered in Florida State lore for a long time for what they really meant and how much they’ve actually done for this university and for their teammates. Golly, it’s a tremendous group.”

##- On Nick O'Leary

“That guy is like your silent assassin. You talk about all the other guys out there, you talk about another guy that understands angles, that understands ball, where to sit down in the hole, how to get open and then tremendous hands and ball skills. Just gets the game, knows where to be and how to be and Nick’s really turned into a heck of a football player.” 

##- Defense Exceeding Expectations

“I don’t know if they’ve exceeded them, I thought they’d do very well. I’ve known these guys a long time, I thought they would coach very well and teach very well. That’s the thing – they teach it, they get it across and I think we had a group of guys that totally bought into it. Those older guys really set the tone for how they bought in and got those younger guys believing that this is what we need to do and sometimes that is hard, especially for guys that were playing in an old defense that was very successful, (thinking) okay, can we learn some new tricks here because there’s some things we can add to what we already know. I think it’s a testament to our coaches and those older players doing it and getting our younger guys to buy in.”

##- On distractions

“We always address everything. You’ve got to know what’s going on, no matter what the situations are and I think that’s an important part of being a good team is being able to focus and control things that you can control and deal with the other issues when it’s time to deal with them. That’s part of maturity. I think as coaches and people everyone has that issue in life. It’s a very hard thing to do.”

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

November 17, 2013

Hoops: FSU Men Cruise Past UT-Martin 89-61

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Florida State (3-0) had little trouble beating the University of Tennessee-Martin (1-4) on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles used a 20-4 first half run to put some distance between themselves and the Skyhawks and never looked back, winning handily 89-61.

Playing in special turquoise Nike N7 uniforms -- part of a Nike tribute to Native American culture -- FSU out-classed head coach Leonard Hamilton's alma mater on both ends of the floor on Sunday afternoon.

"Boy I think they're really good," said UT-Martin head coach Jason James. "I think their length gives people problems, I told coach before the game I think they have interchangable part but the difference between a lot of teams and them is their interchangable parts are 6-7, 6-8, 6-9, so you've got different guys that can do different things on the floor, they can play small... or they can play big. They're really talented."

UT-Martin played Florida State close through the first ten minutes -- it was 13-12 at the second media timeout -- but once the Seminoles got started on their run there was very little the Skyhawks could do. 

"It was obvious we got off to a slow start in the game, that does concern me a little bit. I thought that we really picked it up in the latter part of the first half," said head coach Leonard Hamilton. 

Ian Miller lead the way with 13 first-half points -- he would finish with 20 -- and FSU was shooting 53.6% when it headed into the locker-room with a 41-23 lead. 

"It was just my teammates finding me, my teammates understand that if I make one, I can make two, I can make three, I can just go on and on," said Miller after the game. "The easy part is taking the shot, the hardest part is creating and Devin [Bookert] and those guys created open shots for me, they did a great job [this afternoon]."

It was more of the same in the second half as Florida State pulled away from UT-Martin and started to get deeper into its rotation. By the ten minute mark -- with FSU already well ahead -- the game essentially turned into a free-throw shooting contest. The officials called 28 UT-Martin fouls and FSU shot 39 free throws one the day -- hitting 30 of them. On the afternoon the Seminoles shot 58.7%.

It looked good for FSU defensively too. The Seminoles held the Skyhawks to just 35.3% shooting, forced 19 turnovers, -- including 11 steals -- blocked seven shots and only allowed UT-Martin to get to the free throw stripe ten times. 

"We have grown up, we've gotten more mature," said sophomore G Aaron Thomas. "We're just trying to stay on the same page, no one is thinking about themselves we're just coming together as a team."

Thomas lead the defensive effort with six steals, he also scored a career-high 19 points and added two assists and a rebound off the bench.

Miller's 20 points and five assists lead the Seminole scoring, Okaro White had 17 points and four rebounds and Bookert had 13 points and five assists. 

Next up for Florida State is a trip to Puerto Rico to for the Puerto Rico Tipoff Classic in San Juan, they'll face VCU on November 21st and either Long Beach State or Michigan the following day.

Notebook: Hamilton said that he doesn't feel this team has a starting five right now, he has nine players he feels comfortable giving minutes to... Aaron Thomas' career day was encouraging to Hamilton who has been concerned about how the new rules would affect his defensive system... FSU had 19 turnovers, something Hamilton said he was very concerned about... This was Leonard Hamilton's 200th win at FSU... Hamilton said after the game that despite playing his alma mater, he didn't get caught up in sentimental stuff, "it was a business date."

[Photo used courtesy of Travis Register]

 

For all the latest Florida State news and updates, follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...


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