Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Florida State’s early record isn’t the most important thing

November 25, 2014 Columns No Comments

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The 1-3 start is certainly not good, but that wasn’t troubling Leonard Hamilton much. That was the case for good reasons, and it’s not necessarily cause for alarm, either.

“I’m more concerned about getting my team back healthy,” said the Florida State mentor. “It’s not the first time I’ve started 1-3. I’m not overly concerned about that.”

Florida State left Connecticut with that 1-3 mark after losing both games in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off at Mohegan Sun Arena. They had their chances on Sunday against UMass despite being short-handed, but came up short. They led at times in the first half, even scoring the game’s first eight points. You get the sense Hamilton feels like the team would not be remarkably different had they found a way to pull this one out, though.

In non-conference play, the record isn’t really as important as how a team is trending. A team can be 4-0 against a slew of cupcakes and not be playing well, or they could even be 3-1 against some tough teams and look better every time out. So it’s understandable that the record, while important and an indicator of a team’s play, isn’t seen as the be-all, end-all this early.

Hamilton noted that the Seminoles have played a tough schedule, and that’s certainly the case. Manhattan, who they beat, and Northeastern, who beat them, are favored to win their conference this season, while Providence and UMass look like they will at least be in the NCAA Tournament discussion come March. So it’s not like the Seminoles have lost to a bunch of teams they should have blown out.

“I think we’ve lost three games to three NCAA Tournament teams,” Hamilton said.

The injuries Hamilton alluded to are understandably more concerning than the record. Atop that list is Thomas, the junior guard who is an All-America candidate. He was taken to a hospital at halftime, though fortunately reports later indicated that tests revealed no major issue and it appeared to be dehydration. Hamilton said he had a feeling that could be the case, given that they played games on back-to-back days, but naturally they took no chances when he expressed that he felt some dizziness in the first half. Starting point guard Devon Bookert did not play on Sunday due to a reaction from a screw placed in his injured foot.

As if that wasn’t enough, in the first half backup guard Robbie Berwick took an inadvertent elbow to the nose and had to play with a mask the rest of the game.

There is some solace for them in the fact that they had a chance to win on Sunday, as well as the efforts to get there. Xavier Rathan-Mayes was at the center of it, getting his first career start and easily surpassing his season totals to this point. In 39 minutes, he scored 22 points, after scoring just five points before this game, and he kept them in it with his play. They were high on him all along, and he had to sit out last year when the NCAA declared him ineligible, but it looks like he may be getting adjusted well. While he won’t take over for Bookert, who has done a nice job running the team, he will allow them to rest Bookert more and not lose much, if anything.

Besides Rathan-Mayes, Boris Bojanovsky had a nice afternoon with 18 points on 7-10 shooting. He was a constant thorn in UMass’ side when they got him the ball. Phil Cofer quietly came off the bench to give them eight points and 12 rebounds. Along those lines, Florida State had a 42-26 edge in points in the paint. They have a formidable front line, so with a healthy Bookert and Thomas this looks like a pretty complete team.

The rest of Florida State’s non-conference schedule is more manageable, though hardly easy. The next four games are in Tallahassee, including a visit from Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, then an early ACC game at Notre Dame is mixed in. They still have a visit from Florida and a trip to Mississippi State on tap before ACC play begins in earnest.

Florida State has to weather an early storm, and they have enough talent to do that. They are a physical team with good size up front, and this will give a number of players valuable experience, something that’s lacking a bit with just one senior on the team along with freshmen and sophomores. If they get through this stretch and get everyone back, the Seminoles should be that much more formidable in ACC play.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we break d own the national semifinals, where one game went back and forth while the other was never really a ballgame thanks to an impressive performance for the ages by the winning team.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.