In the preseason, the Florida State Seminoles were picked by the media to finish ninth in the ACC. With the additions of Syracuse and Pitt this year, coupled with the conference already having the powers of such programs as Duke and North Carolina, that actually seemed perfectly plausible when thought about.
So, when the ‘Noles took the court in Puerto Rico tonight to face off against tenth-ranked VCU, they had a point to prove and a message to send to the rest of the ACC that they’re not going to accept being considered the ninth-best team in the conference.
Boy, did they do exactly that as the Seminoles routed the Rams on Thursday night, 85-67.
Florida State moved to 4-0 on the year with the beatdown of VCU in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Senior guard Ian Miller led the way for FSU with 22 points on the night, making him one of four Seminoles on the floor tonight to score in double digits. Devon Bookert threw in 18, and Okaro White and Montay Brandon both gave 14 of their own. Brandon finished with a double-double as he also grabbed 11 boards.
The ‘Noles dominated from start to finish tonight. They took a 48-36 lead into the half, and then kept everything rolling on all cylinders by starting on a 16-2 run to begin the final minutes.
In the second half, they led by as much as 30.
If there was one thing that we learned definitively about this team this evening, it’s that they are going to find themselves on the better end of some rebounding advantages throughout the season. Overall, counting Montay Brandon’s 11, the Seminoles out-rebounded the Rams 50-34.
A statement was definitely made by the ‘Noles and head coach Leonard Hamilton. Those members of the media may want to re-think that number nine ranking.
With the victory, Florida State will now take on no. 14 Michigan on Friday night at 5pm ET in a second round match up.