Player of the Game
Terrance Mann is just a really good basketball player. I originally thought he’d be destined to be the team’s role player specialist for the entirety of his career. But now, I see bigger things in his future. He’s so efficient (shooting 59 percent from the floor), and really understands his game. What I mean is that Mann knows his limitations, and doesn’t try to exceed them. He can sense when the team needs him to score, and when they need him to do the small things, like rebound, defend, and distribute.
Today, though, against the Hokies, the Seminoles needed him to score. And he delivered. Mann dropped a career-high 22 points, on 7-for-11 shooting, to go with nine rebounds and two three-pointers. A spectacular overall performance.
It’s great to see that the home crowd appreciates his play, too.
If he develops a three-pointer, to go along with his intangibles, he’ll be an NBA guy one day. Definitely rooting for him, he’s a lot of fun to watch.
Ryan Reid Unsung Hero Award
With Mann occupying the Player of the Game section, that left his usual Unsung Hero Award up for the taking. There were various solid options. Point guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes only scored four points, but had eight assists to go with just one turnover (which is special). He has really bought into being a point guard first, and a scorer just when needed.
Dwayne Bacon also had a solid case, scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds. But calling a bonafide star like Bacon an unsung hero feels wrong. So I refuse to do it.
I’m gonna give this award to Jonathan Isaac. The freshman seemed to have a quiet game, so I was surprised when I saw his stat-line. He scored 13 points on just seven shot attempts. What really gave his showing the “unsung hero” status though, was his rebounding and rim protection. For someone so wiry, Isaac loves fighting for boards. He finished the game with eight. His toughness also extends to the defensive end.
He does a great job of impeding opposing players at the rim. When an opponent drives it against FSU basketball, just observe Isaac. He doesn’t necessarily try to block the shot every time, but rather make the shot more difficult. That really helps him stay out of foul trouble, while still protecting the paint, which is just so impressive to see from a freshman. And it explains why NBA scouts are so interested in him.
Finally, wanted to give a quick shoutout to Jarquez Smith. The senior center scored 12 points, hit a three (no, really), and blocked two shots. He seems to be turning a corner, and could be important if Christ Koumadje is forced to miss time after turning his ankle today.