FSU basketball: Both men and women teams look to stay undefeated as they play Florida

CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 25: Head coach Leonard Hamilton of the Florida State Seminoles reacts during the second half of the game against the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes at Watsco Center on February 25, 2023 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 25: Head coach Leonard Hamilton of the Florida State Seminoles reacts during the second half of the game against the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes at Watsco Center on February 25, 2023 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

Next week is rivalry week in college football. For FSU basketball fans, they’ll get to see their favorite team battle in the swamps to play the Florida Gators. However, before the long-awaited football game, the basketball teams will give us a preview of what will take place. Both Seminoles men’s and women’s basketball teams will travel to Gainesville on Friday to battle the Gators in an early season matchup.

Both men’s and women’s teams took care of business at home as they began the season 2-0. They thrived off the energy of the home crowd and displayed terrific performances. As the two teams play their first game on the road, it’s important that they continue the momentum and not take their foot off the gas.

Florida State Women

The Women’s team has done a great job of allowing the rest of the NCAA to understand that they are contenders. After beginning the season ranked 18th in the AP Poll, they’ve climbed the ladders and are now ranked 12th. It was an impressive first week for the women’s team who took care of business at home.

One of the biggest takeaways from the Lady Seminoles has been their excellent starts. They look to push the pace on offense while looking for easy baskets at the rim and the three-point line. Through two games. Florida State has outscored their opponents by 15 points and it sets the tone for the rest of the game.

On offense, everything has begun with point guard O’Mariah Gordon. Next to Ta’Niya Latson, Gordon is known as Florida State’s second-best offensive player. She may lack height but has the heart and tenacity to be the best on the floor. Gordon’s ability to score at all three levels has continued to be on full display in her junior year.

The Seminoles have also received contributions from other players as well. Transferring from UC Santa Barbara, Alexis Tucker has played well under head coach Brooke Wyckoff. She averaged 15.5 points through the first two games while continuing to shoot the ball with confidence.

Another key contributor has been Amaya Bonner. Bonner was a player who made huge plays down the stretch in the Seminoles’ second game against Tennessee. Her ability to stay engaged in the contest allows her to be a compliment on the floor. Bonner elevated defensively as well as knocking down big shots down the stretch. When it seemed as if Tennessee had momentum in the second half, Bonner gave the Seminoles a lift to close the game.

As the ladies travel to Gainesville, the goal is to continue to ride the momentum of their first two games. The only difference is they’ll have to thrive off the hostility of the crowd and lean on one another. As the Seminoles’ journey continues, they look to continue to climb the ladder as one of the best teams in the country.

Florida State Men’s

Many questions were coming into this season for Leonard Hamilton’s team. Could they bounce back after a disappointing season a year ago? Well, the good part is that the team is fully healthy. They brought back some key players as well as struck gold in the transfer portal.

The Seminoles dominated in their first two home games. They continued their momentum from their two exhibition games and found success on their home floor. Last season, it took the Seminoles two weeks to capture their first win of the year. This season is a different story as they came together and found success.

A big question I had for the Seminoles this season was how the offense would be ran. Leonard Hamilton loves ball movement. The question was who would be the player to make plays and initiate the offense. During the exhibition games, the Seminoles showed little ball movement. Players weren’t necessarily moving and finding open looks. However, the ball movement has been on full display as the team is averaging 23 assists through the first two games.

Everybody on the team plays a role. Players like Darin Green Jr and Jamie Watkins are the veteran leaders who set the tone on the floor. Players like Baba Miller and Cam Corhen provide interior presence and use their size to their advantage. One of the biggest takeaways behind Florida State’s early success has been their supporting cast. Cam’Ron Fletcher has thrived in his role in the second unit and provides a spark on both ends. Other key contributors have been Josh Nickleberry, Tom House, and others.

As the Seminoles prepare for their rivalry matchup against Florida, the key is to continue to wreak havoc defensively. The Gators are a team who have struggled to find their footing on offense and Florida State can take advantage defensively. Through two games, the Seminoles are holding their opponents to 39 percent shooting as well as 18 percent from three. Their communication and energy on that end of the floor should continue as they face Florida.

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