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After the Buzzer: Florida State

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NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Hitters

-As soon as Malik Williams went down early in this game, you knew it was going to be tough to overcome. The Cards did it for a half but couldn’t hold on.

-Florida State dialed up the pressure, knocked down shots, were the more aggressive team, and just looked like nothing was going to stop them from protecting their home floor.

-Sometimes you just tip your hat because you ran into a damn good team that isn’t the best matchup for you. It doesn’t always have to be about what WE didn’t do. Maybe it’s what THEY did do.

-Now in saying that, the competitor in me wants nothing more than having another shot at those guys in the ACC Tournament.

-This may not go over well, but I just didn’t see the lack of effort from Jordan Nwora that so many were talking about. People were saying he disappeared. I just finished watching the game for the second time, so this was something I knew to look for. He was still engaged on defense. He just missed a few open shots, but who didn’t? And there were plays where the point guard didn’t get him the ball when he was open.

Remember the double screen play that got Ryan McMahon his first three? We ran it for Jordan in the second half and Darius never even looked at him. He drove the lane. There were several plays where Fresh dribbled so much that nobody was getting the ball. That’s not on Jordan. He wasn’t hiding.

I could do a whole post about him and my attitude towards him, but I will sum it up the best I can here. His freshman season, I was totally on board with him on the bench because of his defense while nearly everyone else wanted him to play because he could score. People blamed Padgett while I sided with him. Last season, everyone still loved the points and I couldn’t stand the defense and lackadaisical body language. This season, it seems like so many have turned on him and so now I am on the other side of it. Does he still frustrate me at times? Sure. But I see him for what he is. He is a scorer. He “gets buckets”. Everyone on the team has a role and that is his. He rebounds well and his defense has absolutely improved from last season. He doesn’t have to yell and scream to show that he cares. I’ll stop here just in case there is a post dedicated to this soon. My main point was that he was not the reason we lost this game and I didn’t see him do anything wrong except miss some shots.

-David Johnson struggled with turnovers in this one. The bad part is when they are live ball turnovers and FSU usually converted those to points. You will see on the film review that he had two in a row on inbounds plays during FSU’s big run. He was still the best guard to get us into any kind of offense just because of his size. Fresh was great early on, but not so much in the second half.

-FSU just seemed like a team full of Dwayne Suttons, and that doesn’t seem quite fair.

-Darius Perry struggled as well. He played six minutes, took two shots and missed both (one right as he entered the game), one assist, one turnover, two fouls. And absolutely could not guard Rayquan Evans driving to the basket.

-Officiating was bad both ways. It isn’t the reason that Louisville lost, but it does hurt. Jordan Nwora’s first foul was bad and it was less than two minutes into the game. So then you are playing the rest of the half without being able to be as aggressive. Ryan McMahon’s fouls were comical. David Johnson’s fourth came after an obvious travel, but he isn’t in position to get his fourth if his defense is better. He once again picked up some cheap ones that put him in that situation late in the game. I never blame the refs after a game, and I am not now. Florida State was better. But it was pretty bad to see. And I also think it’s lazy to just look at how many free throws each team shot and judge officiating by that. One team drove the basket a lot more than the other.

-The offense in the second half looked bad, but honestly, it wasn’t much different than the offense in the first half. The difference is the shots were falling and Florida State didn’t have the pressure cranked up. Fresh was getting mid-range shots in the lane. Nwora was getting in the lane or hitting the ridiculous step back three. But most of it all came after a lot of dribbling and not getting into many sets. Leonard Hamilton said the same thing coming out of the half, that we weren’t really running a lot, but just dribbling and finding a shot. The second half was more of that, but with a hell of a lot more pressure on us.

-The Vipers suck. Ryan McMahon is better than all of them.

-Regardless of how this regular season ends, we know we will have to beat Florida State and/or Duke to win the ACC Tournament. It’s been these three teams above everyone else all season long. Crazy things can happen in the postseason, so one of us may get knocked out early. But I am excited to see how it plays out. This game didn’t change expectations or confidence for me. Florida State is just a really good team that protected their home court. It happens. Now let’s protect ours and send these seniors (and Jordan) out on a positive note.

-As always, thanks for reading and Go Cards!

Film Review