This is only one game. Smith is tied fourth in Florida State history in games played with 135, while the program record is Okaro White with 139.
Out in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, the Eagles have all but two players returning next year, Marc-Eddy Norelia and Morant, and they're excited to have their new pieces join the team and make another at the NCAA Tournament next season. Their inconsistent play in the last six weeks has tapped the brakes on some of that hype, but the Eagles got a taste of how unsafe FSU can be when they get into a transition-type game. "We always pulled each other together, and we talked to one another". "We're long and athletic, and we dunk the ball, too".
"Came out in the second half and ran a play, T.J. banged a 3, we took the lead and I felt like we were in good shape", East Tennessee coach Steve Forbes said.
The reason why they are able to play at a fast pace is due to 12 players averaging eight minutes or more per game. Terance Mann certainly did just that for Florida State in this game. The Bucs are a quick team, but their guards looked rather pedestrian compared to Chiozza and Hill when they turned on the jets. They've been a championship team.
Morant, one of the two tallest players on the team at 6-foot-9, took a nasty spill after a collision down along the baseline minutes into the second half. I just know that we had to come out here and get a win. "And our theme tonight was pride and urgency". FSU baseball will take on Virginia Tech. Jonathan Isaac showcased - on both ends of the court - why the National Basketball Association scouts are salivating. And Florida Gulf Coast was far from a typical 14 seed. And not scared. At all.
Well, yeah, that didn't happen. The Eagles trailed 49-42 at the time. The Eagles, a near universally man-to-man team all season long, went zone, and the Seminoles, who went 12-of-18 from the field to start the game, slowed down, missing their next seven shots and going almost 5 and a half minutes without scoring.
It's been five years since FSU had been here.
"We had a lot of anxious moments", FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said.
"I could say I was a little nervous", sophomore center Kevarrius Hayes said. It looked as if they were going to run away with the game until ETSU kicked it to high gear. After two or three possessions down the court it was like they were stepping in mud. "I love winning. To win on this stage would just be another - just part of my dream, just more to my dream".
"Hopefully, it's a bright spot to help us continue to move the entire university forward as it works to becoming a top 25 institution nationally".
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Success is not down to me to judge, I will leave that to the media. "It's good today. What is for sure is that we are in a position where we can't waste points".
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But that was just the first half.
The only hiccup for FSU was when Florida Gulf Coast switched to a zone when it was trailing 28-19. It was more like the Seminoles vomited all over themselves.
- Florida is at its best when its offense fuels its defense.
It changed the game really. He also had a charge in transition. Fortunately, FSU still went into the half up 40-36 compliments of Dwayne Bacon. "I feel like he's disrespected and we're going to try and go make it right for him".
And it was great to see this Bacon again.
The Eagles (26-8) saw their tournament hopes end in the first round for the second straight year.
Along with the dunks and blocks, FSU utilized its size on the glass.
And that was a problem.
Significant stats: Florida made it rain from downtown in the second half, netting 6-of-12 threes with seven assists on 12 made baskets in the half. The win sent the Gators into the second round Saturday against 5-seed Virginia, a 76-71 victor over 12-seed UNC-Wilmington in the first game of the Thursday afternoon session.