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Seminoles Big Men Like To Run, Too

Back before Maryland played Georgia Tech, we discovered (with the help of coaches who previously had played the Yellow Jackets) that Tech's big men were able and willing to run the floor. Well, it appears as though the same can be said for Florida State's frontcourt, which one official from a team that has played the Seminoles this season described as "athletic, long and lean."

Northwestern Assistant Coach Tavaras Hardy said his team's main concern entering its Dec. 3 match-up against Florida State was the Seminoles' size and speed, as well as the fact that the two appeared to coincide. The Wildcats defeated Florida State, 73-59, that night, but Hardy admitted his team was dealt a few favorable conditions.

For one, Florida State guard Derwin Kitchen was still sitting out while awaiting NCAA clearance after transferring in from a community college. That meant the Wildcats could badger Toney Douglas even more than they would have anyway, because Douglas was being asked to run the offense and distribute the ball, as well as be the team's go-to scorer.

Also, Florida State freshman center Solomon Alabi (7-foot-1, 241 lbs.) got into foul trouble early and was limited to 13 minutes of action.

Still, Hardy came away impressed by a few Florida State traits.

"Coach (Leonard) Hamilton does a lot of good stuff out of transition, offensively, where they push the ball up the court," Hardy said. "Their big guys run the floor very well. So we wanted to make sure our big guys got back and covered the paint and our guards stopped the ball, cause they're pretty fast."

As for Douglas, who played all 40 minutes against Northwestern and finished with a game-high 21 points, Hardy said the senior guard did well despite all the attention Northwestern devoted to him.

"Obviously, he's a pretty good shooter and he's pretty good going to the rim," Hardy said. "He's one of those guys who you can't play as one or the other. That was our main focus was to play him straight up cause he can hurt you a few different ways."

Hardy also pointed out that freshman forward Chris Singleton, as well as Solomon even in his limited action, crashed the boards very well and that they were able to contain Northwestern's dribble penetration by providing support for the Seminoles' perimeter defenders.

Florida State's downfall, Hardy noted, was its shooting. The Seminoles connected on 41.2 percent of their shots from the field and 26.1 percent of their shots from three-point range against the Wildcats.

"They didn't shoot the ball very well against us," Hardy said. "Some of the guys that I thought would be able to knock shots down weren't able to do it against us. As those young guys continue to grow, they'll definitely get that stuff squared away. They've got some potential weapons there."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 16, 2009; 10:29 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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