Seminoles strong in preseason again

Wrapping up the exhibition season against another inferior opponent, Florida State dismantled Georgia Southwestern 86-41. The Seminoles will begin the regular season Friday against Jacksonville.

The Seminoles concluded their brief exhibition season Monday with an impressive 86-41 win over Georgia Southwestern.

It was the second and final preseason game for Florida State, which will now head into the regular season with a positive feeling. The Hurricanes of GSW were dominated throughout, and their undersized lineup proved to be no match for the ‘Noles.

Florida State never trailed and shot an impressive 59 percent in the first half en route to a 45-19 halftime lead. Guard Michael Snaer led the team in scoring with 15 points, and senior Bernard James added 14 points and 10 rebounds to secure his second double-double of this short preseason.

Generally speaking, the ‘Noles played better than they did Oct. 31 against Indiana University of Pennsylvania. That pleased coach Leonard Hamilton.

"I thought we had a better recognition of what we were trying to do at the beginning of the game," said Hamilton after the game. "We showed some signs of improvement with our execution."

FSU's execution on the offensive end was much better than last week's contest, and their defense was just as stellar. The Seminoles frustrated Georgia Southwestern throughout and forced 23 turnovers.

"We really focused this last week in practice on some of the things we didn't do so well and some of the things we struggled with last season," said the 6-10 James. "Really focused on execution."

Even when the Hurricanes were able to get the ball to the rim, the result wasn't much better. FSU held the opposition to just 29 percent shooting, and Georgia Southwestern was only able to muster 11 field goals in 40 minutes of basketball.

Despite the dominant defensive effort, there are still some things Hamilton says need improvement.

"I thought that our techniques were a little unsound in that we gave up too much penetration," he said. "Our post guys did a very good job of keeping the ball out of the post, but I thought we gave up a lot of penetration."

Those post players dominated the stat sheet in the first exhibition game, but this game told a different story.

FSU received contributions from just about everybody, as 10 players were able to put the ball in the basket. Guard Deividas Dulkys connected on a couple of three-pointers and finished with 10 points. Forward Okaro White and center Xavier Gibson added nine and eight points, respectively.

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The Seminoles finished the exhibition slate with a 2-0 record, but they understand that these games are only preseason. It's now time to start playing games that count in the standings.

"I'm so excited," said the 6-5 Snaer. "I'm so ready to start playing games that count again. I can't wait to get to that first game."

The first regular season game will be Friday, when the ‘Noles host the Jacksonville Dolphins at 7:00 p.m.

Florida State will begin the regular season slightly shorthanded.

Freshman Antwan Space underwent successful surgery Monday to repair a bone in his left foot. Space injured the foot in the team's exhibition opener on Halloween. There is currently no timetable for his return.

Matt Ritter is the basketball reporter for and a graduate student in Media Communication Studies at Florida State.

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