Florida State Opens Season With 109-62 Win Over Nicholls State.

Florida State shows off new look offense in dominant win over Nicholls State.

Florida State started off hot and never cooled off in a dominating 109-62 win over Nicholls State. The Seminoles shot 65.6-percent from the field and 50-percent from three. Florida State dominated on the glass pulling down 42 rebounds compared to 21 by Nicholls State. 

Florida State struggled rebounding in the two exhibitions, and made it a priority in practice.

"Just being aggressive," Xavier Rathan-Mayes said. "We worked a lot in practice on boxing out and going to get the ball. Just being agressive. Just being the aggressor in the situation when the shot goes up. Being able to value possessions and a stop is not a stop until we get a rebound."

The Seminoles did struggle from the free throw line hitting just 19 of 28. 

True freshmen Dwayne Bacon, Malik Beasley, and Terrance Mann led the way for the Seminoles. Bacon had 23 points and 8 rebounds. Beasley had 21 points, and Mann had 15 points and 5 rebounds.

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton was very happy with what he got from his freshmen tonight.

"We all know that they're capable of being very good offensive players," Hamilton said. "As coaches we have to evaluate the things that we're trying to get them to accomplish overall. I thought they both gave good effort trying to do what we asked them to do."

Coach Hamilton was impressed with Beasley's on the ball defending.

"Malik's on the ball defending," Hamilton said. "We haven't had a freshman come in that has the intensity, the focus, the mindset to want to go out and pick up the ball and defend it as well as he does. Whenever you have a guy that can defend the ball. it kind of causes the offense to start a little farther out than they would like too, but that's an adjustment you have to make with how they're officiating the game these days. I watched him. I thought he kept making his adjustments. He was very sound with that."

Bacon led the team in both points and rebounds, and coach Hamilton says that's exactly the guy they need him to be.

"Bacon, we're just trying to get him to be a stat stuffer," Hamilton said. "A guy who not only gets points, but rebounds, deflections, and steals. I thought he made a good effort to do that tonight."

Xavier Rathan-Mayes picked up the second double-double of his career with a 11 point, 11 assist performance. Devin Booker added 11 points as well. Rathan-Mayes is transitioning from the team's top scorer into more of a facilitator. He believes that that's coming along pretty well.

"I think I'm doing well," Rathan-Mayes said. "It's a lot of learning. A lot of watching film. Meeting with the coaches and just learning on the fly when I'm out there. My team is giving me full confidence to go out there and do what I do. Be agressive and get everybody involved. I think that the biggest thing for me is everyone just giving me confidence to keep doing what I'm doing."

Florida State played 10 players, and every one of them scored. With the increased depth the Seminoles have, it's allowing the team to play at a very high level for longer periods. That's something that hasn't been the case in years past.

"We're challenging these young guys not to take any possessions off," Hamilton said. "We think we have enough depth that we can keep guys fresh, unlike the position that we've been in the last couple years. In order for us to be successful we feel that we can get right rotation, it's still a work in progress, where we can keep guys fresh and keep them in rhythm It will give us a chance to take advantage of who we think we are." 

Montay Brandon, Robbie Berwick, and Michael Ojo did not play due to injury. Benji Bell did not play due to a coaches decision.

Florida State improved to 1-0 on the season and will host Jacksonville University on Tuesday, November 17th. 

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