Florida State improved to 2-0 on the season with 98-79 win over Jacksonville. The Seminoles improved to 48-17 against Jacksonville all time, and have won all 8 meetings under Leonard Hamilton.
The Seminoles went down by 11-points early, but responded well and took a 44-38 lead into the half.
True freshmen Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley showed the way for the Seminoles. Bacon finished with 27 points and 9 rebounds. Beasley finshed with 21 points and 3 rebounds. They became just the second and third Seminoles to open their careers with back to back 20-plus point games. Tat Hunter in the 1985-1986 season was the first.
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton is pleased with the way they are playing, but he expects more from them besides just points.
"There’s no doubt they are making major contributions," Hamilton said. "They are playing the game the right way. Dwayne is really responding. I’m challenging him to be a bit more aggressive on the boards. He had moments where you could tell he turned it up a notch. Beasley he plays way all the time. What we are trying to do is get them to sell out and play with tremendous effort for every possession on the court so that we can sub them and those guys can play the same way. We have to be more efficient with executing our system."
Xavier Rathan-Mayes also got into the scoring action with 13 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Boris Bojanovsky added 10 points as well.
The Seminoles shot 57.1-percent for the game and 63.3-percent during the second half. They had 17 assists and 12 turnovers while out rebounding Jacksonville 39-31.
Benji Bell and Montay Brandon both made their season debuts. Brandon finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Bell also added 5 points with 3 rebounds and 1 assist.
The Seminoles played 11 players during the game, and all but one scored. Jean-Christ Koumadje was the player that didn't score, but he did add two rebounds in three minutes.
That depth has Xavier Rathan-Mayes excited after he, Montay Brandon, and Devin Bookert were forced to play more than 34 minutes a game last season.
"I think so. I think we kind of wear on teams. Just being able to throw fresh bodies at teams is hard to handle when a team like Jacksonville is playing seven guys. When we're playing 10-11 guys, it's tough to be able to keep up at a high level.
Florida State will travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam starting on November 20th against Hofstra.