Wilson's three-ball the difference maker

As Andrew Wilson goes, so goes the Florida State men's basketball team ? just look at the box scores from the Tribe's 12 conference games this season to substantiate that logic.

In six losses to Atlantic Coast Conference foes this season, the Kennesaw Ga. native has shot 38 percent from three-point range. In the 'Noles six victories, Wilson has managed to shoot a staggering 60 percent from behind the arc.

Included in those statistics is the sixth-year senior's memorable Saturday night in a must-win situation for the Seminoles against Virginia. As it is generally considered that the top four or perhaps five teams in the ACC will make the NCAA Tournament, the matchup against UVA and the chance to return to .500 in the conference was vital for FSU.

Well, Wilson did his part in making sure that happened as his game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 three-point shooting guided the Garnet and Gold to the 76-62 victory.

"(Andrew) Wilson being as effective as he was, I thought that our players did a very good job of locating him," FSU Coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Alexander Johnson kicked it out to him, (Ralph) Mims reversed it to him, Al (Thornton) was looking for him. I thought our players made a conscience effort to get the ball to him which is something we have to continue."

Combined with Wilson's sweet touch from outside and his teammates' knack for getting him open looks combated the loss of starting guard Isaiah Swann who got into early foul trouble.

It also kept Virginia off balance, who, after allowing FSU to jump out to a 6-2 lead early in the game, never could make a significant run.

"He (Wilson) is the end result of their ball movement," Virginia head coach Dave Leitao said. "You leave a shooter open on the perimeter against a 2-3 zone and he was the beneficiary of very good ball movement, passes, and anytime you leave a shooter, a one-dimensional player, that has an excellent one dimension and he was left open a number of times."

Following his squad's one-point victory over Georgia Tech earlier this month in which Wilson hit a key triple in the game's waning minutes, Hamilton let it be known that his staff would do everything in its collective power to get the 6-foot-6 wing player more touches.

In the 22-point blowout loss to N.C. State this past week, Wilson didn't get those grabs and the Seminoles consequentially struggled.

"I think he understands that needs to be his contribution and I think our players understand we need to locate him," Hamilton then said.

In six seasons with FSU, Wilson has seen it all and been through even more. Plagued by injuries throughout his career, if the correlation between his touches and FSU victories does in fact happen to be true, perhaps his final games donning the Garnet and Gold will prove to be his most special.

"Andrew probably has been through as much adversity as any youngster I have known during my coaching career just having the number of injuries he has had to endure," Hamilton said. "He has always maintained a positive attitude. He has earned the respect of his teammates and they are extremely happy for him."


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