Leonard's Corner

Click here to read comments from Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton and players Nate Johnson and Trevor Harvey following the Seminoles' disappointing 74-72 defeat against Maryland Wednesday night. "We've made tremendous progress since we played them the last time but we have to find a way to be successful in these games. And not be pleased that we are playing better and playing folks close," Hamilton said.

"Obviously, our kids gave a tremendous effort. I thought we protected the ball a whole lot better in the second half. We didn't have the unforced turnovers that we had in the first half and I thought that gave us a chance. Down the stretch, I believe we had a layup and wide open three we just couldn't put down and the end result was they had more guys who made plays when the plays had to be made and we came a little short. I thought a lot of guys stepped up tonight, namely Trevor (Harvey) with a double-double (19 points, 10 boards) and Nate (Johnson) stepped up in the first half (14 points) when we needed a lift.

"I think the thing I feel the team is developing is some confidence that we are capable of winning these games. Not anytime during the runs that they made did they splinter or have a discouraged attitude and that's the progress I think this team has made since the beginning of the year. We just have to guard now of not allowing ourselves to get too discouraged when we are not being as successful as we like to be. This is that period I think that all teams go through when you are developing. It tests your faith and your character, and we just have to make sure we don't allow this period to have a negative affect on us because it's hard sometimes to accept a loss when you are giving effort and you are coming close.We just have to find a way to overcome this period."

You seemed to be just one shot or one play away in the second half.

"The first thing, we just can't. ... we don't want to accept playing close as something that we accept. I thought the difference was they had a lot of different guys making plays. Guys hit some threes. Guys got some big rebounds. They had a few more playmakers than we had, and I thought that was the biggest difference in the game. We've made tremendous progress since we played them the last time but we have to find a way to be successful in these games. And not be pleased that we are playing better and playing folks close."

In the end, their seniors stepped up. How much of an edge does that provide?

"Maybe I am just not wanting to accept the fact that any of that is a factor in games. Bottom line, is they had five guys on the floor with red jerseys on. We had five guys on the floor with Florida State jerseys on. Regardless if they were seniors or freshmen or sophomores, they made the plays they had to make. If you allow the fact that people have experienced teams to be tha big of an issue, there are times when we are going to be on the short end. What we have to do is play through that. I do believe the decisions they made and the experience they gone through over the years maybe allows them to execute a little bit better down the stretch than maybe a team like ours that is still trying to develop the unity, togetherness, the team philosophy that put us in position to win. We are still in many ways still growing as a team. You have to give Maryland a lot of credit. When the game was on the line, they made plays."

Steve Blake came up big for Maryland, scoring his team's final seven points.

"That's what a basketball player is suppose to do. He's the point guard, he's been a starter there ever since his freshman (season) and you expect him to do that. He's a competitor, a very talented youngster, tremendously well coached and they are very talented. They made plays when they had the opportunity. We had great plays on the other end, we just came up a little short."

What was the difference in Trevor Harvey's play?

"Well, I think he accepted the challenge that was put forth to the entire team. We asked them to play with their heart and their soul and not take one possession off. And that's what they did. I thought he played every possession when he was on the court. Our goal was to come out with that type of spirit and allow success or failure to take care of itself. And not worry about the outcome of the game. How they could prepare themselves to play every possession and not take any off. I believe they all committed themselves to doing that and we just came up a little short."

What was the biggest difference in this game compared to the first meeting?

"We turned the ball over, I think eight times in the first half, maybe gave them, up to their place, I think 14 points. Anytime you go on the road against a high-quality team. ... they are talented enough where they are going to score a high-percentage of points themselves. We turned the ball over that game them transition baskets that we could not defend because we made careless turnovers. I thought our shot selection was not as good up there and we had a lot of long bounces and they got out in transition and made some easy baskets. Tonight, we took care of the ball a little better and executed a little better and I thought gave us a little bettter opportunity."

Nate Johnson

"It's really hard, fighting the whole game. They made their run and we stuck together. We had an opportunity to win but we fell short. We couldn't pull it out. He (Hamilton) keeps telling us to continue to stay together because we feel ourselves improving, getting better. We just have to stick together, come to practice with the same attitude we've been having these last couple of weeks, keep fighting and we eventually know we are going to get one. Things just didn't fall our way.

"Our offense flowed pretty good throughout the second half. The shots that were falling throughout the game, at the end. ... we just missed layups and easy shots. They just didn't go down for us. Shot after shot. It's the type of thing that just didn't go our way and caused us to lose the game."

Trevor Harvey

"We are starting to come together as a team and players want to share the ball a little bit more. That's a big factor in determining the outcome of the game. We came up short, but coach is telling us if we stick together eventually things are going to work out and we be getting some victories."


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