Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU Seeks Spark after Early Misfire; with Seminoles Set to Meet Virginia Tech, Players Don't Want Repeat of Clemson Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU Seeks Spark after Early Misfire; with Seminoles Set to Meet Virginia Tech, Players Don't Want Repeat of Clemson Game

Article excerpt

Byline: BOB THOMAS

TALLAHASSEE -- Sitting through the film review of Wednesday's 61-55 loss at Clemson was a painfully familiar experience for the Florida State basketball team, especially its veteran players.

"It starts running through the back of your mind, 'Here we go again,' " sixth-year senior swingman Andrew Wilson said.

On the heels of the second-best start in school history, the Seminoles fell flat against the Tigers in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

Florida State was out-rebounded 42-28, made only 8-of-15 free throw attempts, executed its half-court offense poorly, and generally lacked the intensity that had led the team to a 9-1 start.

"Watching that film just makes everybody realize we lost a little something," Wilson said. "We've got to regain a little focus and intensity we had at the beginning of the year. It was pretty evident we didn't play with that fire."

The Seminoles won't have to wait long for the chance to regain that fire. Virginia Tech visits the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to face FSU in tonight's ACC home opener.

While it's far too early in the season to constitute a must-win game for the 'Noles, it is particularly critical for Leonard Hamilton's team, given the program's history of struggles in league play. With its sights set on its first winning record in league play since 1993, and a 1-31 ACC road record over the past four seasons, home wins are precious.

Hamilton refrained from calling it a "must-win" setting, but he was disappointed with his team's performance at Clemson, which he said lacked the focus "necessary to compete."

"If we spend a whole lot of time worrying about Clemson at this point, we won't move forward," Hamilton said.

Now the 'Noles must do that against a Virginia Tech team that has quality wins over St. John's and Stanford, and lost on a buzzer-beating half-court shot at No. 1 Duke last month.

"I think our players learned an awful lot by watching the [Clemson] film. …

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