Players and coaches love routine. Prepare, practice, play games.
This season has been the opposite. Practice, play, pause. And in Florida State’s situation, two breaks that have halted games for roughly two weeks each time.
The Seminoles returned to practice on Wednesday, getting three days of practice in ahead of Saturday’s home game with Wake Forest (noon on Regional Sports Networks, full listings here). FSU was on quite the roll, despite a road loss to Georgia Tech, with a 5-1 mark in January before the latest break.
“You become consistent through repetition,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “And confidence comes from everybody doing the same thing and executing. And we’re not there. So I’m concerned that are we going to lose a little bit of rhythm. I don’t know. We’ll find out Saturday as we play against another team.”
Hamilton said he is anxious to see how the Seminoles (10-3, 6-2 ACC) will look when they play the Demon Deacons. He mentioned conditioning and players being out of sync. Those were also questions coming off the first break in mid-January, which the Seminoles answered with emphatic and decisive wins in their first games back.
Now the Seminoles ramp up for what will be the first of three straight home games, including a quick turnaround for a showdown with Virginia on Monday night. In a normal season, Hamilton feels his team “should be hitting on all cylinders” by mid-February. This of course if far from a normal season.
“I’m anxious to get back on the court,” Hamilton said. “Let’s see, can we recapture our momentum? That’s the only thing that kind of hurts you, when you have these pauses, because you can’t get in that rhythm and the confidence that comes with a little success, the mental and emotional feeling that you get. We needed to play games after losing at Georgia Tech.”
Wake Forest received a boost with the return of guard Ian DuBose, a grad student who scored 17 points, pulled down five rebounds and had three assists in his first game back.
“He did exactly what we have been missing, which is gapping the defense, driving it to the basket, making plays and making plays for others,” first-year Wake coach Steve Forbes said. “He really helped out a lot.”
The Deacons (6-8, 3-8) have struggled to start the season but should be improved with DuBose’s return.
Hamilton and Forbes
Hamilton said he has known Forbes for years through coaching circles. Forbes also coached at Northwest Florida State, a junior college in the Florida panhandle, a decade ago.
“He has the ability to relate to his players, get them to play at a high level of intensity. And his team has played very, very hard. He’s very good recruiter.”
We sat down for a fun conversation with the Green Vipers: Justin Lindner, Harrison Prieto, Will Miles and Travis Light. Listen here, on the Apple podcast app, your favorite podcast app or tell your Alexa to “play the Osceola podcast.”