Florida State teammates had seen Wyatt Wilkes show off his jump shot in practice for years. But he had never done it in a game until Saturday.
Wilkes scored a career-high 14 points while Trent Forrest added 13 points and five rebounds as Florida State defeated Saint Francis (Pa.) 80-65 on Saturday.
Wilkes scored just 26 points in his first two college seasons but has become a rotational player for the Seminoles (4-1) in November.
“He’s an unbelievable shooter,” guard Anthony Polite said. “Every time he shoots, everybody thinks it’s going in. It’s good to see him out there doing the same things he does in practice.”
A redshirt sophomore, Wilkes had scored just five points in four games this season before turning in an unexpected 5 of 7 performance from the floor against the Red Flash. Wilkes also knocked down 3 of 5 three-pointers.
“It was a lot of fun,” Wilkes said. “But I’m more worried about the outcome of the game. … We just win by committee. And everyone is happy about that. Every single game is a chance for everybody to show what they can do.”
FSU has done just that through five games, with four players leading the team in scoring. The Seminoles had five players score eight or more points, shot 28 of 60 (46.7%) from the floor and led by double figures most of the day.
Myles Thompson scored a career-high 23 points, knocking down 9 of 12 shots for Saint Francis (2-4). Thompson came into the game averaging 8 points.
Besides Thompson, though, the other Red Flash players shot just 11 of 42 (26.1 percent) from the floor. They lived and died by the 3-pointer, making 9 of 22 (40.9 percent). Saint Francis finished 20 of 54 (47 percent) from the floor.
Anthony Polite had eight points, seven rebounds and five steals for Florida State, which outrebounded Saint Francis 38-27.
Forrest was 7 of 7 at the free-throw line as the Seminoles continued to impress by going 15 of 17 (88.2 percent) at the charity stripe. Florida State came into the game as the only ACC team shooting better than 75 percent from the free-throw line.
Freshman center Balsa Koprivica has had back-to-back double-digit scoring games, finishing with 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting vs. the Red Flash.
Tuck Talking points
The Seminoles cruised to a win even with a pair of starters, M.J. Walker and RaiQuan Gray, out due to injury. Hamilton reiterated that neither injury is serious and thinks that Walker and Gray will return to the court soon.
Florida State contested 3-pointers well at times and tightened down in the second half as Saint Francis was just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes.
Florida State won its 35th straight non-conference home game, a streak that dates nearly five years. The Seminoles’ last non-conference loss in Tallahassee came against UCF on Dec. 6, 2014. Including ACC and non-conference games, Florida State has won 52 of its last 55 home games.
The Seminoles play host to Chicago State on Monday.