Monday, November 15, 2010

Singleton's Big Day Helps Noles to Rout of Spartans

UNCG 73 - FSU 97

News & Record
Tallahassee Democrat
UNCG Athletics
FSU Athletics

By the time the Spartans got around to taking their first shot from the field, they had already accumulated 5 giveaways. At the under 12 minute media timeout, UNCG was shooting 3 for 12 and had 7 turnovers. But if there was any doubt about the game's outcome, FSU used a 25-5 run over an 8 minute span to put it away. Even though 3 Spartans wound up with double figures, it was the impressive stat line of 2009-2010 ACC defensive player of the year Chris Singleton that stood out. Singleton had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals. He was the first player in ACC history to record a triple-double with steals being one of the double digit categories. David Williams led UNCG with 16 points.

- Cody Henegar - I really like the determination of this guy. His very first shot attempt got really smothered and yet he continued to take the ball up with reckless abandon. As I was reminded during the game, going aggressively to the basket can only lead to 3 outcomes and 2 of them are good. 12 points and 9 rebounds are a very good stat line for a player making their collegiate home debut.
- Rebounding - UNCG only lost the overall rebounding battle to a much larger FSU team by 3, 42-39. The Spartans managed to get 20 offensive rebounds to the Seminoles 17. Through 2 games this year, the rebounding numbers have been a big positive. Especially considering that UNCG lost Ben Stywall.

- Turnovers - UNCG gave the ball away 26 times (13 1st half, 13 2nd half). What compounded the problem is that FSU turned many of those miscues into run outs and easy baskets. To compete with teams on this level, the Spartans can't afford to give away points. These mistakes directly led to the Seminoles shooting over 50% for the game.
- Shooting - I had to go and jinx the team. I went and praised the way they shot the ball at VCU on Friday and it came back to bite me. The Spartans shot just 30% in the first half and couldn't seem to throw a ball in the ocean in the first 10 minutes of the game. Now they did get it together in the second half and shoot a nice 46%, but it was way too late by then. I'm very interested to see how the team percentages look after a few more games. Hopefully this was just a case of first half nerves and not an underlying problem.

Wrap Up
Well, it was a mixed bag that makes drawing any real conclusions tough. I thought the Spartans didn't handle the press very well, didn't play particularly good defense and looked lost during half court offensive sets. I thought some of the player rotations were odd and mismatched, and I thought there were some poor shots taken.

However, I thought UNCG looked much more athletic than they have in the past. I thought they looked very good on fast break opportunities. I was impressed with some of the new guys. Aloysius Henry will be very good when he can avoid foul problems. I can see David Williams turning into a match up nightmare for SoCon coaches.

I also just walked away impressed with Florida State's ability to defend from every position on the floor. I truly believe that FSU can compete for a spot in top four of the ACC.

So, I guess it's hard to criticize UNCG for competing hard and coming up short. Let's hope they can keep taking these experiences and put them to good use when SoCon play comes around soon.

Go Spartans !!!