Thursday’s game was plagued with technical difficulties on and off the court.
Florida State dismantled #10 Virginia Commonwealth University Thursday night 85-67 in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. It was worse than the final score suggests.
Thursday’s game was plagued with technical difficulties on and off the court. Fans off the stormy island were frustrated by technical difficulties caused by rain that affected the television, but they were probably more frustrated by the technical difficulties VCU experienced on the court.
It felt like VCU was already in the second round taking on #14 Michigan:
- Michigan dismantled VCU 78-53 last March in the 3rd round of the NCAA Tournament
- VCU didn’t actually look like they were at the game.
Sure the Rams forced 23 turnovers, but the Seminoles abused VCU in the half court, they converted on a significant number of home run passes, and sometimes they just ran past the press. Florida State pressed VCU, a strategy that teams have successfully used in the past, and their half court offense punished the Rams. VCU finished 22-65 (33.8%) from the field and 5-22 (22.7%) from 3-point range. They were abused 44-25 on the boards.
The bottom line: VCU never found HAVOC! (in the broad sense, not the full-court pressure sense), and when the Rams don’t have HAVOC! it’s tough to even compete with teams from the ACC.
With 2:06 remaining in the first half, Rob Brandenberg drained the Rams’ first 3-pointer, and it felt like “it” (you know what I’m talking about) was about to happen. On the next possession he left his feet on defense, flipped over Ian Miller, and landed on his head. Brandenberg lay motionless on the ground for more than 30 seconds. He went to the bench but returned for the last possession of the half. A minute later, VCU went on a mini-run to cut the lead to 10-points, but Florida State stopped the momentum with an emphatic dunk to end the half. “It” was gone for the rest of the night.
The second half made the first half look enjoyable. The Rams fell behind by as many as 28 points.
- 23 is the most turnovers VCU has forced in a loss under Coach Smart. The only other time they broke 20 in a loss was the 2012 NCAA Tournament against Indiana.
- 33.8% is VCU’s worst shooting percentage since shooting 33.3% against Duke last November.
- 58% is the highest shooting percentage by an opponent since ODU beat VCU in Richmond on 3/7/2011.
- Senior Ian Miller finished with a career high 22 points. He scored two points against VCU in the 2011 Sweet 16.
- FSU entered the game ranked 335th in offensive turnover percentage.
The Rams will look to regain their swagger against Long Beach State University at 7:30PM on ESPNU. The 49ers are 0-4 against Division I teams this season with their only win coming over Hawaii Pacific, 71-59.
LBSU has struggled to do anything well, but they play some zone defense which should be a good learning opportunity for the Rams. Point guard Mike Caffey (16.3 PPG) is averaging 4.3 turnovers per game. It could be a long night for him. Forward Dan Jennings (14.5 PPG) is the 49ers other offensive threat.
Long Beach State University should be totally outmanned, and VCU should be able to get back to their winning ways.
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