Florida State used its length and athleticism to shut down No. 5 Florida on Monday night as the Seminoles picked up an 83-66 win over their in-state rival. The Seminoles dominated the offensive glass as the cold-shooting Gators couldn’t muster much of anything on the offensive end.
Here are three takeaways from an impressive road win for Florida State.
1. Terance Mann has become The Man for Florida State
Most people focused on what Florida State lost from last year’s team entering this season. Losing players like Jonathan Isaac, Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes would hurt nearly any program. Thankfully for the Seminoles, junior Terance Mann has stepped up to become a major threat for the Florida State offense.
A solid complementary scorer the past few seasons, Mann has emerged into a gifted all-around offensive player for Florida State. Mann led the Seminole offense on Monday by finishing with 25 points and eight rebounds, doing whatever he wanted getting to the rim on certain possessions. While his perimeter jumper is still very much a work-in-progress, Mann has improved considerably as a passer and his feel for when to attack on the offensive end has been a major reason why Florida State hasn’t lost a step. Entering Monday’s game, Mann was shooting 66 percent from the field and averaging 3.5 assists per game. He finishes through contact and does so many little things on both ends of the floor.
Florida State’s offense had more overall talent last season but Mann isn’t forcing looks and dominating the ball like some of the Seminoles did last season. If Mann plays like he did on Monday, Florida State can be a major threat in the ACC.
2. Florida’s offense is brutal if they aren’t making threes
Florida’s offense was dreadful on Monday. Shooting only 6-for-25 from three-point range, the Gators struggled to generate much of anything on offense since their shots weren’t falling. Entering this game, Florida was shooting 46 percent from three-point range on the season.
If Florida’s perimeter shots aren’t falling, who exactly is their go-to scorer and how are the Gators consistently getting buckets? The Gators have often turned to unique leading scorers this season but that didn’t help them at all against Florida State. Is Florida’s hot shooting at the start of the season sustainable? And if it’s not, what are they going to do on off-shooting nights?
With senior point guard Chris Chiozza (three points) unable to break down the Florida State defense, Florida’s offense looked like it has some serious issues.
3. Florida State’s 2-3 zone is very effective and Florida is bad against effective zones
Florida State’s 2-3 zone completely threw off the Florida offense on Monday as the Gators had no idea what to do once the shots weren’t falling.
The impressive thing about Florida State’s zone is how much length and athleticism they can throw at you. With 10 players averaging at least 11 minutes per game, and with a frontline that features a lot of size, Florida State’s zone has a lot of activity that causes some bad looks and turnovers. They slowly wear you down over the course of a game and it also helped them secure a ridiculous 23 offensive rebounds on the other end.
And since Florida State has so much length and athleticism with their zone, Florida looked completely lost on the offensive end since they couldn’t knock down shots. With Chiozza struggling to do much of anything, the Gators didn’t have anyone who could create their own shot and they couldn’t find anyone who was effective at working the middle of the Seminole 2-3 zone.
CBT’s Rob Dauster even suggested putting Chiozza in the middle of the FSU zone so that his passing and floater could go to work since nothing else would do the trick. Florida’s mid-range jumpers were woefully off and nobody is a good enough passer on the roster besides Chiozza to move a zone side-to-side. Obviously, Florida can expect to shoot much better on most nights from the perimeter but if they’re facing an effective zone they need to have more answers than they provided on Monday.