After about a week of college basketball, it’s time to start panicking. You are an ACC fan and your team lost one of these first few games. In this, the cupcakiest time of the year, is often an ominous sign. So, of the teams that have already lost a game, who should be worried?
The Vaunted FSU Defense Didn’t Perform to Standards Last Week
Florida State lost to South Alabama last Friday, a shocking loss for the defending ACC Tournament champions. Should the Seminoles be worried about losing to what appears to be a middle-of-the-pack Sun Belt Team? Not really. Florida State suffered from the classic college basketball upset: the threes fell for USA while there was an extended drought for FSU. While South Alabama shot a scorching 60% from deep, the Seminoles managed only 23.8%. This performance, on both ends, feels like a fluke. In USA’s next game against the hapless William Carey Crusaders, the team made threes at a reasonable 33.3% clip, while Florida State shot 55.6% from the perimeter against Buffalo. Sometimes a team gets hot when their opponent goes cold, so outside of demonstrating that even Michael Snaer can have good days and bad days, there appears to be no fundamental problem with the Seminoles.
Miami lost to Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday, a surprising but not-so-shocking loss for a Miami team that stumbled and lost to Division II St. Leo’s in the exhibition season. Florida Gulf Coast University has a decent team and the game was the home opener for the Eagles. This was never a gimme for the Hurricanes, though it was a game that they were expected to win. Still, Miami lost handily to the Eagles and the culprit was easily located: interior scoring. Miami shot a respectable though not spectacular 30.8% from three, yet managed to shoot only 27.5% from two. This is a troubling sign, considering that Miami boasts a big and impressive frontcourt in Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson. These two working in tandem should be able to score inside with near impunity. Yet Johnson in particular struggled, shooting only 2-of-8 and tallying five turnovers. In the season opener, a home game against Stetson, Johnson went 6-of-16 from the field also, a staggeringly low total. Sure, Johnson ended up scoring a lot at the free throw line of that game, but when your center is shooting such a low percentage it is cause for concern. Perhaps things will run a little smoother when Durand Scott, the team’s senior point guard, returns to the lineup, but Johnson’s surprising inefficiency is worth keeping an eye on. Miami isn’t in trouble yet, but considering the difference that Johnson can make for this team, it’s worth watching how the big man performs going forward.
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