Despite losing its top two scorers from a year ago, Florida State entered the 2011-12 season with plenty of hype- placing 26th in pre-season polls as the third-best team in the ACC behind some of the nation's best defense. But as it stands now, the Seminoles have been one of the larger disappointments this season with a 9-6 overall record.
At first glance, the offensive numbers are surprisingly the same as last year, if not better in all major areas, which relate to mediocre at best. Defensively, the Seminoles still dig in defensively, holding opponents to just 36.4 percent shooting from the floor and under 62 points per game total. So what gives? Why aren't the Seminoles better?
When recapping the play, Florida State lost two of its three games in the Bahamas to both Harvard and UConn- both favorites to win their conference, while a 16-point defeat to Michigan State is by a surprising margin, although expected when traveling to the Breslin Center. Even the Florida Loss can be forgiven due to the hot shooting of those Gators. But losing to Princeton (RPI 129) at home and a Clemson (RPI 169) team that struggled mightily this season.
Florida State perimeter play has been the major weakness, but could improve as now-eligible talent Ian Miller gets more games under his belt. Last season, Chris Singleton was arguably the best perimeter defender in the country, while point guard Derwin Kitchen was no slouch himself. Offensively, Michael Snaer was expected to step-up, but he is the high-man shooting under 35 percent from 3; the team as a whole ranked 271st in the nation at a 23.2 percent accuracy mark. Defensively, they allow opponents to hit 30.1 percent of their attempts from deep, ranking 240th in the country.
While the offensive numbers appear to be the same as last season, Florida State is much-less effective without Kitchen and Singleton in the lineup; they are averaging 0.66 assists for every turnover, the worst mark in the country, clearly evidenced by the Seminoles lack of talent at the point guard position thus far. Each individual player, whether a guard or one of the plethora of bigs, is being asked to create for himself despite the lack of efficiency overall. Even as the addition of Ian Miller, a talented offensive-minded guard, would appear to help, FSU is just 1-3 with him in the lineup.