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February 18, 2013

Hoops: FSU looking to slow down potent NCSU offense

Florida State's defense hasn't lived up to its reputation this season.

On Tuesday, they'll be charged with finding a way to stop one of the league's best offenses.

"It's very unusual for you face a team that has seven potent offensive players," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said before rattling off names of N.C. State players.

"You don't have a position you can help off of," he said. "They get your attention at all of the spots and when they come off the bench there's no letup."

The Wolfpack lead the ACC in field goal percentage (.499), is second in scoring (78.4) and it has scored at least 78 points in eight of its 12 conference games to date.

N.C. State (18-7, 7-5 ACC) flaunts five players who are averaging double-digit points led by future NBA draft pick C.J. Lesile at 15.9 points per game. Hamilton also highlighted guard T.J. Warren, who is shooting a red-hot .615 from the field on 200 shot attempts this season.

Florida State, which has secured a spot among the nation's top defenses for most of the past half decade, ranks a shocking 10th in the league in field goal percentage defense, 11th in three point percentage defense and dead last in rebounding margin entering Tuesday.

Hamilton believes his group is improving, but understands the challenge that Tuesday presents.

"We are contesting shots pretty well and we're getting better," he said. "It's just that the teams you're playing in the ACC are all teams at this stage where they are executing their offense very well, they all ave systems where they understand what they're doing and they all have players that if you leave them open, they're going to make you pay. That's the nature."

History is in Florida States favor; the Seminoles have won four straight meetings in Raleigh dating back to 2009.

Freshman Aaron Thomas, who has started the past two games for FSU, said he isn't worried about the firepower N.C. State brings to the table.

"We're worried about us going in there and doing what we have to do to beat N.C. State. If we do what we have to do everything else will fall into place," Thomas said.



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