Things began for Florida State just as they ended in Brooklyn. The offense was in rhythm and before any of the 6,685 in attendance could look up at the scoreboard, the Seminoles were ahead 16-3.
From there, the results were mixed.
Florida State (4-1) held the lead throughout Wednesday's game with North Florida, finally staving off a late upset bid to win 75-67. Though his veterans held firm in the second half to close the game out, head coach Leonard Hamilton voiced concerns about going to the bench for too many minutes at this point in the season.
"I thought we started the game off very efficiently, moving the ball and I think we were up 16-3," Hamilton said. "What I learned from this team tonight is that I'm not real sure, unlike in the past, that we're going to be able to sub as liberally as we have in the past with an inexperienced team.
"It seems as though we're not maintaining the same flow, the same rhythm offensively or defensively like we have in the past, and understandably so."
For what uneven play the young Seminoles contributed to the game, the experienced players hit big shots in the second half when North Florida kept the deficit in the single digits. Senior Michael Snaer led Florida State with 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half, while forwards Okaro White and Terrance Shannon scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.
"We're still young, we're still growing," Shannon said. "I think we'll be fine. Like I said at the beginning of the season, we're going to have growing pains. I think we have to take a better approach for the next game to prevent another sloppy game like we had tonight. But overall, it's something to build upon."
Florida State's offense finished the game shooting a healthy 45.5-percent from the field, and the Seminoles did hit 23-of-28 free throws (82.1-percent). However the confidence, ball movement and rhythm that was pervasive in last weekend's Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament was not there. The Seminoles finished the game with eight total assists compared to 17 turnovers, and only hit two of 10 attempted three pointers.
Snaer said it's encouraging that Florida State could score 75 points with an underwhelming offensive performance, nothing that past teams were "down there scoring in the 50's" when not sharp. But Snaer also echoed his coach's concerns about taking a better approach on both sides of the court.
"We've got to make sure that when we come off from the tip, that no matter who we're playing or who it is, that we keep executing and doing our same things no matter what they're doing," Snaer said.
Ian Miller sits with bone bruise in foot
Junior guard Ian Miller sat out of Wednesday's game and was sporting a boot on his right leg. The Seminole Sports Information Department confirmed in the second half that Miller had a bone bruise on his right foot and was expected to play in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge next Tuesday against Minnesota.
After the game, coach Hamilton said Miller came to the team doctors complaining of discomfort in his foot on Tuesday, prompting the medical staff to take a precautionary MRI as well as X-Rays.
"We're going to proceed with caution," Hamilton said. "We're going to limit what he does in practice, try to keep him in as much condition as we can doing other things."
As for the statement that Miller is expected to play in the Seminoles' next game, Hamilton stopped short of saying that was definitely the case.
"I mean he could have played tonight if we had to have him and I'm sure he could play in our next game," he said. "But we're going to try to monitor it and see how it goes and we'll make some decisions later on in the week as to whether or not we'll use him."