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November 11, 2008

Basketball wins exhibition season finale

FSU exhibition game photos

The Florida State men's basketball team wrapped up its exhibition season with an easy 96-54 victory over Florida Tech on Tuesday evening. While the Panthers failed to present much of a challenge, Leonard Hamilton was interested how his club would play as a team in their last tune-up before the regular season starts.

"Well the thing is, you are playing against yourself," Hamilton said. "You need to have someone to play to see if you can play consistently and stay focused and executing. The thing is having your game plan, and that's what these guys are for. They were out-manned, but it's a chore. With these young kids, it's trying to be all on the same page, making sure we are executing all the little things that we have in our system."

Junior power forward Ryan Reid led all scorers with 23 points while also hauling down 13 rebounds.

"It means a lot," Reid said of his performance. "Right now I am just trying to go hard and get used to game-type situations. I am just trying to get into game-shape as compared to what you can do in practice. Right now I am just trying to go hard consistently so when big games roll around I am ready to always go hard and step up that much more."

Reid was joined in double digits by freshman forward Xavier Gibson with 18 points, freshman guard Deividas Dulkys with 15 points, and freshman center Solomon Alabi with 12 points.

Senior guard Toney Douglas only had eight points in the game while playing sparingly in the second half.

"I feel like everyone played a role," Douglas said. "We hustled and played to each other. We were having fun out there."

Luke Loucks once again showed a knack for distributing the ball, racking up 10 assists. That gives the freshman point guard 19 assists in two exhibition games. As a team, the Seminoles had 23 assists, a statistic that pleased Hamilton.

"They are doing a very good job of that," Hamilton said of the assists. "The ball just moves, and the young guys are just looking for each other. That means we are going to get a higher percentage shot when a guy is consistent with the easy play."

Florida State struggled in the first half from the field in the first half but shot nearly 60 percent in the second half to finish the game just over 50 percent. The Seminoles struggled taking care of the ball, turning it over 16 times. The good news for FSU was that the Panthers did not present much of a challenge. Florida Tech shot 27 percent for the game and only 12 percent in the first half. The Panthers also turned it over 25 times on the evening.

The Seminoles played the game without senior forward Uche Echefu, freshman forward Chris Singleton, and sophomore guard Derwin Kitchen due to injury. Hamilton commented following the game that he is optimistic that Echefu and Singleton will be available in the regular season opener on Saturday but he didn't expect to have his junior college transfer guard against the Dolphins.

Florida State opens its season at Jacksonville on Saturday night at 7 p.m.


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