Warchant.com – seminoles reclaim their ‘junkyard defense’ at just the right time best way to bake bacon in oven

During the FSU and michigan press conferences leading up to saturday’s elite eight showdown, reporters repeatedly asked the seminoles and wolverines about leonard hamilton’s trademark tenacious defense.

In pulling off consecutive victories against higher-seeded opponents missouri, xavier and gonzaga, the seminoles have been relentless at that end of the floor.

Missouri averaged 72.7 points per game this season but could muster just 54 against the ‘noles. Xavier scored 70 vs. FSU, but that was more than 14.4 points off its season average. And gonzaga was held to a season-low 60 after averaging 83.5. It was the zags’ lowest-scoring output of the year.

“their defense is terrific,” michigan coach john beilein said. “there’s a couple things – they prioritize it, and they have great length to do it.”

It has been several years since hamilton’s “junkyard defense” has been the focal point of the program.

In recent seasons, the seminoles have received more attention for their offensive prowess, with players like malik beasley, dwayne bacon and jonathan isaac lighting up scoreboards, and hamilton going to a more free-flowing offensive attack.Junior guard

The ‘noles have been particularly effective at limiting good looks for 3-point shooters, they’ve been extremely disruptive in passing lanes, and they also have protected the basket. Missouri, xavier and gonzaga combined to hit just 18 of 57 shots from 3-point range (31.6 percent), and they also committed 47 turnovers to go with just 26 assists.

“I think before, we were not sold out all the way to contesting shots,” freshman guard M.J. Walker said. “sometimes we were, sometimes we weren’t.”

While FSU’s defensive effort and execution hasn’t always been consistent in recent years, the seminoles say they had a moment of reckoning after their disappointing first-round loss in the ACC tournament. And if any players didn’t get the message from that defeat, hamilton hammered the point home once the NCAA tournament field was announced.

Hamilton explained that the seminoles’ high-powered offense was what got them into the “big dance.” but they would need to step up defensively to stay there.Junior guard

“we had to regroup after losing to louisville in the ACC tournament,” junior guard terance mann said. “and we’re just buying in. Definitely defending really hard.”

Judging by the way michigan played in its sweet 16 game thursday against texas A&M, this could be the seminoles’ toughest test yet. The wolverines (31-7) blistered the aggies from the perimeter and also carved them up with dribble-penetration.

Five different players scored in double-figures and three had at least 18 – senior guard muhammad-ali abdur-rahkman scored 24, junior forward moritz wagner had 21, and junior guard charles matthews added 18.

One of the things that makes michigan unique, hamilton said, is the number of players who can shoot from the perimeter. Nine wolverines attempted 3-pointers in the texas A&M game, and eight of them connected on at least one.

Said hamilton: “we have adjustments we’re going to have to make. The 7-footer creates a lot of problems, and they’re tremendously effective on the outside perimeter.Length athleticism when you have a 7-footer that spreads the floor, that opens up the lane and gives them the opportunity to penetrate and pitch. So, we have our hands full.”

When asked on friday about the seminoles’ defense – particularly their length and athleticism — michigan’s players said repeatedly that it was not much different from what they have faced in the big ten.

“it’s pretty tough to kind of get a feel for how we play and the length and athleticism we have,” sophomore guard trent forrest said. “I feel like we can still play even better than we have these last two games.”