After three games in six days, getting almost a full week off might be exactly what the No. 11 Florida State Seminoles needed.
They could heal up, rest, recharge and hopefully regain the shooting form that has all but disappeared since ACC play began.
They take on Boston College at noon on Sunday in a pivotal early-conference road game.
“You have to just try to get the guys to take one game at a time,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Because this league is very unforgiving. Boston College played three of their first four games on the road. That’s challenging in anybody’s book. That’s hard to go to Louisville, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. That’s hard for anybody.
“That’s part of it, you just have to go through it, and take it one game at a time, one day at a time, and hopefully the quality of our depth will help us get through it.”
Boston College is currently 9-7 overall and 0-4 in ACC play.
But, again, nothing can be taken for granted in this conference. The Eagles have the second leading scorer in the league in Ky Bowman, who is currently averaging 19.9 points per game, and other than a home loss to Virginia they have been in every ACC game they’ve played in so far.
Florida State (13-4, 1-3), meanwhile, is coming off a loss at Pitt in which it hit just 2 of 22 from 3-point range, including missing 18 in a row at one point.
Through four ACC games in 2019 the Seminoles are just 22 of 96 from beyond the arc – that’s a touch less than 23 percent.
The best shooting performance they’ve had so far in ACC play was an 8-of-25 effort against Duke. The other three games have been dreadful, culminating in the loss at Pitt on Monday night.
“Our guys are still going to take the same shots,” said junior guard Trent Forrest, who had 19 points against the Panthers. “It was just one of those nights when the ball didn’t want to go in for us. We’ve just got to keep shooting. Honestly, that’s all you can really do. And just live with the results.
“That’s what our coaches preach to us all the time, take the open looks and we’ll live with the results.”
Forrest is one of the Seminoles who should be helped by the five days off. He’s been battling turf toe for almost all of January and isn’t close to 100 percent. Fellow starter Terance Mann is battling a heal injury.
But as Hamilton likes to say, nobody is going to feel sorry for the Seminoles. Because every team this time of year has aches and pains to deal with.
“That’s part of being a college athlete,” he said. “You have to try to minimize it and hope you have enough depth to play through it and be successful.”
The Seminoles return home on Tuesday night to take on Clemson, so there won’t be much time to rest after the game against the Eagles.
And it’s a big game. Not a must-win by any means. There’s no such thing as one of those in January. But at 1-3 in the conference, and in the midst of a mini losing streak, the Seminoles need to find themselves here soon and start playing like they did earlier in the year.
They also need to figure out how to win on the road. Since the start of the 2016-2017 season, Florida State is just 4-16 in ACC games away from home.
Boston College, of course, is very beatable. But then again, if Florida State continues to struggle so mightily beyond the arc, the Seminoles have proven they’re plenty beatable as well.
“It’s just that time of year where guys are going through adjusting to this level,” Hamilton said. “And I’m sure we’ll shoot our way out of it and become a lot more consistent as we move through the rest of the season.”