No. 17 Florida State looks to shake off rust vs. Wake Forest
Florida State returns from its second coronavirus pause of the season on Saturday when it hosts Wake Forest in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
The No. 17 Seminoles (10-3, 6-2 ACC) haven't played since Jan. 30, and they look to shake off the rust against the Demon Deacons (6-8, 3-8).
Florida State responded well with five consecutive victories after its first break, a streak that ended with a 76-65 road loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 30.
That setback ended up being the team's last game before pause No. 2. Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton is hopeful his team won't be derailed by the second break of the campaign.
"Hopefully, we'll be mature enough to be able to handle it. I don't see any reason why not," Hamilton said on the ACC coaches teleconference. "We've tried to be as engaged as the rules will allow us to, communicating with our guys, going over things and evaluating all our games up to this point, looking at the pluses and minuses and things that maybe we thought we could have done better.
"I think we are doing everything we can. We're not really even worried about it; we're just moving on as status quo. We're just dealing with what we have in front of us and not really talking about how you come back, who you're playing."
Florida State is in second place in the conference race behind No. 9 Virginia (10-1 ACC) -- the Seminoles host the Cavaliers on Monday -- and Hamilton emphasized that he doesn't want his team to look at the latest interruption as an excuse if things don't go well Saturday or Monday.
"I'm not gonna get caught up in worrying about anything other than preparing for the game, staying focused, let's go take care of business," Hamilton said.
Wake Forest has won three of its past five games and notched its first road win of the season in seven attempts when it defeated Boston College 69-65 on Wednesday.
Ian DuBose returned after an 11-game absence due to unspecified medical reasons and came off the bench to record 17 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes.
"It was great to be out there, man. I've been itching to get back on the court," said DuBose, a transfer from Houston Baptist. "Wake's been doing a great job taking care of me and looking after me.
"My progress is coming back, and it felt great to be out there for sure."
Demon Deacons coach Steve Forbes was just as thrilled to have DuBose in the mix for the first time since a Nov. 27 victory over Longwood.
"Obviously, it was great to have Ian DuBose back," Forbes said. "He did exactly what we have been missing, which is gapping the defense, driving it to the basket, making plays and making plays for others. He really helped out a lot."
Ody Oguama contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds against Boston College for his first double-double of the season. He has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in three of the past five games and has season averages of 9.4 points and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds.
Daivien Williamson is averaging 12.6 points and is officially the team's leading scorer with DuBose (13.0) having played just three games.
M.J. Walker is averaging a team-leading 13.7 points for Florida State. Scottie Barnes has averages of 10.3 points and a team-best 4.2 assists while RaiQuan Gray contributes 10.2 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds.
Anthony Polite missed the final four games before the pause with a shoulder injury and could be cleared to return for Saturday's game. He averages 9.6 points and is shooting 53.3 percent (16 of 30) from 3-point range.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 11, 2021