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Barry Jacobs On Florida State & Turnovers

As recently noted, despite general belief in the importance of a hefty team rebounding edge, historically that has not been an important trait of Mike Krzyzewski's Duke squads. Well, here's a similarly odd statistical quirk that defies expectation: Come good times and bad, Florida State commits more turnovers than it notches assists.

Annual Difference, Assists To Turnovers At Florida State
Under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton
(2012-13 Games Through December 16, 2012)
Year Games Wins Asts-TO A:TO
2013 9 5 117-143 -2.88
2012 35 25 427-565 -3.94
2011 34 23 423-541 -3.47
2010 32 22 446-528 -2.56
2009 35 25 423-548 -3.57
2008 34 19 375-519 -4.24
2007 35 22 433-513 -2.29
2006 30 20 409-482 -2.43
2005 31* 12 394-496 -3.29
2004 33 19 493-519 -0.79
2003 29* 14 404-432 -0.97
* Losing record.

This season, in posting an early 5-4 mark FSU again has made more turnovers than it's managed assists on baskets. While that isn't a desirable trait, it probably is only a tangential factor in the team's sputtering start.

Producing more turnovers than assists is a Florida State tradition - its teams haven't enjoyed a positive ratio in that category since Pat Kennedy's last year as head coach. That was in 1997, also the final season of Dean Smith's illustrious  North Carolina coaching career and five years before Leonard Hamilton arrived in Tallahassee.

In the intervening years seven additional schools signed on with the ACC and original league members won five NCAA men's basketball titles.

Even when FSU won the 2012 ACC championship with a veteran unit and veteran guards, it committed 138 more turnovers than it registered assists, a differential of 3.9 per game. That was worst in the ACC.

Every other team in the top half of the conference last season - North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, N.C. State, Miami - had more assists than turnovers.

The compensatory categories in which the league champs paced the ACC in 2012 were on defense: suppressing opponents' field goal accuracy for a record fourth-straight time, blocking shots for the third year in a row, and getting steals.

The turnover toll didn't seem to hurt Florida State's shooting in 2012, either. Its .456 field goal percentage was not far off UNC's .459 lead, and fell only a shade behind Duke (.456397) to rank fifth-best (.456058) in the ACC.

Presumably forcing action at both ends of the court is more important in Hamilton's scheme than achieving precision in ballhandling.