TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton has an interesting approach on how he uses his personnel, and it has been paying off.
Hamilton's top scorers start the game sitting next to him on the bench, but he insists they're not being substitutes.
"Our starters come in after the game starts," Hamilton said after reserves Aaron Thomas scored 19 and Ian Miller 15 in the Seminoles' 67-59 win Monday over Charleston Southern in their final nonconference game of the season. "We don't have a traditional starting five."
With Thomas and Miller leading the way, FSU's bench outscored the Charleston Southern's 42-19.
Thomas scored 14 in the second half to help the Seminoles (9-3) stay ahead of the pesky visitors, who closed to within 61-56 with 1:20 left before Boris Bojanovsky's dunk gave FSU a bit of breathing room at 63-56 with 51 seconds left.
"It gives us a better rotation when I can come with my best defender (Thomas) and my best offensive player (Miller) after the first two or three minutes," Hamilton said.
Sophomore point guard Devon Bookert aided the Seminoles with a career-high nine assists and a team-best seven rebounds.
Paul Gombwer and Arlon Harper each scored 11 to lead the Buccaneers (5-7), who took 29 of their 50 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and made 10.
"We obviously weren't going to go inside," Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh said in reference to the Seminole front line, which features three 7-footers on their roster. "Their size is astounding. I've never seen size like that on a college team. They utilize their size very well."
Charleston Southern had one offensive rebound in the first half.
"I thought our team played valiantly," Radebaugh said. "Our team played with tremendous toughness against a monster of a team."