#80 Florida State Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Florida State Seminoles

2017-2018 Overall Rank: #80
Conference Rank: #12 ACC
Florida State Logo

The Florida State Seminoles made the NCAA Tournament as a 3-seed last year, but the season ended in disappointment with a blowout loss to Xavier in the second round. Now the Seminoles will attempt to get back to the NCAA Tournament without their top three players from last year’s roster. Coach Leonard Hamilton did go get some impressive freshmen, and the Seminoles will have many contributors return from last season’s deep roster, which should help them stay competitive in the ACC. However, Florida State will most likely take a big step back from finishing third in the conference last season, and an NCAA Tournament appearance won’t be easy to repeat.
2016-17 Record: 26-9, 12-6
2016-17 Postseason:
NCAA Tournament
Leonard Hamilton
Coach Record:
304-195 at Florida State, 504-406 overall
Who’s Out:
The Seminoles had a deep roster last season, but they will lose their top three contributors from that team. Dwayne Bacon, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jonathan Isaac all entered the NBA Draft, even though all three had eligibility remaining. Isaac became a top ten draft pick after averaging 12.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Isaac was a 6-10 forward whose defense and ability to space the floor with his shooting will be missed. Bacon was a second round pick after leading Florida State in scoring in consecutive seasons. Bacon scored 17.2 points per game as a sophomore and was named to the All-ACC Second Team. Lastly, Rathan-Mayes left school as a junior after being named to the All-ACC Defensive Team. Rathan-Mayes saw his scoring average decrease each of his three years at Florida State, but he consistently led the team in assists, including 4.8 per game as a junior. Also departed are two senior big men, Michael Ojo and Jarquez Smith. Ojo put up 4.9 points per game in his final season with the Seminoles and Smith scored 4.4 points per game as a senior.
Who’s In:
Leonard Hamilton likes utilizing his entire roster, so he went out and recruited several players to add to the Seminole’s depth this season. The prize of the group is four-star shooting guard M.J. Walker. Walker was rated as a top five shooting guard in the nation behind his 27.8 points per game as a senior in high school. Ikey Obiagu is another top recruit coming to Florida State this season. The seven-foot Obiagu is a four-star center, who should help replace Ojo and Smith down low. The Seminoles will also add three-star recruits 6-7 forward Wyatt Wilkes, 6-8 forward Raiquan Gray and 6-6 guard Anthony Polite. Though all three will likely only see limited roles in their first season in Tallahassee, they will be useful depth pieces right away. Also, 6-9 forward Mfiondu Kabengele will see playing time this year after redshirting his first season on campus.
Who to Watch:
Even though they lose their top three contributors, Florida State still returns plenty of pieces from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. The top scorer returning is junior Terance Mann, who averaged 8.4 points and grabbed 4.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season. Mann is the lone full-time starter returning and should be relied on as an experienced junior. One player who should take a big step forward this season is P.J. Savoy, who scored 5.5 points in just 8.1 minutes per game last year. Savoy should see more minutes this season as a junior, and the Seminoles hope his scoring output keeps pace. Two more role players from last year who should see more playing this season are Trent Forrest and C.J. Walker. Both players were freshmen last season and they both averaged 4.9 points per game. As sophomores, both Forrest and Walker could become starters at some point and their production should increase accordingly.
Final Projection:
The Florida State Seminoles may have a difficult time getting back to the NCAA Tournament this season. With their top three players leaving early, the Seminoles are forced to rebuild, which can really set a team back in the loaded ACC. However, if bench players from last season like P.J. Savoy, Trent Forrest and C.J. Walker all improve this season, Florida State may not experience as much of a setback as expected. Also, getting depth players like Phil Cofer, Christ Koumadje and Braian Angola-Rodas will help Coach Leonard Hamilton continue to use a deep roster. Stud freshmen M.J. Walker and Ikey Obiagu should be able to step in and play important roles this season as well. Coach Hamilton will have plenty of pieces to use, but how well those pieces mesh together will determine how well the Seminoles play this season. Getting back to the NCAA Tournament will be tough, but a postseason berth should be doable for Florida State this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
C.J. Walker, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 points per game

M.J. Walker, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Terance Mann, Junior, Guard, 8.4 points per game
Phil Cofer, Senior, Forward, 2.9 points per game
Ikey Obiagu, Freshman, Center, DNP last season
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 82.1 (18th in nation, 3rd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 72.1 (175, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.3 (18, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (61, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (235, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (189, 14)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.9 (217, 12)
Rebound Margin: 3.8 (62, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (98, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (69, 8)
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#25 M.J. Walker
#60 Ikey Obiagu
#144 RaiQuan Gray
#148 Wyatt Wilkes