Florida State Men's Basketball 2012 NCAA Capsule

Florida State Seminoles
Atlantic Coast Conference (24-9, 12-4)

There has always been one thing that Florida State teams do well under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. Well, allow me a clarification. There has always ONLY been one thing Seminoles teams do well under Hamilton and that is play defense. The thing is, in the currently depressed state of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball, doing one thing well is good enough to finish near the top. With so many institutions in a current (or consistent) state of flux, Florida State has been able to rise to that second tier these past few seasons. Although it has been no secret recipe for NCAA Tournament success, it has at least gotten them there.

Big Wins: 1/14 North Carolina (90-57), 1/21 at Duke (76-73), 2/4 Virginia (58-55)
Bad Losses: 11/25 vs Harvard (41-46), 12/30 Princeton (73-75), 1/7 at Clemson (59-79)
Coach: Leonard Hamilton (9 seasons at Florida State)

Why They Can Surprise:
Powerhouse offensive teams are often celebrated. Saying they are overvalued is perhaps a bit too strong. They can easily be overrated though. On the flip side, shutdown defensive teams are usually underrated. Teams scoring around 70 or fewer points per game are never fun to watch, thus never fun to talk about. Florida State is one of the very best defensive teams in the country and has been for a few years now. Being able to get stops, grab rebounds and do the little things is nothing to underrate come tournament time. Upsets are generally caused by the underdog outworking the favorite, getting to loose balls and not allowing second chance opportunities. Although Florida State will not be an underdog in their first tourney game, advancing any further will guarantee the Seminoles become one. A senior-laden group, led by big men Bernard James and Xavier Gibson, they will be primed for the upset when the time comes.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Of course, defense can only take a team so far. It is a fantastic building block and a great foundation for any team. However, at some point, you have to score more points than your opponent. Florida State shoots okay from the floor as a team but never shares the ball. Rarely does a possession commence with crisp passing to an open man for an easy bucket. At the end of games, Hamilton’s team relies upon the scoring prowess of junior guard Michael Snaer. But Snaer is just an average shooter at best and although he shoots very well from the free throw line, he does not buoy that advantage with many trips. Also, being a team’s leader who turns the ball over more frequently than he dishes out an assist is problematic and, unfortunately, contagious. While the Seminoles could surprise people late in March with their shutdown defense, they could also easily fall in the first round to a team they are better than simply by not putting the ball in the hoop often enough.

Probable Starters:
Michael Snaer, Junior, Guard, 14.4 ppg, 2.0 apg
Deividas Dulkys, Senior, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 1.3 apg
Luke Loucks, Senior, Guard, 6.7 ppg, 4.3 apg
Bernard James, Senior, Forward, 10.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.3 bpg
Xavier Gibson, Senior, Center, 7.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jon Kreft, Senior, Center, 2.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Ian Miller, Sophomore, Guard, 11.0 ppg, 1.1 apg
Jeff Peterson, Senior, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 1.8 apg
Okaro White, Sophomore, Forward, 7.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.7 (125th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.1 (57, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (91, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.9 (6, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (180, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (167, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.6 (149, 6)
Rebound Margin: 4.2 (52, 3)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (253, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.6 (331, 12)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Florida State    2011    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Texas A&M
Florida State    2011    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Notre Dame
Florida State    2011    NCAA        Regional Semifinal loss to VCU
Florida State    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Gonzaga
Florida State    2009    NCAA        Round of 64 loss to Wisconsin
Florida State    2008    NIT           First Round loss to Akron
Florida State    2007    NIT           Quarterfinal loss to Mississippi State
Florida State    2007    NIT           First Round win over Toledo
Florida State    2007    NIT           Second Round win over Michigan

*all team stats through 3/4

See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules