Florida State Seminoles
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #88
Conference Rank: #9 ACC
Florida State Team Page
Florida State had a banner season in 2011-2012, finishing with a 25-10 overall record and a very impressive 12-4 mark in ACC play. But the team that defense built lost four starters. The lone returning starter is shooting guard Michael Snaer. The senior led the Seminoles with 14.0 points per game and knocked down 40.4 percent of his attempts from long range. While Snaer will need to keep scoring, the Seminoles will look to build around him with a couple more scorers and, more importantly, some more quality defenders.
2011-12 Record: 25-10, 12-4
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Leonard Hamilton
Coach Record: 179-127 at Florida State, 379-337 overall
The fact that Florida State lost four starters is slightly misleading. They do return three of their top four scorers. But scorers do not necessarily start for Coach Leonard Hamilton and the group that departs brought a lot more to the table than just scoring. Bernard James was a scorer, but he was also easily the best rebounder on the team and a darn good shot blocker as well. It will not be easy for anybody to replace his leadership, let alone his 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Xavier Gibson was one of those players who earned starts because of his defense. In this case, his 6-11, 248 pound frame helped too. Gibson was a good shot blocker and very tough to deal with in the paint. He would do the dirty work that freed up James to score. A couple big guards are gone too in Luke Loucks and Deividas Dulkys. Loucks was a capable scorer, but he was also the point guard and did a fine job keeping the tempo at Coach Hamilton’s liking and working the ball through the post. Like Loucks, Dulkys could use his 6-5 frame to play solid defense. Dulkys did most of his scoring from beyond the arc and having another shooter on the wing is never a bad thing.
Coach Hamilton keeps bringing in talented big men and athletic wings. Both will need to make an impact right away. The big men consist of Boris Bojanovsky, Michael Ojo, Robert Gilchrist and Kiel Turpin. At 7-3 and 240 pounds, Bojanovsky is truly a big man. He will need some time to gain strength and get used to the physicality of the ACC, but he has a ton of potential. Ojo is 7-1 and another incoming freshman who will likely need some time to adjust. But Ojo is physically ready to play in the ACC, he just has not played much basketball yet and will have to spend some time just learning the game. Gilchrist will be the new athletic big man who can get up and block shots and grab rebounds. He is an active player who makes things happen and his two years at Polk State College has prepared him for immediate playing time. Turpin was a late bloomer and he hit the junior college route to work into his 7-0 frame. He even redshirted last season and added about 25 pounds. Having James and Gibson to practice with helped his development and Turpin is another player who should be ready for minutes in 2012-2013. The two most talented incoming freshmen are on the wings, small forward Montay Branndon and shooting guard Aaron Thomas. Branndon is an athletic 6-7 wing who can pretty much do everything. He can shoot over small defenders or use his strength to finish above the rim. He is even a good passer who can get up and down the floor. Thomas is more of a pure scorer. On Florida State a 6-5 guard seems small, but he can play either wing spot and score in bunches. Devon Bookert, a 6-3 point guard, will also join the Seminoles this year and could end up playing as the backup point guard.
Who to Watch:
The starting point guard spot will go to Ian Miller. Miller has proven to be a great scorer off of the bench during his two years at FSU, but now he has to take on the extra responsibility of running the show. Miller is a decent outside shooter and a fine defender, but the bigger issue will be how he develops into a leader who must get a lot of new faces involved in the offense. Terry Whisnant could develop into one of those scorers this year. As a freshman the sharpshooter struggled with his shot and rarely got the opportunity to show his stuff. That may change this year, but if he keeps shooting 27.5 percent from long range, Whisnant will be passed over by the newcomers in a hurry.
While the frontcourt will be vastly less experienced than that of last season, Florida State does return Okaro White and Terrance Shannon. White started a dozen games last year and is a versatile forward who can stretch out the defense with his mid-range jumper. He is not the strongest rebounder around, but he will have more opportunities in that department now that James and Gibson are out of the picture. Shannon started five games back in 2010-2011 and was a key piece off of the bench, averaging 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds. He only played in seven games last year before an injury ended his season. However, he was showing plenty of signs of improvement. On a team that is used to tough frontcourt players, Shannon will have to fill that role. He is a big bodied, 6-8 forward who can do the dirty work in the paint and could develop into a decent scorer as well. But Shannon’s toughness may not be enough. Florida State is full of talent, but the lack of experience will be an issue. If all goes well, this is an NCAA Tournament team, but they will need to come together quickly to reach that goal since this group will not do nearly as well through the gauntlet that is the ACC as the 2011-2012 Florida State squad did.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Ian Miller, Junior, Guard, 10.3 points per game
Michael Snaer, Senior, Guard, 14.0 points per game
Aaron Thomas, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Okaro White, Junior, Forward, 7.7 points per game
Terrance Shannon, Junior, Forward, 8.3 points per game
Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#23 Ian Miller
#76 Michael Snaer
Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#58 Montay Brandon
#119 Aaron Thomas