#46 Florida State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Florida State Seminoles

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #46
Conference Rank: #6 ACC

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Florida State missed out on the NCAA Tournament in 2012-2013 and their trip to the NIT was a short one. It was a rebuilding year for Coach Leonard Hamilton and that process could continue. However, the Seminoles did rely quite heavily on a handful of freshmen and those players are now relatively experienced sophomores. If a few former role players can step up and become leaders and productive stars, FSU will make it back to the NCAA Tournament. Okaro White will be one of the players ready to turn into a star. The 6-8 senior forward ranked second on the squad with 12.4 points and led the way in rebounding. White can stretch out the defense with his outside shooting ability and can play at either forward spot. That versatility is huge as Coach Hamilton can easily play big when he needs to do so.

2012-13 Record: 18-16, 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Leonard Hamilton
Coach Record: 219-143 at Florida State, 419-353 overall

Who’s Out:
Michael Snaer carried the Seminoles throughout most of the 2012-2013 campaign. It was the 6-5 guard that took all of the big shots for the team. He averaged 14.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals. Replacing Snaer will have to be a team effort. Terrance Shannon missed a big chunk of his senior season, yet he was a good frontcourt scorer off of the bench. Shooting guard Terry Whisnant, who started 19 games as a sophomore, is the only other significant departure. The sharpshooter has opted to transfer to East Carolina.

Who’s In:
Unfortunately for Florida State, the biggest news about this group of newcomers is who is not here. Xavier Rathan-Mayes was deemed not eligible to play by the NCAA and that is a big blow to the backcourt. It was Rathan-Mayes who many expected to step right in for Snaer. Jarquez Smith is going to play this year and the 6-9 forward has the talent to make a pretty big impact right away. Smith was a guard and a quality shooter before a growth spurt turned him into a forward. He still has those guard skills and is a tough, tough matchup for just about any defender. Brandon Allen, who spent three years playing baseball in the San Francisco Giants organization, will need some time to get back into the swing of things and junior college transfer Joell Hopkins is a walk-on who is only going to provide emergency depth up front.

Who to Watch:
White may be the star of the team for now, but there are five sophomores who are capable of making a huge impact this season. Devin Bookert proved to be a great outside shooter and knocked down an amazing 52.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Bookert was forced to move to the point for large stretches of last season and the hope is he can spend more time off of the ball. Montay Brandon is a 6-7 wing, but he spent a lot of time with the ball in his hands last year. He can shoot over most defenders and use his size and new found strength to finish around the basket. Aaron Thomas stepped into a starting role at the end of the year and the 6-5 wing was playing pretty good basketball. Yet, the expectations for Thomas are much, much higher. He is a superb athlete and has a ton of potential. Once he gets close to reaching that potential, Thomas will be a consistent double-digit scorer. The sophomores in the frontcourt are 7-3 Boris Bojanovsky and 7-1 Michael Ojo. It often takes time for big men to develop the strength needed to compete, especially in a tough conference like the ACC. Thus, Bojanovsky and Ojo could be much more productive with a year of experience under their belt. The signs were there as the 2012-2013 campaign progressed. Bojanovsky is already a superb shot blocker and Ojo started nine games towards the end of the season. Ojo still only averaged 5.0 minutes per contest, although he proved that he is ready for much more as long as he can stay out of foul trouble.

Final Projection:
There are a few other seniors besides White on the team and the mix of promising sophomores and experienced seniors is one reason why this team has so much potential. Ian Miller missed the beginning of last season with an injury and never got back in form. Despite the bad numbers as a sophomore, Miller is a very good shooter who can handle the ball as well. Robert Gilchrst could see his minutes decrease with the developing talent in the frontcourt and Kiel Turpin, yet another seven-footer, will likely start over Bojanovsky and Ojo at the five spot. Turpin was the most prolific shot blocker on the team and it is defensively where FSU has a lot of room to improve. Back when the Seminoles were in the upper echelon of the ACC, the defense was among the best in the nation. That was not the case last season, yet Turpin and Bojanovsky can spearhead a rejuvenated defense by protecting the lane.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Ian Miller, Senior, Guard, 5.3 points per game
Devon Bookert, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 points per game
Aaron Thomas, Sophomore, Guard, 6.0 points per game
Okaro White, Senior, Forward, 12.4 points per game
Kiel Turpin, Senior, Center, 5.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.0 (184th in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.5 (223, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.4 (111, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.7 (221, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (211, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (118, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (45, 2)
Rebound Margin: -2.6 (273, 12)
Assists Per Game: 11.3 (277, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.6 (272, 11)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#99 Ian Miller

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#35 Xavier Rathan-Mayes
#111 Jarquez Smith


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