Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
The Florida State Seminoles suffered a significant blow this off-season when prized recruit Xavier Rathan-Mayes was ruled ineligible by the NCAA. As a result, the Noles figure to be a middle of pack ACC team this season.
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
Last Season: 6th, 9-9 in ACC, 18-16 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 9th
Projected Depth Chart
C: Kiel Turpin (Sr)/Boris Bojanovsky (So)/Michael Ojo (So)
PF: Okaro White (Sr)/Robert Gilchrist (Sr)/Jarquez Smith (Fr)
SG: Aaron Thomas (So)
G: Ian Miller (Sr)/Montay Brandon (So)
PG: Devon Bookert (So)
Gone: SG-Michael Snaer, PF-Terrence Shannon (transfer-VCU), SG-Terry Whisnant (transfer-East Carolina)
Rathan-Mayes is a big-time scorer who was supposed to help replace some of the scoring load left behind by Michael Snaer. He will be able to practice with FSU this season but Leonard Hamilton will have to look elsewhere to find some offense.
The Seminoles do bring back four guards who saw quality playing time a year ago. Senior Ian Miller is the most experienced of the group but has yet to fully tap into his potential. He actually saw his playing time diminish last season due to the arrival of freshmen Devon Bookert, Aaron Thomas, and Montay Brandon.
Bookert improved as the season progressed and will resume his role as the team’s floor general. Thomas and Brandon are lengthy, athletic wings but both guys struggled shooting the rock during their freshmen campaigns. Hamilton will start three of these four guys but doesn’t have any true depth outside of the quartet so losing anyone of these guys to injury or an off-the-court issue will put Florida State in a serious bind.
Versatile combo forward Okaro White is the Noles top returning scorer and rebounder. Until one of the guards really emerges as a viable go-to scoring option, White will be the focal point of the FSU offense. (I think it is amusing that the basketball program has begun a #white4allamerican campaign by the way… not even close.) White’s ability to play either forward spot does give Hamilton the luxury of using a smaller, more athletic line-up when White plays the four or a taller, longer look since White can log minutes at the three.
The transfer of Terrence Shannon opens up minutes in the middle. Shannon was dinged up last season which opened up playing time for Kiel Turbin and Boris Bojanovsky. At 7-0 and 7-3 respectively, the duo brings a ton of size inside which has been a recent staple for the Seminoles. 7-1 Michael Ojo played sparingly a year ago but offers even more height off the Florida State bench. Robert Gilchrist and freshman Jarquez Smith will also compete for minutes in a reserve role.
With question marks on offense, the Florida State Seminoles will once again rely on their defensive effort to stay competitive on a game-by-game basis. They have plenty of size inside and length on the wings to cause problems on the defensive end. The question is whether they can score enough to surprise in the ACC.
Player to Watch: Okaro White
Can White transform from a second banana to being THE guy for the Seminoles this season? Is 16 and 8 a night a reasonable expectation for his senior season? I’m not sold as “yes” being an answer for either question but that’s what Florida State needs to be in the NCAA Tournament conversation come March.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/13 at UCF
11/21 vs. VCU (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/22 vs. Michigan/Long Beach State (Puerto Rico Tip-off)
11/24 vs. Georgetown/Northeastern/Kansas State/Charlotte (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/29 at Florida
12/3 at Minnesota (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/17 vs. Charlotte
12/21 vs. UMass
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks