Look out for Chris Singleton. No, not the late ’90s/early ’00s Chicago White Sox position player turned ESPN analyst, but one of the best defenders in college basketball.
The Seminoles specialize in defense, leading the nation in points against average and they have their main weapon back in Chris Singleton. The 6-9 forward is the ACC’s Defensive Player of the year, and a likely NBA Draft pick. Singleton had 5 points in 16 minutes in FSU’s 57-50 opening round win over Texas A&M. It was his first action in more than a month.
By Paul M. Banks
“It was huge. You can see it in the team’s energy last night. When he checked in — I’m not sure if everyone else knew, but I wasn’t quite sure if he was going to play or not,” junior FSU forward Bernard James said.
“When he checked in, I got a really big surge of energy, just kind of got my second wind. I think the rest of the team as well. Just our spirits went through the roof when he checked in.”
It was Singleton’s first action since February 12th, Singleton, a junior from Canton, Georgia can score too. Despite missing five weeks of the season, he has scored 20+ on five occasions and 15+ in ten games.
“He seems as though he feels great. So I don’t anticipate using him a lot differently than what we did yesterday. Here again, a lot depends on how he feels,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said.
“We’re kind of going on the fly a little bit. And we have in our mind what we would like to do, but the game is probably going to dictate how we utilize him.”
Singleton makes a great professional prospect (provided he can show that he’s 100% healthy) because he’s effective on both ends of the floor. In the ‘Noles win at UNC-Greensboro he became the first player in ACC history to record a triple double of steals, rebounds and points.
“What was interesting was how he ball screened and flipped for jump shots yesterday. I think we have to be aware of that. But he is a force defensively. He loves to rebound the basketball,” Notre Dame Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey said of Singleton.
“I guess I’m more aware that their leader is back. I thought he was a lift to them talking in huddles and having him on the court. So they’re better. They’re really good with him. ”
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