The Sports Bank’s 99 team college basketball preview in 99 days breaks down the 72 power conference teams and top 27 mid-majors and will lead you right into the opening tip of the season which is now just a couple weeks away. Florida State Seminoles come in at #32. Click here if you missed teams #33-#99.
By: David Kay
Florida State Seminoles (T-3rd, 10-6 in ACC, 25-10 overall)
Projected Depth Chart
C: Jon Kreft (Jr)/Bernard James (Jr)
PF: Xavier Gibson (Jr)/Okaro White (Fr)/Terrence Shannon (So)
SF: Chris Singleton (Jr)
G: Michael Snaer (So)/Deivadis Dulkys (Jr)/Ian Miller (Fr)
PG: Derwin Kitchen (Sr)/Luke Loucks (Jr)/Pierre Jordan (So)
Gone: C-Solomon Alabi, PF-Ryan Reid, SF-Jordan DeMercy (transfer-Georgia State)
Behind shot blocking big man Solomon Alabi and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Chris Singleton, the Seminoles hung their hat on their defense. They led the nation in field goal percentage defense while only allowing about 60 points per game. That style of play will once again be implored for Leonard Hamilton’s team but they should also have more firepower on the offensive end as well.
The 6-9 Singleton leads a big frontcourt that must replace Alabi and Ryan Reid who were both selected in the second round of the NBA Draft. 7-0 JUCO transfer Jon Kreft could step in for Alabi right away while back-up Xavier Gibson is being considered the x-factor for this Florida State team.
At 6-11, Gibson is loaded with all the tools to be an impact big man. He is athletic, a talented shot blocker, and can also shoot the rock from the outside. If he can seize his opportunity, FSU will be as good as advertised and Gibson becomes a true NBA prospect. JUCO transfer Bernard James, freshman Okaro White, and Terrence Shannon provide the depth inside.
It will be interesting to see which route Hamilton takes this season with the starting five… Going big by playing Singleton at the three or putting a three guard line-up on the floor with Singleton starting at the four.
The backcourt is deep and talented to enough to put three players in the starting line-up. Derwin Kitchen should be joined by Michael Snaer and/or Deivadis Dulkys depending on which look the Seminoles start. Snaer is a talented all-around scorer while Dulkys is FSU’s top three point shooter. Luke Loucks will once again play a significant role off the bench while people are excited about Ian Miller’s potential as well.
Florida State will once again have the size and defensive attitude to be near the top of the ACC standings. If they can find the consistent scoring from Singleton, Gibson, and whoever steps up in the backcourt, they could push Virginia Tech and North Carolina to see who finishes behind Duke in the conference.
Player to Watch: Bernard James, F/C
Here is an interesting story. James joins FSU after transferring from Tallahassee Community College. That is not the interesting part. What is intriguing about James is that he will turn 26 years old in February.
He enlisted in the Air Force at the age of 17 and served a six-year term having spent time deployed in the Middle East. James was cut from his high school basketball team and did not begin playing organized ball until he joined the Armed Forces. He brings a physicality down low that should fit in perfectly for the Seminoles.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/28 vs. Florida
11/30 vs. Ohio State (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
12/22 vs. Hawaii (Diamond Head Classic)
12/23 vs. Butler/Utah (Diamond Head Classic)
12/25 vs. Baylor/San Diego/Mississippi State/Washington State (Diamond Head Classic)
1/3 at Auburn
Other 99 in 99’s:
#37 Murray State
#39 Notre Dame
#40 Mississippi State
#41 Utah State
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#51 New Mexico
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#71 Weber State
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma State
#82 South Carolina
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#89 Boston College
#93 Oregon State
#97. Iowa State