2008 NIT Capsule: Florida State
Atlantic Coast Conference (19-14, 7-9)
Big Wins: 2/6 at Miami (62-55), 2/19 Clemson (64-55), 3/8 Miami (75-72)
Bad Losses: 11/17 vs Cleveland State (66-69), 12/22 at Providence (95-101), 2/14 Wake Forest (70-78)
Coach: Leonard Hamilton
Toney Douglas, Junior, Guard, 15.6 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.7 spg
Ralph Mims, Senior, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Jason Rich, Senior, Guard, 14.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Ryan Reid, Sophomore, Forward, 5.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Uche Echefu, Sophomore, Forward, 9.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg
Julian Vaughn, Freshman, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Matt Zitani, Senior, Forward, 1.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Jordan Demercy, Freshman, Forward, 1.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
If Florida State can stay close, they can win a game at the end because of their superb free-throw shooting. As a team the Seminoles shoot 77.5 percent from the line. Only four teams in the nation can say they have a better number than that. The guards do their part in the free-throw shooting, but Florida State will depend on the guards to do much more than just score at the free-throw line.
Toney Douglas leads the way with 15.6 points per game. He is a decent outside shooter and will hit about two three-pointers per contest, but the point guard does a lot of scoring around the basket and that is where he is most effective. Jason Rich is an all-around talent. He averages 14.7 points per game, but he does so much more. Rich is a solid defender and rebounder and will help the team even when his shots are not falling. The final piece of the backcourt trio is Ralph Mims. The versatile 6-3 senior can fill in at any position on the perimeter.
Why They Can Disappoint:
And FSU needed Mims to fill in when Isaiah Swann went down with an injury late in the year. The Seminoles would have been in trouble without an experienced and versatile player like Mims available. Yet, Florida State will still have problems without Swann and his three-point shooting ability. Nobody can replace that and Coach Leonard Hamilton is left with just six players who average over ten minutes per game. Douglas was already playing about 35 minutes per game and he will probably not get a chance to rest until FSU loses a game. Swann also had the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team and this is a group that does not dish out a lot of assists and turns the ball over way too much.
Who To Watch
The frontcourt might not do as much scoring as the guards, but Uche Echefu is not too shabby at putting up some points. The 6-9 sophomore is not a true post scorer, but his ability to step outside and hit the mid-range jumper helps stretch out the defense. With Echefu’s 7.2 rebounds per game, he is extremely valuable to Florida State. Ryan Reid does not put up the numbers that Echefu does, but he will do the dirty work around the basket. The Seminoles depth is very inexperienced, but at least they have a few relatively big bodies that can come in off the bench.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.5 (104th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.7 (165, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.2 (159, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.2 (143, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (146, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.0 (171, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.5 (5, 1)
Rebound Margin: 0.0 (180, 9)
Assists Per Game: 11.0 (302, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.0 (213, 7)
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