#33 Florida St: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #33
Conference Rank: #4 Atlantic Coast Conference
2009-10: 22-10, 10-6
2009-10 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Leonard Hamilton (153-105 at Florida State, 353-315 overall)
Florida State has had a couple great seasons, but there is a sense of discontent in the program. Following two first round exits in the NCAA Tournament, the Seminoles have higher hopes this time around. Those hopes are not unfounded as Coach Leonard Hamilton has built this program into a consistent winner, especially over the last five seasons. The NCAA Tournament run will not stop this season, but the first round losses may.
Key Losses: C Solomon Alabi, F Jordan DeMercy, F Ryan Reid
The loss of Solomon Alabi and Ryan Reid will not be felt long thanks to three frontcourt newcomers who are ready to contribute right away. Okaro White is the freshman of the bunch and he is a solid defender. Jon Kreft has waited four years to suit up for the Seminoles. After some time in jail, at junior college and a season on the sidelines in Tallahassee, the one time highly regarded recruit is finally ready to play. At 7-0 and 250 pounds, he has the size and strength to be a force on both sides of the floor. Bernard James path to FSU is more inspiring. He dominated some international military tournaments as a member of the United States Air Force and the 6-10, 240 pound junior will not back down from any challenge. Ian Miller is a superb combo guard who should be a fine backup point guard and push for some playing time on the wing as well during his freshman campaign.
The backcourt may need Miller’s depth if Derwin Kitchen, Michael Snaer and Deividas Dulkys all find their way into the starting lineup. Kitchen is the do-it-all point guard who can run the offense efficiently and hit the glass hard. Since Kitchen is such a good rebounder, Snaer and Dulkys could both start. Snaer was not the most consistent shooter last season, but he was just a freshman. By the end of the year Snaer was starting and ended up averaging 8.8 points per game…a number that should drastically increase. It was Dulkys who lost his starting job to Snaer. Dulkys is the sharp shooter on Florida State and he knocked down 2.2 three-pointers per game. With a backcourt that consists of a 6-4 point guard and two 6-5 wings, FSU would do just fine on the glass if they wanted to run a three guard offense. Luke Loucks was the primary guard to come in off of the bench last season, but the 6-5 junior will have to battle it out with Miller for minutes now.
Chris Singleton is the most known commodity in the frontcourt. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year averaged an impressive 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per contest. That is filling up the stat sheet. Singleton is a fine scorer around the basket, but the 6-9 junior spends a little too much time on the perimeter. He shot just 41.2 percent from the floor, 29.7 percent from beyond the arc and 49.6 percent from the charity stripe. Singleton cannot be entirely blamed for the team’s often horrid shooting numbers, but he certainly did not help the situation last year. Terrence Shannon could see some more playing time during his sophomore season, especially if he can get his past injuries behind him.
Who to Watch:
Just who replaces Alabi under the basket will be interesting to see. The three newcomers all have the potential to be great players right away. However, Xavier Gibson has been around for at least a little while longer and the 6-11, 240 pound junior has been productive when given the opportunity. Despite only averaging 12.8 minutes per game, Gibson tallied nearly one block per contest and added 5.5 points and 2.8 rebounds. The new guys will give him a run for his money, but the starting five spot should be Gibson’s to lose heading into the season.
Florida State wins games with their defense. That is how they can shoot so poorly and still finish third in the ACC. With Singleton and the entire backcourt returning, there is no reason to believe that the defense will suffer. As long as somebody like Snaer or Singleton start making the most of their offensive opportunities, this will be a tough team to beat.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Derwin Kitchen, Senior, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Deividas Dulkys, Junior, Guard, 8.7 ppg
Michael Snaer, Sophomore, Guard, 8.8 ppg
Chris Singleton, Sophomore, Forward, 10.2 ppg
Xavier Gibson, Junior, Center, 5.5 ppg
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