Florida State Seminoles
Atlantic Coast Conference
Last NCAA Appearance: 1998, Second Round loss to Valparaiso
Coach: Leonard Hamilton (3-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)
Why They Can Surprise:
Florida State is not a great offensive team and it has taken a superb effort on the defensive end to win as many games as they have. It all starts under the basket with Solomon Alabi and Chris Singleton. Both are superb shot blockers and it is nearly impossible for the opposition to get an easy bucket when those two are on the floor. Alabi, a 7-1 freshman, is the traditional big man. He has already developed into a decent scoring threat, but he makes his biggest impact on the other side of the floor. Singleton, also a freshman, is a superb athlete who will use his athleticism to block shots and get to the basket.
Uche Echefu will likely start up front next to Alabi, while Singleton mans the small forward spot. Echefu is not a bad defender, but most of the shot blocking will be done by Alabi and Singleton. Instead, Echefu is a versatile scorer who will use his outside shooting ability to stretch the opposing defense. Ryan Reid and Jordan DeMercy both have plenty of starting experience and add a lot of quality depth to the Florida State frontcourt.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The Seminoles were hoping that guards Derwin Kitchen or Luke Loucks could handle the point guard duties so super scorer Toney Douglas could move off the ball. However, turnovers have been a huge problem and it really has not worked out that way. Loucks has the best assist-to-turnover ratio of the bunch, but Kitchen is a better scorer. All of them will have the ball in their hands at some point and the important thing is to keep the turnovers down. Otherwise it will be a short postseason for the Seminoles.
Who To Watch
And FSU still hopes that Kitchen and Loucks can handle the point because they really need Douglas to concentrate on scoring. He is the only player on the team who averages more than nine points per game. Douglas is not only the team’s best scorer with 20.3 points per game, but he also leads the team in assists and steals and has tallied 4.2 rebounds per contest. It is imperative that Douglas scores, but he cannot do it all by himself. Douglas scored 32 points in a loss to North Carolina and 30 points in a loss at Miami, so while it is nice when puts up 30 or more points, this is a team that needs to play as a team and not always completely depend on Douglas.
Derwin Kitchen, Sophomore, Guard
Toney Douglas, Senior, Guard
Chris Singleton, Freshman, Forward
Uche Echefu, Senior, Forward
Solomon Alabi, Freshman, Center
Jordan DeMercy, Sophomore, Forward
Deividas Dulkys, Freshman, Guard
Luke Loucks, Freshman, Guard
Ryan Reid, Junior, Forward
+ Following final Bracket announcement, more team info will be added, including final RPI, final team statistical rankings, Joel's prediction, and more!