2008 Florida State Seminoles Basketball Preview
For the past four seasons, the Florida State Seminoles (19-15 overall, 7-9 ACC) have been NIT participants. But this year, coach Leonard Hamilton, who’s entering his seventh season at State, has his work cut out for him, having lost three of his top scorers from 2007- 2008. Don’t expect the Seminoles to go to the NIT this season and certainly don’t look for Hamilton to stop the team’s decade-long NCAA Tournament drought.
Forward Uche Echefu (29.1 MPG, 10.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 46.0 FG%, 81.4 FT%), who is now a senior, is back as the club’s leading rebounder. A fine player, Echefu was overworked last season. Freshman center Solomon Alabi could make a difference at center. At seven-foot-one, Alabi offers good size around the basket. But before he can perform, his stress fracture must first heal. Junior forward Ryan Reid (24.1 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.6 APG, 53.1 FG%, 67.9 FT%) is a big banger. Freshman forward Chris Singleton, a McDonald’s All-American, brings scoring chops.
Guard Toney Douglas (35.4 MPG, 15.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.9 APG, 43.0 FG%, 80.9 FT%), who led the ACC in steals and was eighth in scoring, will be the anchor of the backcourt. Swingman Jordan DeMercy (9.6 MPG, 1.4 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 50.0 FG%, 20.0 FT%), a sophomore, has been a valuable defensive player. He worked on his scoring skills in the off-season, hoping to bring more to the offensive table. First-year guard Luke Loucks offers point guard instincts as a playmaker and set-up artist. Junior college transfer Derwin Kitchen, who can play either point or shooting positions, offers versatility and some savvy experience.
There are a whole lot of freshmen on board who need to become overachievers
and a bunch of returning players who must finally step up. But that
will be tough for a team dealing with the loss of so much top-tier
talent. At this level, players need time to learn and grow. For
this team to post a winning season and get to the NIT, they’ll
have to develop at light-speed.