2009-2010 Florida State Seminoles Basketball Preview
The Seminoles of Florida (25- 10 overall, 10- 6 ACC) posted quite a season last year, making it to the NCAA Tournament after three straight trips to the NIT and totally missing the post-season in 2005. The word is that head coach Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles are not a mere flash in the pan. The team’s fourth-place finish last season was no fluke.
For the Seminoles last season’s success was predicated on a tough as nails defense that allowed just 64.9 PPG, ranking them first in the ACC. The team’s 68.3 PPG earned them a 12th place ranking amongst all conference clubs in that area. Perhaps the best number as far as this team is concerned is the number seven; the Noles welcome back seven of nine of their top performers from last season. That’s a huge boost.
Seven-foot-one center Solomon Alabi (8.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.3 APG), now a sophomore, is the key to the frontcourt. Last year be blocked 73 shots. He possesses a fine shot, good mental toughness and basketball smarts. Sophomore forward Chris Singleton (8.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.1 APG) showed excellent chops on the perimeter in 2008- 2009 and has worked to be a better ball handler. In his rookie season, he stole the ball 54 times and notched 47 blocks. Sophomore forward/center Xavier Gibson (2.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.1 APG) can be a major athletic presence. He rounds out the frontcourt. This is a formidable sophomore trio that will be joined by freshman forward Terrance Shannon. Shannon brings yet another big body to the forefront.
How much will the backcourt miss guard Toney Douglas and his 21.5 PPG? The answer is perhaps not as much as one might think. Junior Derwin Kitchen (7.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.5 APG) is an able playmaker, passer and shooter. Both sophomore Luke Loucks (3.1 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 2.1 APG) and junior Jordan DeMercy (3.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG) will see expanded action. Freshman Michael Snaer, California High School Player of the Year, looks to be a major point producer.
This is a club on the rise that is young but still possesses experience. There’s talent, skill, depth and a desire to win. These Noles will be in the top half of the league and back in March Madness for a second year running. An improved offense, excellent defense and the tallest group of guys in the conference should equal a winning season.