Florida State Ready to Surprise

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Almost all of the preseason ACC talk has been about the usual suspects, Duke and North Carolina, with the exception being conference favorite, the sixth-ranked North Carolina State.

Funny, nobody has really mentioned the conference’s defending champions, the Florida State Seminoles.

It’s likely that the ‘Noles have been left ouf of the conversation because they lost four of their five starters from a season ago, including NBA draftee Bernard James. Despite that fact, the team is returning it’s top four scorers from last season, including senior guard Michael Snaer.

“We need his maturity and leadership and understanding of how we have to play to be successful,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton about his leader during an interview with Fox News. Snaer led FSU in scoring, minutes, three-point, and free-throw percentage, and has to be among the favorites for ACC Player of the Year.

Hamilton thinks that his squad will surprise a lot of people, and even thinks they have a chance at repeating as conference champs.  ”The strength of our teams has always been the quality of our depth and I think that’s going to be something that’s going to be consistent.” With Okaro White, Terrance Shannon, Ian Miller and Kiel Turpin most likely to make the jump into the starting lineup, Hamilton’s bunch should have size, shooting, athleticism, and despite losing James, that same tenacity on defense. 

The Seminoles will also need for sophomore guard Terry Whisnant to step his game up, and lead a freshman group consisting of Devin Booker, Aaron Thomas, and Montay Brandon to replace the depth that went from last season’s bench to this season’s starting lineup.

Hamilton, who is seeking his fifth-straight 20-win season, has led Florida State to a 43-21 ACC record over the last four seasons, and doesn’t intend on his team being left out of the bigger ACC picture in 2013.

For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth

Around the Web