Defending ACC Champs, Florida State, Will Not Live Up to the Hype
Florida State will start the 2012-13 season ranked as the number 25 team by the Associated Press, but such a favorable ranking will not last. FSU, who won the ACC championship last year, lost their best post presence during the off-season in Bernard James, who was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks. The post this year will be without any real force. The frontcourt will be lacking a strong presence from last year but their backcourt is still substantial. Senior guard Michael Snaer, and junior guard Ian Miller will lead the Seminoles all season. FSU lost their best passer, Luke Loucks, who graduated last spring. Miller will replace Loucks as starting point guard, although he is more of an off-guard. Expect to see Snaer split possessions with Miller bringing the ball up.
Snaer, who averaged 14 points per game last year, is the leader of this team. Miller averaged just over 10 points per game last season, and both Snaer and Miller shoot from behind the arc well. Snaer thrives as a pure shooter, and can also create his own shot in the half-court. Sophomore guard Terry Whisnant, and true freshman Aaron Thomas, a 6’5” guard, will be the other primary wing players on the Seminoles roster. Whisnant had limited minutes in 2011-12 only averaging 7.7 minutes per game, but he will get his opportunities this season with boosted minutes. Thomas has great athletic ability, which helps him slash to the hoop on offense, and his shooting ability on the wing is also impressive. Thomas will step in immediately and produce. He will be starting over Whisnant for FSU early into the season.
These four players will receive a majority of minutes at the point, shooting guard, and small forward. Most line-ups will be undersized for Florida State, but what they lack in size they will make up for in athleticism.
In the front court Head Coach Leonard Hamilton will have three primary options in Junior forwards Okaro White and Terrance Shannon, and junior center Kiel Turpin. White can add athletic play to the post and also stretch the court stepping out to the perimeter. Hamilton will be counting on White this season to step up his minutes and production from a season ago. Much of the ‘Noles success this season depends on the performance of White and Shannon at forward. Shannon outweighs White by 40 lbs. and will be more of an exclusive post player, and they could both start games in the post each at 6’8”. Florida State lacks height with the exception to Turpin, who is a 7-foot center, but Turpin is unproven at this level. Turpin will start the 2012-13 season as the first post player off the bench, but could work himself into the starting rotation if he proves he can defend opposing big men. Nonetheless FSU will seriously struggle in the post this season with undersized and unproven players.
Florida State will have a tough time winning important games, and eventually be knocked out of the AP top 25. They could still eke their way into the NCAA tournament as a bubble team, but that depends largely on their post defense, as well as the ability of Thomas and Miller to step up and take some of the scoring pressure off of Snaer.
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