Leonard Hamilton in his time at Florida State has always liked to have intimidating shot blockers. When his teams are at their best, Hamilton is able to pressure the ball on the perimeter and then protect the rim with multiple big bodies who block shots, making the Seminoles one of the better defensive teams in the country, and now he has one of the best shot blockers in Ike Obiagu
As an underclassman Obiagu looked like someone who was primed to be an elite prospect. Not only did he show an incredible ability to block shots, but he just dominated. His team always seemed to win because of his presence, and his shot blocking totally intimidated and changed defenses.
Obiagu showed incredible timing combined with his height and length to be someone who simply made it impossible on opposing players to score around the rim and made them focus on hitting deep jumpers.
However that came mostly against 16 and under competition, as he moved up to the 17 and under level he had a bit more trouble.
In this case however that trouble is all relative. Due to injury Obiagu only played eight games in the Nike EYBL this year, but in those eight games he blocked a total of 14 shots. Obviously that is a very impressive number for most, but it didn’t show the same presence he had a year prior.
That however was all during the spring, in June at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp, Obiagu looked closer to his previous form and really did an excellent job of rebounding and protecting the rim. In fact at times Obiagu showed the same dominant signs he had as a younger prospect.
Offensive Obiagu is a work in progress. His hands are average, and he doesn’t have great touch around the rim. Because of that he isn’t likely to be someone who Florida State throws the ball to on the block much. Instead he will likely get his points on lob plays, drop off passes from drivers, and offensive rebounds.
With a team that could have serious perimeter threats like Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Terance Mann, C.J. Walker, and Trent Forrest, his offense shouldn’t be needed.
In fact Obiagu can be brought along slowly as Florida State also has 7-foot-4 center Chris Koumaadje returning as well.
Given how he has shown the ability to totally change a game and protect the rim this is a huge pickup for Florida State. Now the question is can he return to that elite, elite status he showed when he found himself as a top 10 prospect when he was younger, and given how he has looked when totally healthy that isn’t out of the equation.