|1/13/2016||@ NC State|
|1/26/2016||@ Boston College|
|2/6/2016||@ Wake Forest|
|2/20/2016||@ Virginia Tech|
Florida State will have to some time to figure out some things with the start of this schedule, and they will need to because ACC play is going to be brutal this year. Iowa, Hofstra, VCU, and Florida highlight the non-conference schedule, and each should provide a nice barometer for how far the team has come along this year.
These will be the five starters for Leonard Hamilton as the Seminoles open up the season, but it will likely change quite a bit before the year is done with so many good players finding their roles.
PG Xavier Rathan-Mayes
Averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 assists, 3.4 turnovers, and 1,1 steals per game for the Seminoles last season.
Rathan-Mayes role with the team is going to change this year. Last year he was counted on to be the leading scorer for the Seminoles. This year he will have to be more of a facilitator with all the scoring threats that the Seminoles have. He will still have his games where he goes off for 20-30 points, but Florida State won't need that from him every game.
SG Malik Beasley
Averaged 22.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.1 turnovers per game for St. Francis High School last season.
Beasley is an amazing athlete, a great shooter, and an incredibly hard worker. Beasley is going to be a big time player for the Seminoles this season, and could end up as their leading scorer. He's not only an offensive threat though. He's constantly around the basket on rebounds, and will likely lead all Florida State guards in rebounds this year.
SF Dwayne Bacon
Averaged 23.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 steals per game for Oak Hill Academy last season.
Bacon is an accomplished scorer with some serious athletic ability. He can shoot from anywhere on the court, and will be one of the Seminoles leading scorers on the season. Florida State fans will want to enjoy him this year because there is no guarantee that he will be on the roster next season. Multiple mock drafts have him as a lottery pick for the 2016 NBA draft.
PF Phil Cofer
Averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds for Florida State last season.
Cofer isn't the most polished offensive player on Florida State's roster, but he's a very hard worker and the best rebounder on the team. Cofer will get more playing time this season, and he could be a guy who brings down multiple double-double games this season.
C Boris Bojanovsky
Averaged 5.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season for Florida State.
Bojanovsky will be the opening day starter, but depending on how he plays that may not last very long. He's a decent offensive player, but he does get pushed around the inside on defense. He will need to be a lot tougher if he wants to maintain his starting job this year.
F Montay Brandon
Averaged 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.3 turnovers per game for Florida State last season.
Brandon would be in the starting lineup, but he is currently injured and may not be back for the start of the season. With him in the lineup Florida State can do a lot of different things. He's easily the best defender on the team, and can lock down and of the first four positions. He is the key to Florida State's small lineup this season because he is such a good defender. Florida State will need him to come back soon.
F/C Jarquez Smith
Averaged 6.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game for Florida State last season.
Smith will play multiple positions for the Seminoles, but will play center when the team goes small. He has good size and length, and is becoming a more physical player. If he proves that he can play at a high level for more than just a few minutes at a time he could find his way into the starting lineup.
G Benji Bell
Averaged 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game for Northwest Florida State Junior College last season.
Bell is going to be the back up point guard for the Seminoles this season. He's a good facilitator and a good shooter. He will provide Florida State another viable scoring threat off the bench.
G Devin Bookert
Averaged 10.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.5 turnovers for Florida State last season.
Bookert is the best shooter on Florida State's roster, and now that the Seminoles have multiple guards that can play the point, that's what his job will be this season. Bookert averaged nearly 2 made three pointers per game last season.
F Terrance Mann
Averaged 23.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for Tilton School last season.
Mann is another great athlete and a hard worker. He does a very good job of playing around the rim, and will get a lot of his points on put backs. He's an excellent defender, and knows the game of basketball very well. He's definitely a Leonard Hamilton type of player.
I see this team as a 21-23 win type of team this year depending on how quickly they mesh. They have an immense amount of talent to play with, and will be able to play with any team in the country. It may take them a little while to figure out the roles on this team with so many guys who can score, but once they do they will be a force in the ACC.
This is also the year that the ACC is far and away the best conference in college basketball. Every game will be a challenge. Florida State should finish in the 5-6 range of the ACC, and will make the ACC tournament for the first time since 2012. How far they go will depend on how well this team gels, but whichever opposing team draws them will not be happy.