Florida State University senior Adam Waleskowski is featured on one of the eight regional covers of Athlon Sports College Basketball Annuals which were recently released and are available on newsstands now. The cover of the magazine pictures the Seminoles' senior forward with the sub-headline "Noles Ready To Punch Tourney Ticket."
"It has taken coach Leonard Hamilton just two seasons to deliver Florida State to its first postseason trip in six seasons," write the editors of the magazine, who also call for the Seminoles to earn an NCAA Tournament Bid for the first time since 1998.
"After his team flirted with an NCAA berth (last season), Hamilton said the Seminoles were ahead of schedule in his building plan. But the trick now is to keep moving forward."
The Seminoles finished the 2003-04 season with a 19-14 record and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
According to the magazine, the Seminoles have the second ranked recruiting class in the ACC which includes freshmen Isaiah Swann, Jason Rich, and Ralph Mims. Swann was noted as key to the Seminole's scoring and was compared to former Seminole great Sam Cassell. The Seminoles' recruiting class was ranked as one of the top two for the second consecutive season; it was ranked as the nations and ACC's top class last season.
In its recruiting roundup section, the magazine states: "Guards Isaiah Swann and Jason Rich will keep the motor running." Swann and Rich were named as two of the top 30 high school players in the country last year.
In addition to its team accolades, the magazine named Waleskowski as the Seminole's most improved player last season. Juniors Antonio Griffin and Diego Romero are expected to add a competitive edge to the Seminole's frontcourt according to the magazine.
The Seminoles are the pre-season No. 7 pick in the newly expanded league standings. The league rundown is slated to finish this way Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Maryland, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Miami. The editors go onto say "Leonard Hamilton's rebuilding project takes the next step NCAA's."
Florida State, which advanced to the second round of the NIT last season, enters the 2004-05 season as one of the nation's most rapidly improving teams. The Seminoles have improved their victory total for two straight years, brought in two of the top recruiting classes in the country (including the No. 1 class in 2003) and defeated five nationally ranked teams since Head Coach Leonard Hamilton's arrival in 2002. With four of its five leading scorers and three of its top five rebounders back in uniform, the Seminoles will look to continue their climb up the college basketball ladder this season.