New Faces for FSU Hoops

For the second consecutive season, the Florida State basketball team will incorporate a host of talented newcomers in with its holdovers. Another stellar recruiting effort by coach Leonard Hamilton landed FSU five prized talents, three of which will contribute immediately.

Junior college transfer Jerel Allen and freshmen Casaan Breeden and Uche Echefu will contribute immediately. The same can't be said for Ryan Reid and Auburn transfer Toney Douglas. Reid won't enroll in classes until January and Douglas must sit out a year due to NCAA transfer regulations after an all-SEC freshman campaign with the Tigers.

Here's a quick look at the trio of new faces that fans will get to know starting Nov. 13, when the Seminoles host Delta State to open the season.

Uche Echefu – Lagos, Nigeria – 6-11, 225

"Uche is a guy who was very well coached in high school and is a guy who is very capable of being a major factor as a freshman. That's a strong statement for me to make but I fell very confident in him because of the way he was coached in high school, the system that he ran. He's more prepared than most high school kids are going to be." – Hamilton

"Uche is a strong power forward that can really rebound. When he gets into the paint he just gets strong with it. He brings a lot of toughness to the team inside and we needed that because we need some guys who have the ability to post up." – forward Alexander Johnson

"Uche comes into college ready. He's got a physically strong body. He's a good athlete and he's ready to go in that respect. I think he will help Florida State on the glass and he's a good enough face-up player to where he can stand at the free throw line in your offense and make a jump shot," recruiting expert Dave Telep.

Casaan Breeden – Bennettsville, S.C. – 6-8, 195

"Casaan is very talented but he will have adjustments that he will have to make. He's probably a guy that will be able to play three different positions at the end of the day. You want to give him the opportunity to develop at all of them and give him the chance to become a complete player but that is difficult when you have a swing player who is playing the 2, the 3 and maybe a little 4. He has a lot more to learn than a guy like Uche who is basically playing our forward positions post. There is not much difference between 4 and 5 in our system." – Hamilton

"Casaan is real athletic. He can run and jump and block shots with ease." – Johnson

"Casaan gives hustle. He's a great energy guy." – forward Al Thornton

"Casaan has the ability to drive to the basket and pull down rebounds on both ends of the court. He has a constructive work ethic, a first-class mentality and is a leader on the floor. I feel he will fit into Coach Hamilton's system well and will cause match-up problems for many of the players he plays against in college. I really believe Florida State is getting one of the top 25 players in the nation. -- high school coach Ken Spencer

Jerel Allen – Detroit, Mich. – 6-4, 195

"Jerel is coming from a junior college where he has been a major factor for the past couple of seasons in a different type of system. Even though he has the skills and the abilities, it's going to be an adjustment for him to learn to play in a new system with different teammates. He's capable of making big contributions but a lot will depend on how quickly he makes an adjustment." – Hamilton

"He's going to come in here and provide a little of the shooting we lost when Von Wafer left for the NBA." – Thorntonr

"Jerel is a slasher. He likes to come off the dribble and try to create his shot. When he gets going, he gets going. If he makes the first one, he's pretty good. If he's missing, he's missing. If he makes them, he's alright." -- Johnson

"Jerel is a strong, physical guard who has a great ability to attack the basket and who can also heat up from long range. His offensive skills are incredible. He is a player with a wide range of skills who is more explosive than most people might think. He played in the toughest league in the city of Detroit in high school and played at a very high level in junior college. I expect nothing but success for him at Florida State - he could be one of the biggest surprises in the ACC during the upcoming season." -- Vince Baldwin, Prep

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