Al Thornton can't lead the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament alone.
Even the addition of Toney Douglas and his uncanny ability to get to the basket isn't going to be what finally gets the Seminoles over the hump. Although, it helps a great deal that Douglas is becoming more and more comfortable in his leadership role at point guard.
What's really going to get FSU to the Big Dance, however, is the presence of an inside game.
Without former star Alexander Johnson, the Seminoles have yet to have a dominate presence inside – and even Johnson was a post-player more suited to face the basket while working.
Enter Uche Echefu and Ryan Reid. A sophomore and a freshman that are slowly but surely becoming viable options on both defense and offense for the Tribe.
Sunday against SE Louisianna, both Echefu and Reid combined for 13 points and 10 rebounds – Echefu from his starter's role and Reid as a reserve.
"We'd be very pleased to get that many points and rebounds out of them as we continue on," FSU Coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Through 10 games this season, the two forwards have combined to average just over seven rebounds and just over 10 points per contest.
Their steady emergance has helped to take some of the pressure off the guys on the outside.
"We understand we need them two guys," senior guard Jerel Allen said. "They have been keys to our success so far this season. They are young guys that we have to keep getting on and encouraging them to work hard but they are doing a real good job for us."
With conference play set to begin at the start of next month, their continued development will be key as the Seminoles attempt to make their move to the top of the ACC.
"We know what we have to do," said Reid, who has shownthe ability to be a magnet of sorts for offensive charging calls against opponents this year. "For me, it's just about getting to the basket and getting rebounds. I just have to stay aggressive."
Echefu, Reid progressing for the Seminoles
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