Blue Ribbon College Basketball Forecast--Florida State
The following is an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Brassey's Inc.'s "Blue Ribbon College Basketball Forecast" profile for Florida State. We've included our "Blue Ribbon Analysis" for the upcoming season, as well as part of our team profile. For much more detail on your team and all 325 Division I teams, purchase the "Forecast" today--see below for ordering information!
Team Profile"In our system, we only have one position-point guard," Hamilton said. "A point guard and four players."
The big problem for Hamilton is that graduation claimed Delvon Arrington, FSU's four-year starter at the point. He averaged almost 34 minutes a game last year and his departure left a void that Hamilton wasn't anxious to fill with 5-11 senior walk-on Marcell Haywood (0.1 ppg, 0.4 rpg), the only returning player with any experience at that position (even if it was just 5.4 minutes a game).
"Any time you come in and take over a program, you have to assess the talent," Hamilton said. "It was obvious that by losing Delvon and only having a high school kid coming in, that we needed some experience."
The high school kid is 5-10 Todd Galloway (16.5 ppg, 7.5 apg at Notre Dame Academy in Virginia). Signed by Robinson last fall, the little playmaker is a promising prospect. But is he an impact player?
"I've coached 20 Division I kids over the last few seasons, but I've never had one with his level of fearlessness," Notre Dame coach Larry Cullinane said. "His toughness and understanding of the game are his strongest assets. He has tremendous, tremendous court IQ." But Galloway won't have to run the show as a freshman. One of the first things Hamilton did after taking the FSU job was to go out and land a junior college point guard. He signed 6-4 Nate Johnson (10.2 ppg, 7.3 apg at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri).
"He's an experienced guard," Hamilton said. "He gained a lot of experience leading his team to fifth in the junior college tournament."
Johnson could end up starting in the backcourt with another juco recruit. Late in the summer, Hamilton landed 6-4 Tim Pickett, who averaged 21.0 points and 6.1 rebounds at Indian River (Fla.) Community College. The Daytona Beach, Fla., native originally signed with South Carolina after averaging 16.0 points as a freshman at Indian River. However, the SEC denied his transfer because of a rule requiring that a junior college player spend at least three consecutive semesters at the school from which he graduates. South Carolina's loss is FSU's gain.
"Tim is a great shooter and a strong ball handler," Indian River coach Mike Leatherwood said. "He always plays with great intensity. He's fast and he attacks the basket."
"Tim brings experience and maturity to our basketball team," Hamilton said. "Those two aspects of his game along with his statistics speak for themselves. He is very athletic and has the versatility to play more than one position."
Blue Ribbon AnalysisBACKCOURT B
Hamilton isn't a miracle worker. He's a program builder--and it's going to take time to get Florida State out of the mess it's in.
Florida State finished next to last in the ACC last season and lost four starters and a top reserve. While Hamilton did some fancy scrambling to fill the talent gap, he got a late start and isn't bringing in the kind of talent-on paper-that league foes such as Duke, UNC and Maryland have signed.
A lot will depend on his two junior college guards, Johnson and Pickett. Both have nice credentials, but jucos don't fare all that well in the ACC. It usually takes them at least a year to adapt to the league. Among the holdovers, only Richardson appears to have star potential and he's still got a long way to go to realize it.
That doesn't mean Hamilton won't get the job done in Tallahassee, just that it will be a major shock if he generates any significant improvement in his first year. For now, his most important job will be to sell his program to the FSU fans who would rather watch baseball or spring football practice than follow ACC hoops.