FSU Basketball: Preseason Outlook

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Photo: Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Photo: Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

There are officially three days until the Florida State men’s basketball team tips off its season against Nicholls State this Sunday at 3:00 p.m.  But before we dive into that matchup, let’s focus on the two preseason matchups that have already taken place.  FSU faced two solid division two basketball teams in Lynn University and Southeastern University, soundly defeating them 114-68 and 112-74, respectively.

There were many takeaways from the two preseason match up, but the biggest thing that stood out to me is that these freshmen are good, really good.  Whether it was Malik Beasley’s 23 point outing, Dwayne Bacon’s emphatic alley-oop dunks, or Terrance Mann’s impressive scoring efficiency and knack for rebounds, the freshmen were all over the place and a big part of why FSU was so dominant.

Though Florida State has the luxury of returning all five starters, I suspect this team and this season to be nothing like the last.  FSU’s Achilles heel last year was scoring.  Don’t get me wrong, they had one of the most electrifying players in the country in Xavier Rathan-Mayes.  Unfortunately, he was surrounded by mostly role players and the ‘Noles lacked another true scorer.  However, this year Rathan-Mayes is surrounded by nothing but wing scorers.  He will have no problem finding a cutting Dwayne Bacon for easy assists.  This will certainly help his ability to become more efficient as he won’t have to force nearly as many shots. And of course when XRM comes out, talented guards like Malik Beasley and Terrance Mann proved that they can create scoring opportunities on their own.

Although we got to see a lot of talent in FSU’s commanding preseason victories, we did not get to see two people that will play big parts in the Seminoles’ success this year: senior guard Montay Brandon and freshman center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje.  Brandon was a key all around player for the ‘Noles last year, averaging nearly 12 points a game and shooting well over 50% from the field.  I hear that 7’4” Koumadje uses his length exceptionally well and is already a very good rebounder.  He should be able to contribute down low once he recovers from his minor foot injury.  

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the basketball season that is inching ever so close.  Coach Leonard Hamilton has what many believe is his most talented roster in his tenure at Florida State.  Sophomore guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes took a leadership role in off-season workouts and his freshmen should be prepped and primed for the season ahead.  
FSU’s first regular season match up will be home against Nicholls State this Sunday (11/15) at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN3.

Ryan Stalder
Football Writer and Baseball Writer; Student at Wake Forest University; Twitter: @RyanStalder12

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