NoleGameday

FSU Basketball signs four for 2017 Class

The Noles have done well in recruiting the last two years, and are in position for another good class. In 2015, FSU ranked #3 nationally with recruits such as Malik Beasley, Dwayne Bacon, Terance Mann and Christ Koumadje. In 2016, the Noles class ranked #11 nationally with signees Jonathan Isaac, Trent Forrest, C.J. Walker, Mfiondu Kabengele, Patrick Savoy jr, and Braian Angola-Rodas.

On November 9th, four players pledged their futures to the Florida State basketball program after signing their letters of intent. Those players are Wyatt Wilkes, RaiQuan Gray, Anthony Polite, and Bryan Trimble.

With four players now signed for the 2017 class, the Noles likely have one or two spots remaining depending on attrition after the 2016-2017 season. It remains to be seen whether they choose to fill those spots now or during the regular signing period, but the Seminoles are in the running for a few talented bigmen, it would be nice to land one.

RaiQuan Gray

Gray is the highest rated recruit in this class according to Rivals, who list him as a 4 star and the 117th best prospect in the nation. He is also a four star recruit on ESPN.

Last year, he averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds and helped lead Dillard High School to a 28-5 record. In AAU ball for the Florida Vipers he averaged 10.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. At 6’8” and 240 pounds, Gray projects as a power forward at the collegiate level.

His reliable jumper and athleticism allow him to succeed on offense. Gray has a clean shot, and knocks down most open looks from mid range and deep. Around the basket, he has a knack to finish through contact and shows the awareness to be in the right positions. He also shows off his motor on defense, corralling loose balls and swatting shots. He seems like he’s on the path to developing into a pretty good player.

Gray had this to say on signing with FSU, according to Seminoles.com

“I am very excited to get to campus, play for coach Ham and is staff and work towards being successful in the ACC. The relationships I have developed with Coach Young and Coach Ham and the relationships I have with CJ Walker and Jonathan Isaac were a deciding factor in choosing Florida State.  All of those relationships, especially with CJ and Jonathan, made me feel at home and like I was already part of the Seminole family.”

Wyatt Wilkes

Wyatt Wilkes is the second highest ranked recruit in the class thus far. Rivals list him as a four star and the 118th best prospect in the nation, one spot behind RaiQuan Gray. He’s also listed as a four star on ESPN.

Last season, Wilkes put together a solid season as his high school, Winter Park, made the class 8A final four. He averaged 17.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists and was selected Second Team All-State. At 6’7” and 210 pounds, Wilkes will play a wing position at the next level.

His strengths are his ability to score. Wilkes shows off a soft touch on short jumpers around the rim, and makes them with ease. His jumper is very solid, and his range stretches across the floor. When he gets hot, Wilkes will look for his shot, which shows he isn’t afraid to try and take over a game. He runs and finishes well during fast breaks. Needs to work on rebounding. I think his success in college will depend on if his body fills out, that could be the difference between him being a contributor or a dominant scorer as he projects now.

Wilkes had this to say on why he chose Florida State,

“There were two things for me. I wanted to be part of a family and there is no family like the Florida State men’s basketball family.  I wanted to play with wolves.  Not sheep.  Wolves.  The best of the best.  And I feel that Coach Hamilton and Coach Jones have created that type of culture at Florida State and I can’t wait to be a part of the program.”

– Anthony Polite

Polite is a three star small forward on Rivals, while ESPN lists him as a four star shooting guard. He probably will play a combination of both positions at the next level.

In 2016, 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals per game. His high school, Saint Andrew Christian School, made it to the class 4A Regional Finals. Polite also earned First Team All-State honors, and was named the Small Schools Player Of The Year in the state of Florida.

Polite shows off a refined ability to get to the rim. He’s a true slashing scorer with the ability to drive right to the basket and draw fouls. He also manages to convert a lot of the tough layups he attempts, and when the drive opens he can hit shots from mid range. Polite is also very athletic, he’s the type of player who can bring the crowd to its feet with a dunk. He’ll be fun to watch as he develops more offensively at FSU.

He sounds happy to be a Nole,

“I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to play for Florida State. I’ve been working for this moment and I am happy to be able to make my parents proud.  I can’t wait to put the Seminole uniform on and be on the court in Tallahassee.”

– Bryan Trimble

Trimble is listed as a three star shooting guard on Rivals, and also a three star shooting guard on ESPN.

During his junior season, he averaged 14.7 points and shot over 45% from three point range. Trimble was named MVP during high school tournaments in Mississippi and Colorado. In AAU play with the MoKan Elite of the Nike EYBL League he averaged 5.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.

He has the potential to be a great scorer, Trimble displays a smooth stroke with the ability to consistently hit from deep. He has also developed his skill with scoring off the dribble, something he seems to do often. Trimble is also extremely athletic, he can connect on alley-oops and throw big tomahawk jams. His scoring will drive fans wild if he connects on these shots in big games.

Trimbles head coach had some strong words about him,

“Bryan is a terrific young man who has worked very hard to have this opportunity to play at Florida State,” said Sunrise Christian head coach Kyle Bankhead.  “He is a high level athlete with great athleticism.  He has played against top level competition throughout his career and understands the need to be at his best whenever he steps onto the court.  He has set very high standards for himself and is a well-liked player by both his teammates and his coaches.”

– Outlook

FSU’s class currently ranks 27th in the nation, but they have potential to move up. If the current signees improve in their senior seasons they could move up in the rankings, and the Seminoles could still add 1-2 more recruits later on. With the amount of wings and shooting guards they have signed thus far, it would be nice to see a true bigman and tenacious rebounder with the last available scholarships.

Dustin Lewis
Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in English Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Writer for FSView Sports and Hashtag Basketball.

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