BAR and PJ Savoy prepare for bigger roles in 2017

Braian Angola-Rodas and PJ Savoy both signed with Florida State in 2016 out of JUCO. BAR averaged 4.6 points and 1.2 assists per game in his first season as a Seminole. He also shot 42% (21-50) from behind the three-point line. Savoy put up 5.5 points per game off the bench while being lethal from behind the arc. He shot 40% from behind the line while connecting on 40-100 attempts. He only attempted 114 total field goals in 2016-17.

The duo combined to play only 630 minutes during the 2016-17 season. Angola-Rodas played 11.8 minutes per game, while Savoy played 8.1 minutes per game. In comparison, Dwayne Bacon recorded 1,008 minutes last season by himself. With Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes moving on for professional careers, BAR and Savoy are due to see an uptick in playing time in 2017.

Angola-Rodas attended North Idaho College from 2014-16 before signing with FSU. He averaged 21.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game as a sophomore, leading North Idaho to 32 wins. BAR was rated as one of the top JUCO wings in the country and was projected to instantly contribute during his first season on campus.

His ability to defend was what got him on the court first and his experience in JUCO seemed to help with that transition. Angola-Rodas has the size to harass opposing offensive players with his 6’6” length and he was one of the Seminoles better defenders on the perimeter last year.

BAR’s offense came along gradually. He regularly spent time playing with Florida State’s other young talent off the bench, and had his fair share of growing pains early. Angola-Rodas seemed to become more confident in his ability to score down the stretch. He surpassed his scoring average on the season (4.6 PPG) in 6 of his final 9 appearances.

Now, Angola-Rodas will look to earn a starting spot as he enters his senior year. He’ll likely be competing with incoming five-star freshman MJ Walker for the spot opened up by Bacon’s departure for the NBA. BAR has a chance to grow into one of the leaders on this team.

Savoy signed with FSU after playing his freshman season at Sheridan College. He averaged 16.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game in his lone season at Sheridan. Savoy knocked down 42.7% (85-199) of his three-pointers at the JUCO level and his shooting prowess made him an attractive option for a Seminole team that shot a below-average 34.1% from behind the arc in 2015-16. He would be the sixth and final signee of the 2016 recruiting class.

He was forced to miss the start of the season due to an injury, but Savoy instantly made his mark felt when he debuted for the `Noles. He showed off his range, knocking down two triples as FSU defeated George Washington.

In his next appearance, Savoy had one of the best shooting games in Florida State history. He would record 27 points while connecting on 7-10 three-pointers as the Seminoles blew out Southern Mississippi. Savoy’s 7 made triples are tied for the fifth most made in a game in FSU history. He became the classic spark plug scorer during his first season in Tallahassee and he didn’t disappoint in that role. Savoy would record 7 double-digit scoring performances throughout the season, consistently showing off his ability to splash from deep.

One of my favorite things about Savoy is that he is unafraid to pull the trigger. Man in his face? Four feet behind the three-point line? He doesn’t care. The man is that confident in his stroke. That confidence routinely led to energy boosting triples in transition that brought the crowd inside the Donald L. Tucker Center to its feet.

Savoy needs to continue working on his defense. His elite ability to stretch the floor helped him earn playing time last year, but consistency on the defensive end will allow Leonard Hamilton to feed him even more time. It seems like he’s primed to play a bigger role in garnet and gold as a junior.

Florida State is a team that will be replacing it’s main offensive threats in Bacon, Jonathan Isaac, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Hamilton and his staff are going to need consistent shooters like Angola-Rodas and Savoy on the court to keep defenses honest while rising stars such as Terance Mann, Trent Forrest, and CJ Walker continue to develop their consistency from behind the arc.

After supplemental roles during their first seasons on campus, look for BAR and Savoy to step up with more freedom on the offensive end in 2017-18.  

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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