Malik Osborne: “I know the track record at FSU.”

USA Today

Florida State has been dealt quite a few surprises this offseason. CJ Walker elected to transfer to Ohio State after Trent Forrest’ break out performance during the tournament. The Seminoles swiftly replaced Walker with grad-transfer guard David Nichols. Then, came the shocker.

Reports surfaced in late April that rising sophomore center Ikey Obiagu would ask for his release from FSU. Those reports were confirmed when Obiagu posted his transfer announcement to Twitter on April 29. That has left the `Noles scrambling to find his replacement. It’s already late in the recruiting process and FSU hasn’t been going after very many prospects.

Hamilton and his staff have just one uncommitted high school big on their board, No. 400 overall prospect Carlos Curry. The rest of their targets have since signed or committed elsewhere.

However, the Seminoles may have found another option in Rice transfer Malik Osborne. The rising sophomore announced his intentions to transfer from the school in early April.

After receiving scholarship offers from Rice, Drexel, and East Carolina as a prep star, Osborne is attracting national attention since he decided to transfer. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged nine points and 6.5 rebounds during his freshman season which has brought forward a lot of potential suitors for his services.

Osborne has cut his list down and he’s currently considering Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Florida State, San Diego State, and Seton Hall. He’s planning to visit each of the schools before making his final decision.

The Chicago native is familiar with how FSU develops players of his size and skill-set. He believes he could help take them over the top if he decides to transfer there after seeing how close they were to the national championship in 2018.

Check out our full interview with Osborne below.

NoleGameday: First off, what went into your decision to transfer from Rice?

Malik Osborne: “Competition level, I want to play against the best. Playing against people like that will help me prepare for the next level and getting noticed by people at the next level. Also, playing my natural position, which is the three-fourish and not the five which is what I played at Rice. I know no one at the next level is looking for a 6’9” post guy so there was some disconnect there. The third reason was going to a school with more support staff athletically and academically. Conference USA travel schedule is pretty rough and Rice isn’t an easy school.”

NoleGameday: Who are some of the top schools in your recruitment?

Osborne: “Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Florida State, San Diego State, Seton Hall.”

NoleGameday: When did FSU reach out to you about possibly transferring there?

Osborne: “Two weeks ago. They talked to me, got to know me, they know my high school coach too. One of the kids from my prep school before me, Mfiondu, also plays at FSU. The coaches still have a relationship with my prep school coach and he told them about me. Coach Gates checked me out and said I fit their program. He said they have some guys leaving and my sit-out year can be very beneficial to me. I’m excited because I know what the outcome could potentially be.”

NoleGameday: What potential schools have impressed you the most so far?

Osborne: “San Diego State was pretty impressive. They were very enthusiastic, not saying Florida State wasn’t very enthusiastic as well. They told me exactly where I’d be, what I’d be, how’d they use me. It was just impressive that they came out and said that right away because most schools wouldn’t. They told me straight up what it was gonna be. They contacted me every day. I saw that they won their conference tournament and we’re in the tournament. They’ve just impressed me with their efforts.”

NoleGameday: Are you planning to go on visits?

Osborne: “Yes, I’m actually taking a visit to Wisconsin this weekend. I have a visit to FSU later in the month because coach Ham is busy with some things. That’s fine with me because it gives me a chance to get my other visits in and properly look at every school. And I’m looking forward to capping it off with FSU as well.”

NoleGameday: Do you have a timeline for your commitment?

Osborne: “After I take all of the visits is when I plan on making my commitment. Probably a week tops after my last visit which will be FSU.”

NoleGameday: What do you like the most about FSU?

Osborne: “First things first, being from Chicago, I’m very fond of the weather down there. The campus is beautiful, the facilities are good, I have connections and family that have went through Florida State. I know the track record at FSU. They’re very good at developing guys with my size and skillset and sending them off to the next level. They’re a whole bunch of competitors, they were within reach of getting to the national championship, and I just want to be that guy to help them take that next step and get there. And hope we win it.”

NoleGameday: How do you think you could fit in with this team?

Osborne: “Just this year at Rice I was learning more about myself as a player. More of my better games were against up-tempo teams and when the game was at a high speed. Just sprinting back and playing defense, I take pride in defense. But as far as up-tempo, I’ve been thriving in it for most of my career.”

NoleGameday: You’ve had a chance to play at the collegiate level and had some success. What do you think you need to do to take your game to the next level?

Osborne: “I definitely want to increase my strength and weight. The goal I have in mind, some coaches feel it’s a little too high, I plan to be about 225. I just want to work on increasing muscle mass and my strength. That will allow me to play with the best big men and even smaller guards. I know I have to develop my ballhandling, not just that, but my driving and my shot off the dribble. I feel like those things will take my game to the next level.”

One Comment

  1. Johnny J

    May 16, 2018 at 10:03 PM

    This kid would be a great pick up for the Nolea!!

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