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Phil Cofer expected to make debut against Southeast Missouri State

Haylee Blitch/NoleGameday

The Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team is expecting its leading scorer from a year ago to make his long-awaited debut Monday night against Southeast Missouri State. Redshirt senior forward Phil Cofer has missed the first nine games due to an ankle injury he suffered during preseason practice. Now, it appears he’s finally healthy enough to return to action.

The ‘Noles have gotten off to an 8-1 start behind a strong defensive identity. With wins over Florida, LSU, Purdue, and UConn early in the season, assistant coach Charlton Young has been surprised by the success with Cofer out of the lineup.

“I’m surprised we’ve been able to do what we’ve done without Phil Cofer,” Young said according to the Tallahassee Democrat. “I think Phil Cofer is a guy that’s worth 20 points before he ever scores a bucket.”

Head coach Leonard Hamilton has had the luxury to bring Cofer back slowly due to the depth the Seminoles boast. However, it will take some time to reintegrate the senior forward into the lineup. Hamilton will have to tinker and toy with his lineups with the beginning of ACC play on the horizon.

“People don’t realize that you don’t just show up and play basketball after six or seven weeks off and your team has been practicing without you and that just jumps right in and everything is just hooping,” associate head coach Stan Jones added according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Cofer is the most polished player on this roster and he instantly gives FSU another scoring threat. He averaged 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 37.5% from deep on 3.7 attempts per game a season ago. This team is missing a forward that can consistently dominate on both ends of the floor and that’s what Cofer brings to the table when he’s fully healthy.

His return will make the ‘Noles that much deeper in the frontcourt behind the blossoming play of redshirt sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele and redshirt freshman RaiQan Gray. Cofer will be the steady hand amongst a lineup filled with youth.

If he can get back into the flow with this roster by early January, this team just becomes that more dangerous to the rest of the ACC.

 


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