Offseason Preview: What I’m Hearing On Who is Staying/Going

Obviously the offseason just started, but everyone always wonders about what is next. RaiQuan Gray only fueled the fire with his most recent Instagram story.

Now yes, he posted a picture with three others that are likely to be gone, which we will get to in a second, but his entire story was just pictures of memories from this season. As far as his likelihood to return, I’ve talked to a few NBA scouts who all really like his skillset, but not enough to convince him to leave college a year early, which is the consensus among many NBA scouts. He may test the waters and see what NBA teams tell him, but I’m fully expecting him to return. There are just a couple of things preventing him from being on that level, according to a few scouts. One scout wants him to improve on his perimeter shooting while another mentioned shot selection, foul discipline, and turnovers. His skillset as a 6’8″ forward that can put the ball on the floor and play excellent defense is coveted in today’s NBA, but he did have 11 games with 3 or more turnovers this season and 16 games with 3 or more fouls. If he can get his 3-point shot up to around 30-33%, limit the turnovers to closer to 1 or 1.3 per game, and limit the fouls to 1.5 or 2 fouls per game, he’s going to have a chance to be a first round prospect this time next season.

Scottie Barnes should be headed to the NBA, as expected. His game was always based on his potential as a creator and defender, and he was maybe asked to do too many things as a freshman playing point guard for the first time in his life. There are certainly things he can improve upon, but there is no reason he should come back for another season and do it for free when he can go to the NBA as a lottery pick and make millions doing it. He had his ups and downs his freshman season as a scorer, but the flashes as a distributor, defender, and elite level athlete were on full display. He won’t be relied upon as a primary ball-handler in the NBA like he was at FSU, and scouts are still drooling over his size and potential.

MJ Walker was unlikely to use his extra year of eligibility before the NCAA tournament, but the way he closed the season has left a sour taste in his mouth. He was phenomenal to start the season, but once he started dealing with cartilage issues in both his ankle and his knee, it was rough for him to get the same production he started the season with. After the loss to Michigan, he said this to reporters.

It could very likely be that he was just answering things the right way and not wanting to make the night any worse for FSU fans, but I do think it’s just slightly more likely he returns for another season, even if I don’t think it happens. It’s very difficult for a senior to improve his professional stock by playing another season.

RayQuan Evans was recognized on senior night, but hadn’t officially made up his mind whether he was coming back or not. He’s not an NBA option, but an overseas team could definitely be interested in him. I think if he was to use his extra year, it would be at another university, as point guard minutes would be hard to come by next season. Caleb Mills transferred away from Houston to have the ball in his hands more, and Jalen Warley is a borderline 5-star guard that would not want to play third string point guard. It’s important to note that this one is not as much what I’ve heard, instead it’s more of what I expect.

There was a small rumor floating around that Anthony Polite may not return for his RS-Senior season. I am here to completely deny those rumors. He will be returning. His development took a massive step forward this season, and another offseason for him will do wonders for his professional endeavors. He’ll be one of next season’s key players.

Once Balsa Koprivica started turning the corner in his development this season, the professional whispers started popping up. He clearly has the talent, but if he were to come out into the draft this season, he would not get selected. The NBA loves his potential as a modern day big that can stretch the floor on occasion and switch onto the perimeter and defend quicker guards in a pinch, but he’s another guy that has to turn the flashes into consistent play, especially with finishing around the rim. He has the ability to get around the rim, he just has to convert his chances and I think adding more strength will help that. He’ll get another summer to develop with Coach Stan Jones, who is one of the best big man mentors in the business.

Seniors Tanor Ngom and Nathanael Jack have told the staff they would like to use their extra year of eligibility, and Ngom could grow a ton this offseason now that he has a full summer to get in the gym with the coaches. He got to campus late and then had to deal with COVID protocols, thus forcing him to play catch-up the rest of the season.

There could always be someone transfer out by surprise like we saw with CJ Walker a few seasons ago. There are a couple of names I’m keeping an eye on, but no one has made an intention to transfer yet.

The next article will be focusing on the offseason plan from the staff based on next season’s roster, and transfer options to keep an eye on since Florida State still technically has an open scholarship spot for next season.

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