The Florida State Seminoles breakthrough the Associated Press top 25 polls as they go from unranked to ranked at No. 17. Florida State lost key players from last season including Terance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele who were drafted into the NBA.
Even though a major change occurred, Hamilton is focusing on utilizing what he has. Senior guard Trent Forrest plays a big role as he excels in setting up plays, leading the program in assists and steals. Although Forrest has a low percentage shooting from the perimeter at 23.5 percent, Forrest is still one of the team's highest scorers at 12.4 points per game. Shooting guard M.J. Walker is also a key to Florida State's success. Walker sat out for three games early this season which seemed to be no problem for sophomore Anthony Polite as he started in his place displaying his remarkable defense and his ability to shoot. Underclassmen Devin Vassell took off this year as he leads the team with his 56 percent shooting inside the perimeter and 40 percent from the perimeter becoming one of Florida State's most consistent athletes. Florida State’s frontcourt is also composed of extremely strong players such as 6’9” sophomore, Malik Osborne, and 6’8” freshman, Patrick Williams. Malik Osborne, who didn't play last season is easily the best rebounder on the team, along with being a proficient scorer. Williams, a five-star-recruit, came off the bench during every game being Florida State's fourth top scorer. This frontcourt is also joined by Balsa Koprivica and Dominik Olejniczak who both specialize in the paint and around the rim. Another player who put his name out there this season is RaiQuan Gray, 260-pound sophomore, who shines as a strong rebounder and isn't afraid to take shots.
This Florida State basketball program, currently on a winning streak, faces the Indiana Hoosiers tonight. Indiana is currently undefeated, but the real question is, are they on this winning streak from skill or poor scheduling? With difficult games approaching such as Louisville (No.1), followed by Virginia (No.5), North Carolina (No.7), and ending with Duke (No.10), FSU needs to keep their momentum going if they want a chance against the top-ranked basketball programs. Looking past this regular season, Coach Hamilton hopes to keep a winning season going into NCAA tournament where he led the 2018 team to the Elite 8 and his 2019 team to the sweet sixteen.