If you're the kind of basketball fan who last thought about FSU basketball roughly 8 minutes after they lost to Virginia Commonwealth in the Sweet-16 last March, then this is for you. Here's a guide to everything you've missed.
For starters, the season begins tomorrow. FSU is playing Jacksonville which sounds like a team that should suck, but they actually beat UF in Gainesville last season so you may want to tune in. If you haven't enjoyed a Tomahawk Nation live thread for basketball then definitely come by. Inside you'll typically find plenty of f-bombs, at least three fans giving up on the season each game, and the occasional philosophical post dissecting the anatomy of a Luke Loucks turnover.
Chris Singleton went pro. He was selected in the 1st round by the Washington Wizards, though, unfortunately (for him), the NBA may no longer exist. Instead he's passing his time running a clothing business, continuing his education, flying around the country attending parties we wish we could go to, and most likely honing his impressive defensive skills which turned the poor Notre Dame kids against one another.
Derwin Kitchen is also gone. Although he seemed to specialize in hitting buzzer beaters just moments following the buzzer, he was actually FSU's best offensive player, and 2nd place wasn't very close. The good news is that we all like streaks, and the Noles will be looking to push their streak of consecutive season with an offense ranked worse than 100 to five straight years.
That little guy at the end of the bench who wore a headband? He's gone too, though I'll get to him in a minute.
Ian Miller is still here, but just barely. Our most gifted offensive player will begin the season in street clothes hoping to become eligible for our December 22nd game against Florida. It seems that last season he was investigating a hypothesis of his, which speculated that attending class was actually bad for you. Turns out he was wrong.
Assistant coach Andy Enfield is gone. He taught shooting mechanics, and believe it or not he was actually really good at it. He also used his NBA connections in recruiting. In his place is Dennis Gates who has a reputation as a good recruiter.
Several of the ACC head coaches are gone. Sidney Lowe and Paul Hewitt got canned. Frank Haith somehow called for a miracle and got it. Not only did he interview for the Missouri job, but they actually hired him. Considering many Missouri fans thought they'd be getting Purdue's Matt Painter – who may be the most desired coach in college hoops – you can imagine what their fans there are thinking. At least the ones who pay attention. Meanwhile, Hurricane fans – also 17 of them – were dancing in the streets. Last but not least, Gary Williams retired from Maryland. Leonard Hamilton replaces Williams as the 2nd longest tenured ACC coaches. However coach Hamilton will not be replacing Williams on the list of a) angriest coaches, or b) sweatiest coaches.
All the coaching changes also leaves Leonard Hamilton as the only black head coach in the ACC. It's like the 1970s all over again, only with longer shorts. Roy Williams remains the only orange coach in the conference.
The Seminoles landed an excellent recruiting class which included two consensus top-100 players. The most highly regarded recruit of 2011 was Aaron Thomas, who oddly enough is also our most highly regarded recruit of 2012. It seems Thomas didn't qualify and instead has enrolled at a boarding school in New Hampshire that a has a scholarship more valuable than one to FSU. Brewster Academy in New Hampshire costs $45,550 per year, and its basketball team has a travel schedule roughly equal to an ACC school. After a year at Brewster he'll come slum it in Tallahassee.
Our next most highly regarded recruit – Antwan Space – broke his foot earlier this week. So that's fun. He'll be out anywhere from a month to the entire season.
We do have two recruits who will be in uniform. The first is Terry Whisnant, a prodigious scorer from North Carolina. Since this Is FSU he has unorthodox mechanics and played against suspect competition. The 2nd is 6'11 Kiel Turpin, a JuCo transfer who may redshirt. As a senior in high school he was 6'4 so he now probably has stretch marks and sore hips. If his name sounds familiar its because he's the son of Kentucky great Mel Turpin. This means that if any Duke fans begin a chant about his dad (who committed suicide) you're morally obliged to punch them in the neck.
In current recruiting news we've landed a 6'7 point guard who's raw but next-level athletic, a 6'3 point guard who no one has heard of because he's from Alaska (and is also taking the prep school route), and a 6'9 JuCo transfer from England, who, oddly enough, has really nice teeth.
Now, back to Pierre Jordan, that little guy with the headband I mentioned earlier from the end of the bench. Taking advantage of a newish rule that allows college graduates to transfer without sitting out a year, Jordan transferred to Georgia Tech (and was replaced at FSU by a graduate of Arkansas who also played for Iowa though he was once committed to Princeton and is coming to FSU because he likes the MBA program). Around the time Jordan transferred, our biggest recruiting target and longtime Seminole lean – 6'9 C Robert Carter – moved from a place very near FSU (Thomasville, GA) to a place very near Georgia Tech (right down the road). Pierre Jordan's father, who happens to be an AAU big-wig, coincidentally coaches Robert Carter during the summer leagues. Now it seems Robert Carter will be attending Georgia Tech, thereby ensuring that Pierre Jordan gets to send plenty of passes his way which he will summarily place into the basket, oftentimes with force.
Well, that about sums it up. Happy basketball.
PS – If you give more than three shits about basketball outside of FSU, you can find the national Layman's Guide right here. If not, more power to you. Go Noles.