Four basketball features in three days? The football-only readers of TN must be wondering what in the hell is going on. Well, welcome to college basketball. Feel free to look around. Pay attention. It's alright - there's nothing to worry about - football isn't going anywhere.
And I'll be up front about our aims for 2012-13 basketball coverage - we're trying to assimilate you. Some of us (a very small sum) enjoy basketball as much, or more (don't hate) than football. And really, shouldn't you? Nevermind that I could wax poetic about the aesthetics of the sport for a length of time equal to your attention span for hoops multiplied by 300. Forget about that. What I'm talking about is being a fan. You know how you feel every Saturday before the Noles hit the gridiron? Well, with the addition of basketball, you not only get the 13 (or 14, Jimbo willing) Saturdays, but you get an additional thirty-five of those game-day feelings from November to March to boot. It's pretty much an orgy of fandom.
Regardless, whether you stick around or not, welcome to college basketball. It's been too long.
This is my first post of the new year (Minnick has already covered the schedule and the first exhibition game), and with this post I'm previewing a player. There will be eleven more of these posts, each about an individual player, and the idea is that by the end you'll have a better grasp of the roster (sorry walk-ons, we love ya, but it's not like we're getting paid by the word). Today's player is freshman Boris Bojanovsky. And for his story I'll jump right in at the most natural place - which is the Oakland Athletics.
Do you know who Billy Beane is? Of course you do. You're on a sports blog. If you don't know who Billy Beane is - yet you're on this site - then you most likely accidentally found yourself here while researching some intricacy of the Treaty of Payne's Landing. (If that's the case feel free to stay - we're an inclusive bunch. It doesn't matter if you don't get sports, all you have to do is cheer for FSU to score more than the other team. And by the way - Billy Beane is the general manager of a professional baseball team in Oakland, and he forever changed the sport by willing to be smart about statistics while the rest of the league insisted on being stupid).
Billy Beane thought about players differently than most. And as an FSU basketball fan, you need to do the same.
Every year at Tomahawk Nation there is a steady stream of questions which rise during basketball season. They generally involve FSU's inability to recruit like Duke, North Carolina, or the hated Gators. And of course the inability to attract the same depth of talent hinders FSU from building a program like our rivals have. If Billy Donovan can do it, why can't Ham? And every year there's a long discussion about how much money matters in college sports - because that's what those programs have. They have money. Bags and bags o' money. And no need to rehash old arguments - we can just state that teams with money win. The end.
Which brings us to Billy Beane. Billy Beane could not have changed basketball the way he did baseball, and the reason is that basketball changed long before Beane came along. Dean Smith was infatuated with advanced statistics 50 years ago. Lots of coaches were (and are). Most strategic changes in the game are devised by weak teams looking for an advantage against strong teams. That's just the way the game works. So when I say that Leonard Hamilton is copying Billy Beane - don't in any way think that I'm saying Leonard Hamilton is changing the game. Because he's not. It's just that he's building this program by manipulating market deficiencies, and the clearest way for me to illustrate that is to toss out a name we're all familiar with - Billy Beane. Got it?
And so, in our first player preview, we have Boris Bojanovsky.
He came here from Spain, via the Slovak Republic, and we're writing about him first because you're probably not going to see very much of him, at least when the clock is running.
He's 7-3. That's legit (and the tallest in FSU history). He's got skills that young men his height are not supposed to have. While most humans his size appear, while running, as if they're simultaneously fending off the attacks of two invisible ninjas - Bojanovsky is actually really coordinated.
But the reason you won't see much of him is his market deficiency. If he didn't have one - a big one - he wouldn't be here. He'd be at Duke, or Kansas, or UCLA (or Baylor for $ome $strange rea$on). In Bojanovsky's case his deficiency is his ass. At 7-3 you can imagine that his is somewhat elevated, not to mention skinny. And to play in the lane in the ACC you need to be strong. You need to be solid through your base. Boris is not. So he'll get pushed around. And you can't be effective in the post if you're getting pushed around.
But that's okay. Boris is 7-3. He's athletic. He's got touch. He's gonna spend a year in the system. And - this is a surprise even to the coaches - he's already added 15-20 pounds of muscle since his arrival. So he's ahead of schedule. He'll play, but probably not that much.