Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
From now until the opening game on November 9th, Tomahawk Nation will be previewing the FSU basketball roster.
RSCI is a website you need to know. It's not a site you hang out at - it's a reference. One that will be referred to frequently throughout the season. RSCI stands for Recruiting Services Consensus Index and they do exactly what their name states that they do - they combine all of the rankings from various recruiting services, and create a single, consensus ranking of the top 100 players in basketball. Basketball recruiting, unlike football recruiting, is dominated by the little sites. I can name at least 10 reputable recruiting services without even really thinking - and there are definitely more. Which service is best? Who to believe? RSCI answers these questions with a resounding ‘who cares?' and does them all one better by plugging them into a formula and publishing what comes out. As a result, basketball rankings are really good (of the 29 American players drafted in the 1st round of the latest NBA draft, 22 were former RSCI consensus top 100 players).
If you just go off of one service you run the risk of poor information. Michael Snaer, for instance, was rated the No. 7 overall recruit by Rivals. RSCI had him a much more reasonable 17th.
FSU currently has five consensus top 100 players, which is the 5th most in the conference.
The newest of those is freshman Montay Brandon (No. 60), a 6-7 guard out of Greensboro, NC. The reason he was rated so highly is that he's a very big player who is capable of running the point. Keep this in mind when evaluating his play. Some are rated highly because they can drain threes all day, some because they're ready for the NBA, some because they're huge and athletic, and some because they have unique skill sets which will provide a roster with much needed flexibility. Brandon is in the latter category.
He's a big, fluid athlete who is ahead of the curve in terms of strength and conditioning. He's also the youngest player on the roster. He'll earn minutes this year, but his real contributions are probably a year away. He needs a lot of work on his shot, though he possesses a solid mid-range game and can either lead or finish the break. And - like all freshmen - he will need a year in the system to truly understand what the coaches want him to do.
His true value is the aforementioned roster flexibility he'll provide once he's more developed. How will other teams matchup when FSU is running Ian Miller (6-3), Montay Brandon (6-7), Okaro White (6-8), Robert Gilchrist (6-9) and Kiel Turpin (7-0)? His ability with the ball, in a motion offense, provides a primary ball handler who is big enough to see the passing lanes, while also providing a player who can take smaller players into the paint. And those are the keys to his development - how smart is he with the ball, and can he use his size to exploit matchups?