Overall Record: 20-10 heading into ACCT
ACC Record: 11-7
ACC Seed: Tied for 5th
NCAAT Seed: 7 seed
Barring a rash of injuries, I feel good about the Seminoles' chances of slipping on some dancing shoes this March. The talent is as good as it's been since 2012, and the depth--particularly on the perimeter--might be the best it's ever been under Ham.
I predict fans will be freaking out and using all kinds of hyperbolic narrative when FSU begins ACC play with a 2-4 record. But the opening six games (four of which are on the road) would be an imposing gauntlet for nearly any team in the country. The schedule eases over the final 12, just when the freshmen-laden Noles should be rounding into form.
I've got FSU down for an 11-7 record, but honestly 12-6 wouldn't surprise me. And depending on the draw, I'm thinking this team could make a nice run in the ACCT.
The NCAAT is all about matchups, so it's hard to predict much in November. That said, if I were a 2 seed, I would not be pleased to see FSU on my side of the bracket as either the 10 or 7.
Overall record: 21-9
ACC record: 11-7
ACC seed: 5th
Tourney seed: 5/6
I'm rather bullish on the Seminoles' mix of experience and talented youth-- particularly considering how much fun I've seen this team have playing with each other. Selflessness seems to have permeated FSU hoops the way it has with this year's football squad, and that can go a long way.
That said, I've some questions about the rotation (Phil Cofer starting against JU but getting just nine minutes?), and just how well morale holds up when Florida State experiences some hiccups, which seem inevitable given the tough beginning of its ACC schedule. The conference's upper-crust includes UNC, Duke, and UVA, and I think FSU could come in as high as fourth and as low as seventh.
My prediction is close to what North Carolina did last year, but a lack of impressive out-of-conference wins will see the 'Noles seeded lower than UNC's 2015 No. 4 NCAA Tournament seed.
Overall record: 22-8
ACC record: 12-6
ACC seed: 5th
Tourney seed: 4
After two games, it is impossible to deny the talent level of this year's Florida State basketball team. The freshmen, particularly Bacon, Beasley, and Mann, have translated to the collegiate game exceptionally well and with how much attention they command, the returning members of the team will have better chances to contribute. Here's my prediction of what the season may look like:
Non-Conference: Florida State plays 12 non-conference games and the advantage to their pretty easy schedule is that they could very well be favored in each one of these games. That being said, there are plenty of deceptively hard games on FSU's non-conference schedule, including a trip to the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam where the Seminoles will play 3 games in 4 days, road games at Iowa and Florida, and a neutral-site showdown with VCU in Atlanta. How the team lets their early-season success go to their heads as opposed to staying grounded and taking it one game at a time will be the difference between an undefeated non-conference (possible but far from likely) and losing 3-4 games before conference play even gets underway. I believe they will wrap up non-conference play in the middle of those two with a 10-2 record.
Conference: Florida State were the beneficiaries of a very friendly ACC schedule as they drew the top five teams from last year's ACC (Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, UNC) only one time each with three of those (Virginia, UNC, Notre Dame) coming at home. This team is definitely talented enough to knock off one or two of those top echelon teams and I believe they will. However, I think we will also see this young team drop a few games against inferior opponents due simply to the grind that the long season takes on a team. By the end of conference play, I project this Seminole team to finish 12-6 in the ACC, good for the 5th seed in the conference tournament.
Postseason: Entering the postseason as the 5 seed of the ACC tournament, FSU earns a first-round bye and goes on a run, knocking off the #4 seed in the quarterfinals before falling in the semifinals. However, the NCAA tournament drought will be over as their 24-9 record makes them a 4 seed in the tourney and the 'Noles make a very respectable Sweet 16 run before falling to the top team of their bracket, their first appearance in the Sweet 16 since 2011.
The biggest thing that will mark the separation between this team being good from being great is players knowing, and staying within, their roles. Xavier Rathan-Mayes needs to embrace his newfound true point guard role and utliize the talent around him to generate assists. Dwayne Bacon needs to take games over when he is on a hot streak but also needs to contain the superstar mentality when he is having an off game and share the ball with the numerous other very talented players Florida State has. Boris Bojanovsky bringing some solid big-man play would not hurt either.
Whatever the end result of this season is, this team should be a lot of fun to watch as they will likely play a very entertaining up-tempo style of basketball and should be the best overall team Coach Hamilton has had since at least 2012, if not an even longer period of time.
Overall record: 21-9
ACC record: 11-7
ACC seed: 6/7
Tourney seed: 6-9
Without trying to raise expectations through the roof, this is probably the most excited I've ever been for Florida State basketball (obviously, the Noles have been picked to finish higher in the conference in the past, but they've never had such an exciting collection of talent).
The biggest question for me is one that was raised with the performance against Jacksonville last night: will this team bring the necessary attitude every game, or do they plan to just show up some nights expecting to win? That doesn't cut it in the ACC. In that same vein, is this team willing to put in the necessary work on the defensive end (including the glass) to be great? Offensive output shouldn't be an issue as there are many different scoring options, and I expect fewer droughts from FSU, as they love to get out in transition and score easy baskets.
I went back and forth on their conference record, but settled on 11-7, even though I expect them to start 2-4 (I'm just glad they get Clemson to start), as the six game stretch to start conference play is quite the challenge. I expect this team to finish middle of the pack in the ACC (6th or 7th) and get a middle seed in the NCAA Tournament (6-9). If this team truly buys in, they could make a Sweet Sixteen run.
I'll just end my time here by imploring you (and your friends) to get out and enjoy this team at The Tuck. There isn't a better time to be a fan of FSU Hoops, and football isn't the only game in town (and this isn't just a one-year phenomenon, either, as the 2016 class is loaded, so get on board before you miss some of the fun)!
Overall record: 19-11
ACC record: 10-8
ACC seed: 7
Tourney seed: 11
I think FSU will win its first game by around 47 and the second game by less than 20. If that happens, then the rest of my prediction should be spot on.
FSU in entering a tough stretch of non-conference games it can lose: neutral court games vs Hofstra (and potentially South Carolina and Tulsa) and VCU, road games against Iowa and Florida, and home game vs Mississippi State. There's a chance FSU goes unscathed, and there's a chance the Noles drop four or five. I'll take the middle road while the defense develops and the offense learns how to attack in the half court.
The ACC is going to be a bloodbath, but I think the Noles will figure out a way to win more than they lose. And by doing that they'll earn their first NCAA Tournament bid since the 2011-12 season.
Regardless of this team's record, they're going to be a whole lot of fun. And if they figure out how to defend, they're going to be really, really good.
Overall record: 23-7
ACC record: 11-7
ACC seed: 6
Tourney seed: 7
Am I giving FSU Basketball too much credit after two blowouts against meaningless opponents? Maybe. However, I o feel like the high octane offense of the 'Noles, as well as their youth and deep rotation will help them outlast some teams this year late in the game. Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasly already seem to have an extremely high chemistry with one another just two games into the year, and with the addition of a new playing style of XRM dishing the ball off more, it could be a good sign for things to come---as long as they keep the turnovers down.
I'm going bold and think the 'Noles will go a perfect 12-0 on their out of conference games, as they do not face a relatively difficult stretch of opponents like they will in the ACC. Although they aren't the easiest of teams, Florida State should win, if not be close in all of these games.
The ACC Conference schedule of games puts a very tough strain on Florida State. They play North Carolina at home, at Miami, at NC State, home vs. Virginia, and then finish at Louisville in games 2-6 of conference play. After predicting a 13-0 start to the season, I feel the 'Noles will come out of this stretch with one or two wins, three max. This isn't due to playing ability, but instead seeing how the freshmen and team react to a loss after starting out so well. The next big stretch on the schedule are the last three games at Duke and home to 'Cuse and Notre Dame. Those will arguably the most important games as FSU will find themselves in a position fighting for a tournament seed and hopefully another ACC Championship.