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FSU basketball recruiting update

FSU's 2015 class is wrapped up, so the staff has moved on to 2016 and 2017 prospects

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

With this year's class locked up, FSU is in a great position to focus on 2016 needs. There is a downside, of course, as having your scholarships assigned in March means that you can't compete for graduate transfers, and that you don't have a spot for late bloomers. But the advantage is easy to see. From a prospects perspective, much of recruiting is about who "shows the love," and the staff is currently showing that love to 2016 kids while some other coaches are chasing graduating seniors and trying to sell those final spots.

What is the live period?

College basketball recruiting is structured so that it's difficult to actually get out and watch prospects. April has two live periods where coaches can do this, but only at certified non scholastic events (ie, AAU games). One of these periods was this past weekend, and one is upcoming on April 24-26.

Where was coach Ham?

Leonard Hamilton was front and center for the Georgia Stars games. The Stars feature three top 2016 Florida State targets: 5* Udoka Azubuike, 4* Trent Forrest, and 4* Brandon Robinson. Wendell Carter, a top 10 player in the 2017 class, is also being pursued heavily. As if that wasn't enough talent, they have 6-10 Abdul Ado, a 5* who is expected to play at Louisville.

It's interesting to note that Azubuike, Forrest, and Robinson are all heavy favorites to the Noles per the 247 crystal ball.

Heavy favorites in the Crystal Ball?! Woohoo! Sign 'em up, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. One, many "insiders" on the Crystal Ball have no real inside knowledge, and instead just parrot the picks of known grinders like Jerry Meyer. And two, we're dealing with teenagers who are wrapping up their junior year in high school.

This staff does a great job identifying prospects and getting on them early. Dozens of players who ended up as top-100 recruits nationally got their first high major offer from Leonard Hamilton. But as they continue to blossom, the blue blood programs come calling. And that makes it difficult for FSU to close the deal.

4* point guard Alterique Gilbert, for example, was 100% to FSU in the crystal ball in March. Then UConn offered. Now he's 0% to FSU.

Of the three 2016 Georgia Stars (Azubuike, Forrest, and Robinson) who are heavy to FSU in the crystal ball, I anticipate landing one. Two would be fantastic, and bringing in the trio would be a coup more impressive than the 2015 class. Brandon Robinson (6-5, combo guard) is now being wooed by North Carolina, and an offer could shake things up. Trent Forrest (6-3, combo guard) added Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech this weekend to his already lengthy list of suitors. And Azubuike (6-10, monster) is probably going to visit Kentucky and Kansas while they're hosting rivals in electric game day atmospheres.

What other major target did Ham visit this weekend?

Coach Hamilton was able to make the E1T1 games as well. One player there is 4* Jon Isaac, is a 6-8 small forward from Hollywood, FL. A top 50 recuit, he has a really intriguing skill set for a guy with his length. He picked up a ton of offers this weekend, including Alabama, Miami, and Vanderbilt. Texas will likely offer any day.

Another E1T1 kid is 4* point guard Lamonte Turner, who began picking up high major offers in 9th grade. FSU will have to battle Florida, Miami, Louisville, and many others.

What new 2016 prospects earned offers?

How many spots does FSU have for the 2016 class?

Four plus any attrition. It could be a big class.