For the past couple weeks I've been paying attention to the comments. Not just here (I always do that, I swear!), but on Twitter, at the pay-sites, and those accompanying news stories. What I've learned is that the average fan thinks the FSU basketball roster is WAY more talented than it actually is, and that there is a significant gap between Florida State and teams like Georgia Tech, NC State, and Syracuse. One of my favorite comments was that Coach K would have a top-5 team with this roster (never mind that he has the No. 14 team with his current seven McDonald All-Americans on the Duke roster).
So I'm here with data.
The first cut-line we generally emphasize are the top-100 recruits. These are the players who all the recruiting gurus agree belong as contributors at high-major programs. I could start at a higher level - with the 5*s, but there's really not much reason to do that. There are 12 former 5* recruits in the ACC, and eight of them play for Duke and UNC. Four other teams (including Florida State) have one on the roster.
For top-100 recruits, we don't want to blow smoke up anyone's shorts by cherry picking the recruiting data like most social media sites do, but rather we use consensus rankings. Those at 247Sports are widely regarded and regularly updated, so that is where we grab the data.
So, 15 ACC teams. Here is how many top-100 recruits are on each roster.
To take a slightly broader approach (and to include players like Terance Mann and Zach Auguste who just missed the cut), we'll expand the range to any recruit in the top 130s. That ensures that all consensus 4* or better recruits are included.
Here is that list (sorted on the new column):
One thing this misses is transfers, which have become a huge part of roster building. There might be 3,000 non 4/5* Division I players each year, and one recruiting strategy is to identify the top 1% of those players (who the recruiting gurus whiffed on), and recruit them. See Trey Lewis and Damion Lee who currently star at Louisville. I limited this to players in the top-7 of the rotation. If they're a role player, who cares? Here, those transfers are added, though they are NOT included if they already occur in either of the other columns (so Shelden McClellan, a top-50 recruit, is not included in the transfer column).
Lastly, we have experience. Luckily, kenpom.com measures this in a really smart way. Instead of just adding up the seniors and the juniors, etc... and dividing by the number of players on the roster, his site weighs the individual players by a combination of their class and the minutes that they play. So FSU, for example, doesn't get credit for senior Michael Ojo, and they don't get dinged much for a freshman like Chris Koumadje who hardly plays.
Here, the experience is added.
What these data show is that FSU, by an objective measure, has about a middle-of-road ACC roster. They're tied for 7th in top-100 recruits, tied for 7th in 4*+ recruits, have no transfers who are contributors, and are 10th in experience. This is why I picked them to be an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament prior to the season, prior to knowing the extent of Michael Ojo or Phil Cofer's injuries.
Here are the teams sorted by their current ranking at kenpom.com.