Monday, the No. 1 class in America got even stronger on paper, as Rivals released its new top 150 list, which saw two Seminoles jump from 4-star to 5-star status: Matthew Cleveland and Bryce McGowens.
With those new rankings, Coach Ham and Co. now have four players (Jalen Warley and John Butler join the aforementioned recruits) in the top 54 nationally on the 247 Sports Composite List (the rankings list Tomahawk Nation chooses, as it gives the best overview of a prospect, in our opinion). Warley (24th) is now joined as a 5-star composite, as well, with Cleveland moving to 21st overall, and McGowens to 25th.
Our Matt Minnick has scouted three of the four high school commits.
McGowens and Cleveland:
As we detailed back in February when he committed, McGowens is a—stop me if you’ve heard this before—long and athletic guard who, at 6’6 is capable of defending multiple positions, bringing the ball up the court, and shooting right over the top of smaller opponents. The idea of McGowens and Cleveland on the perimeter together should be quite pleasing to ‘Nole fans, but downright scary to the rest of the ACC. Add in guys like Sardaar Calhoun and Anthony Polite, both of whom would be seniors in 2021-22 and both of whom are 6’5, and well, Big Guard U feels pretty appropriate.
Ultimately, FSU is getting a uniquely skilled 7-footer who will be able to impact the game defensively while also spacing the floor and setting up teammates to make plays. However, his floor might be a bit lower than most top 75 recruits due to his need to add considerable strength. While it’s certainly possible (maybe even likely) that Butler doesn’t see meaningful action as a Seminole until the 2022-2023 season, bringing him in with McLeod and allows him to develop at a pace that will get him closer to his ceiling and doesn’t risk bad habits forming due to being overmatched physically early in his career.
Stay tuned to TN for the best FSU hoops coverage (we might even be able to talk him into a Warley scouting report, as well!).