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FSU head coach Hamilton speaks on Vassell, Williams, Forrest ahead of NBA Draft

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Basketball head coach Leonard Hamilton reflects on three former Noles on the eve of the 2020 NBA Draft

Vermont v Florida State Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft, Florida State basketball head coach Leonard Hamilton discussed three former Seminoles who have a great chance to be selected on Wednesday.

Guard Devin Vassell and forward Patrick Williams project to be selected in the lottery (the top-14 picks), while guard Trent Forrest could be picked as well.

Here’s what the veteran head coach had to say about three of the most talented players he has ever coached at Florida State.

Hamilton on Devin Vassell:

“Devin represents those characteristics that we have been looking for. We don’t ever look at scouting reports and see where you’re ranked before we start evaluating people. Devin was someone who we had been looking at for a period of time. Early on in his junior year, when we sent C.Y. up to see him, he immediately recognized that he fit the eye test, the academic test, the character test of guys we could build our program with.”

“What we are missing mostly with these three guys, is that they all embed confidence. Coachability, gym rats, eager to learn, high-character people that trusted and believed in our system and coaches.”

“He allowed himself to be coached, and that has a lot to do with how he was raised. Having two parents that really, really helped him grow…They were really supportive of him, and I think they gave him those intangible mindsets that sometimes some kinds don’t have an opportunity to learn from.”

Hamilton on Patrick Williams:

“The most impressive thing about Patrick was the mindset that he brought with him to Florida State. Obviously being a leader on his high school team, he had a pretty good reputation coming into Florida State. Most of the time that level of success will allow you to come in with maybe an air of confidence that you’ve accomplished something. That’s not what Patrick did. Patrick came in wanting to make sure he played hard and that he defended.”

“He wanted to be in great condition, he wanted to defend, and he wanted to learn how to play hard every possession, which in high school, sometimes it’s hard to do that because you can’t force getting into foul trouble for your high school team to win. That’s the reason he is where he is because he brought an unselfish spirit. He wasn’t worried about starting. He wasn’t worried about how many minutes he played.”

“He wanted to be a great teammate, he wanted to learn, he wanted to grow. He allowed himself to be coached. After practice, many times I would see him and Wyatt Wilkes after practice, the two of them walking through each position on the court and what he’s supposed to do and he’s not supposed to do.”

“He was eager to learn…Pat would ask questions. That’s not a highly-recognized, brass, confident, cocky guy coming into a program. That’s a guy who was humble, attentive, and he immersed himself into the program. He wanted to be part of the success of the program, and not necessarily wanted to be the star of the program, he just wanted to help win.”

“His attitude I think was at such a wholesome level, that it has allowed to function without the pressure of having some place that he felt he had to be. He was confident he was a good enough player. He had not talked about [being a lottery pick], that had not been his primary purpose. That mindset allowed him to be in the right mindset to flourish.”

Hamilton on Trent Forrest:

“There’s a reason why he’s our all-time winningest player in the history of our program- and it was cut short by not having the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. He would’ve put those numbers out so far… that I’m not really sure they were reachable.”

“Had an unselfish spirit, tremendous character. When he spoke, everybody listened. He has made it easier for Patrick and Devin to be who they are because they had a guy like Trent Forrest who was a coach on the floor.”

“Not only was he a great defender, great facilitator, tremendous character…matter of fact, he made me a little nervous, I was afraid he was gonna apply for my job and want to coach the team. With his savvy, he very well could have done it.”