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Florida State basketball 2015-16 preview

Florida State Seminoles

2014-15 record: 17-16, 8-10 in the ACC

Head coach: Leonard Hamilton

Tenure at Florida State: 14th season

Career coaching record: 458–383 (.545)

Home court: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center

Starters: C Michael Ojo, F Phil Cofer, G Devon Bookert, G Montay Brandon, G Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Bench: C Boris Bojanovsky, G Dwayne Bacon and F Jarquez Smith

Overview: With the Seminoles returning their entire starting five from last season, there is hope in Tallahassee that the 2015-16 campaign will bring more positive results than last year’s sub-.500 conference record. Florida State adds a top scorer in freshman Dwyane Bacon to complement its strong existing core.

In a college basketball scene where teams often see their top players leave before chemistry can develop the Seminoles maintain 87 percent of their scoring offense from 2014-15. A senior-laden backcourt of Devon Bookert and Montay Brandon along with sophomore Xavier Ranhan-Mayes—the team’s leading scorer from last year—will provide multiple scoring options for head coach Leonard Hamilton. Rathan-Mayes set a program record by scoring 476 total points—the most in school history for a freshman—and also became the first freshman in ACC history to score 30 points in a game on three separate occasions.

Bringing in the third-ranked recruiting class gives Florida State an incoming crop even deeper than just Bacon. He will be joined by Malik Beasley, Terance Mann, and 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje. Although the Seminoles have been up-and-down in recent years, their incoming class provides hope of returning to the tournament and once again, making a deep run into March.

One thing that needs to go right: No team needs a positive start in ACC play more than Hamilton’s squad. Florida State dropped four of its first six conference matchups last season on its way to a losing ACC record, something it hadn’t done since 2007-08. With home matchups against two of the top teams in North Carolina and Virginia, there is an opportunity to build early momentum.

One thing that could go wrong: There is little reason to think that Rathan-Mayes won’t be as good or better than he was last year. That being said, without him, the Seminoles’ season would have come crashing down. If he is unable to be the consistent performer again this year, Florida State may find itself struggling to put points on the scoreboard.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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