Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Leonard Hamilton has made Florida State an elite program

March 15, 2012 Columns No Comments
floridastate

During the ACC Tournament, Leonard Hamilton spoke of trying to become a program of significance in the ACC, and by extension, nationally. When the Florida State mentor was asked if his program had reached that point, he deferred to those in the media.

“We don’t determine that,” said Hamilton with a smile. “You guys do.”

In that vein, I offer you this: Florida State has become a program of significance both in the ACC and nationally. That was the case even before they won the ACC Tournament on Sunday, but that certainly doesn’t hurt.

The program’s rise has come since Hamilton took over nearly 10 years ago. They made the NIT in 2004, then three straight years from 2006-08 before now becoming a regular in the NCAA Tournament. Since his third season, the Seminoles have won at least 19 games every season. They have the third-best record (113-55) among ACC teams since the 2006-07 season.

The Seminoles broke through and finally made the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09. In this day and age, a lot of coaches would have been shown the door by the time Hamilton got them there, but the school’s patience has been rewarded greatly. Their appearance in this year’s tournament is their fourth straight, a school record, and now they have their first ACC title. So if the ACC really is more than Duke and North Carolina, right now Florida State is the team that’s right there with them. Hamilton knows what those two programs mean to the conference and to where they have come.

“I think what we have to do is worry about those things that we can control,” said Hamilton. “Let’s continue to keep winning and keep getting better. I think competing in the ACC gives us a unique and special opportunity because you have two of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball that set the standard by which all the rest of us are judged by.”

Hamilton has built this program on defense, and the Seminoles have developed a reputation as a tough defensive team. They are known for their defense, perhaps the surest sign that building the program on that end of the floor has been a success. The past two seasons, they led the nation in field goal percentage defense, and this year they are sixth in that category. It’s the fourth straight season they have been in the top ten nationally in that category. This year, they had two players named to the ACC All-Defensive team.

As a result of the success, the Seminoles are getting better talent to Tallahassee. The talent on the last non-NCAA team they had wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the current squad. They’re also drawing players from a bigger geographic area, as the 2007-08 team had just four players from outside Florida and Georgia, while this year’s team has twice that. They went across the country and got Michael Snaer, the ACC Tournament MVP, to leave California, and got Ian Miller to come from North Carolina, among others. They have continued to do well with Florida and Georgia, but the reach they have shows the results from what Hamilton and his staff have done.

As the No. 3 seed in the East region, Florida State begins their attempt to make a run through the NCAA Tournament in Nashville against St. Bonaventure. As they continue to make incremental improvements in terms of bottom-line achievements, a run in the NCAA Tournament would seem to be the next thing, and may not be far behind. The Seminoles have made it to the Elite Eight before, but that seems like a distant memory. This year, they are as good a pick as any to come out of their region.

Florida State has just continued to get better since Hamilton got them back to the NCAA Tournament three years ago. At this point, it’s safe to say that they are now a program of significance.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

The wait is over for Stony Brook

March 12, 2016 by

stonybrook

Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

February 28, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

The last Saturday of exclusively regular season play seemed to follow the script of many others. We look at notes from many of the day’s games of consequence.

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

hoopguy-yellow

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.