Florida State Seminoles (23-11, 11-5)
Projected starting five:
Sr. G Jeff Peterson
Sr. G Deividas Dulkys
Jr. G Michael Snaer
So. F Okaro White
Jr. C Bernard James
Chris Singleton: 13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 apg
Derwin Kitchen: 10.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.6 apg
Percent returning scoring and rebounding:
Scoring: 69.3 percent
Rebounding: 70.9 percent
Jeff Peterson, senior point guard transferred from Arkansas
Kiel Turpin, junior power forward transferred from D-II Lincoln College
Antwan Space, No. 91 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from DeSoto, Texas
Terry Whisnant, No. 103 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman shooting guard from Cherryville, N.C.
Best non-conference game: at Michigan State
Toughest conference stretch: Jan. 7-14 (at Clemson, at Virginia Tech, vs. North Carolina)
Under coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles have perennially been one of the top defensive teams in the country. Even without uber-athlete Chris Singleton, Florida State figures to continue its defensive dominance this season, with Bernard James leading the way. Florida State has good height throughout its lineup, forcing opponents to shoot outside the lane, and no one shot well beyond the arc against the Noles last season.
The question will be whether the Seminoles can generate enough offense to win some ugly, low-scoring affairs. Senior transfer Jeff Peterson will be a major part of that answer. The team could turn to Peterson to play point guard after he graduated from Arkansas last season and transfered to Tallahassee as a player eligible to join the team immediately. Hamilton will need Peterson to play well, and he’s got to hope that Michael Snaer, Deividas Dulkys and Luke Loucks practiced their jump shots all summer. None of the team’s top returning guards shot better than 40 percent from the field last season.