A preseason largely based around optimism took a turn for the worse on Monday for the Florida State Seminoles, as men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton told ESPN.com that freshman sensation Xavier Rathan-Mayes has been ruled ineligible for the 2013-14 season.
The No. 44 ranked prospect in the class of 2013, Rathan-Mayes is a sweet shooting combo guard whose explosiveness and confidence were going to help cover up the hole in the ‘Noles offense without Michael Snaer in Tallahassee.
“Following a review by the NCAA Eligibility Center, it was determined that some of the coursework Xavier completed during his high school enrollment could not be used to satisfy NCAA Division I initial-eligibility requirements,” FSU officials released in a statement on Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot-4 guard played his senior season with top-recruit (and Naismith/Gatorade National Player of the Year) Andrew Wiggins at Huntington Prep (WV), where he averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game as a senior.
Rathan-Mayes was unquestionably the most talented player being added to the fold for Hamilton this season, and this is about the worst news that the team could have received leading up to the start of the season. While Sophomore guards Aaron Thomas and Devon Bookert are expected to take big steps forward this season, Rathan-Mayes was the perimeter scorer that FSU was really missing badly last season, and could have used big-time for this year.
Being short-sighted, it’s going to stink not having their prized recruit eligible for this season. There will be games where the ball movement between Bookert and senior guard Ian Miller is so good, or Okaro White is dominating on the block and the team just needs a knockdown shooter to draw some attention or make defenses pay for doubling-up. That guy should’ve been Rathan-Mayes.
Hopefully this will motivate the son of Seminoles great Tharon Mayes (21st all-time leading scorer – 1,260 points) to work harder at breaking his fathers records. Until next year…
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