FSU basketball: Noles check in at No. 20 in AP Preaseason Poll

FSU basketball finished the 2020-21 schedule (18-7, 11-4 ACC) and their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 before losing to Michigan.

Head coach Leonard Hamilton has established a new standard for college basketball in Tallahassee.

The basketball team has been the lone bright spot the last few years among the three major sports as Hamilton has recruited and had his teams perform at a high level nationally.

I mean, it’s crazy to think FSU basketball lost two first-round NBA Draft picks before last season and essentially gave away another ACC Conference Championship with a couple of bad losses.

The Noles lost a lot of production from last year’s team but checked in at No. 20 in the AP Preseason Poll released Monday:

Thoughts

I have to give Leonard Hamilton the benefit of the doubt based on what he’s accomplished the last few years.

However, the losses of RaiQuan Gray, Scottie Barnes, Balsa Koprivica, M.J. Walker, and reserve guard Saadar Calhoun are a LOT of production. Anthony Polite is the only returner from last year’s team that averaged double-digits.

However, that’s a prime reason Leonard Hamilton used the transfer portal to gain more experience on the roster while the No. 8 class in the nation get their feet wet early in the season. Houston and Kentucky guard transfers Caleb Mills, and Camron Fletcher will be vital to the team’s success. It’ll take time before the team forms an identity around their strengths and weaknesses.

They will have an early test as they take on rival Florida Gators on the road in the second game of the season. However, Leonard Hamilton owns Mike White since his hire, winning the last seven consecutive games. The rest of the early schedule should be good work for a team readying itself for conference play. FSU basketball will open the season on November 10 at 9 p.m. hosting Penn.