After a disappointing 18-16 finish a season ago after four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, little is expected out of Florida State this upcoming season. With prized freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes suspended for the season, Michael Snaer graduated and Terrance Shannon having transferred to Virginia Commonwealth, the Seminoles are lacking not only in depth, but in experience as well. Florida State has four scholarship seniors, but of them, only two have more than a season of playing experience in head coach Leonard Hamilton’s system.
As many big shots as Snaer hit for Florida State last season including four game-winners, it is scary to wonder where the Seminoles would have been without him, but the same can be said for Okaro White. White, now a senior, is coming off of a career-year in which he averaged 12.4 points-per-game and a team-high 5.9 rebounds. As a junior, the 6’8″ forward also shot a career-high 51 percent from the field and willed Florida State to victories over the likes of Maryland, St. Joe’s and in the ACC Tournament, Clemson.
Ian Miller, also a senior, is one of only four guards on the roster for Florida State. Miller was highly recruited out of high school in Charlotte, but to this point, has not blossomed into that player that Coach Hamilton had hoped. Miller has shown flashes of excellence, but has spent much of his duration at Florida State off the floor due to injury and academic issues that also forced him to miss time. Of the four guards, Miller is the only one with more than a year of experience at FSU.
Miller is coming off of the worst year of his Florida State career averaging a career-low 5.3 points-per-game and 1.6 rebounds-per-game. Miller also shot career-low percentages from the field, foul line and from beyond the arc. With only three true sophomores at the guard position aside from Miller, the senior is going to have to find a way to contribute and perhaps finally be the player that so many hoped he would be when he first set foot on campus.
White and Miller are not only the only two four-year seniors on the Florida State roster, but they are the only two players that the Seminoles have with more than a year of experience. Few would be surprised if White had an All-ACC season for Florida State, but Miller will likely have to average in double-figures scoring to give Florida State a fighting chance to make the tournament.
Florida State has talented young players in sophomores Devon Bookert, Montay Brandon, Aaron Thomas and the 7’3″ Boris Bojanovsky, but only a few elite programs can get away with having a ton of young talent and little veteran leadership. Florida State is not one of them and that is why the Seminoles will need big seasons from the only two players on the roster to have more than a year of experience entering the 2013-14 season.