Florida State University head coach Leonard Hamilton has secured one of the top basketball recruiting classes in school history with the addition of four players – including two ranked within the nation’s top 50 players and three ranked within the top 100 – to the Seminoles’ already deep roster which includes only one graduating player. Signing National Letters of Intent with Hamilton and the Seminoles were forward Dwayne Bacon (Lakeland, Fla. /Oak Hill Academy), guard Malik Beasley (Alpharetta, Ga. /Saint Francis), center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (Chad, Africa/Montverde Academy) and guard Terance Mann (Tilton, N.H./Tilton School).
Florida State’s 2015 recruiting class is ranked among the nation’s best including No. 4 by 247sports.com, No. 5 by ESPN.com, No. 6 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 6 by Hoopniks.com.
“I must give my staff tremendous credit for recognizing the needs of our program and working very hard to address all of those needs in outstanding fashion,” said Hamilton. “I could not be happier with the group of players we have signed. Not only is this an extremely talented group but it is a group of young men all with tremendous character — character that further allows us to continue to move our program forward.”
Bacon (6-6, 209) is an athletic wing with great vision of the court who will be an immediate contributor on the offensive end for the Seminoles. He is considered to be one of the elite scorers of the 2015 recruiting class. Bacon is capable of playing multiple positions and has made his mark as a five star player who is an aggressive rebounder that can attack the basket. Bacon will fit in well with the Seminoles’ current roster because of his outstanding defensive skills. He is ranked as the No. 12 overall player nationally by 247Sports and the nation’s No. 22 overall player by Rivals.com. Bacon is regarded as the No. 3 player in the state of Virginia and the No. 4 shooting guard in the nation this year.
“It’s great to be signed to a staff that really believes in me,” said Bacon. “I feel they will help me grow my all-around game.”
Bacon averaged 23 points, seven rebounds and three steals during his senior season at McKeel Academy in Lakeland, Fla. He will play at Oak Hill Academy for head coach Steve Smith this season before heading to Florida State. Bacon chose Florida State over Auburn, Georgetown, UNLV, Oklahoma State, SMU, USF, USC, Tennessee and Georgia Tech.
“Dwayne Bacon is the total package on the offensive end of the court,” said Smith. “He can score off the dribble and the catch, get to the rim and shoot the three. His best skill might be his ability to pass and create for his teammates. He also is long and athletic and will be a tremendous defender in time.”
Beasley (6-4, 185) is a four star shooting guard who will add to the Seminoles perimeter depth with his scoring mentality and high level of athletic ability. He is ranked as the No. 43 overall recruit and the No. 19 shooting guard in the country by Rivals.com. Beasley has an incredible ability to use his physical strength to create his own shots.
“It feels great to be part of the Florida State family,” said Beasley. “It is great to have a head coach and a great coaching staff who will all help me become a better basketball player.”
Beasley attends St. Francis High School in Alpharetta, Ga., where he averaged his career highs of 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals in leading the Knights to a 24-7 record and a state title his junior season. He became the first St. Francis player to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career as a junior. He participated in the LeBron James Skills Academy and the Nike Global Challenge in the summer of 2014. Beasley led the renowned Georgia Stars in scoring at the Nike EYBL with a 19.6 points per game scoring average and a 5.2 rebounds per game average. Beasley committed to Florida State over Wake Forest, Georgia, St. Johns, UCLA, UConn, and VCU.
“Malik is one of the hardest working kids we have here at St. Francis,” said head coach Drew Catlett. “He works with our coaching staff and is always in the gym getting up extra shots. Malik works as hard as any plyer I have ever been around. He’s a great person who respects and has earned the respect of all of the teachers and administrators at our school. Florida State is getting an athletic player with really long arms who knows how to score the basketball. He also wants to rebound and wants to play defense so he is going to fit in with Coach Hamilton and his staff extremely well. Malik is a really good young man who is excited about playing at Florida State and competing in the ACC.”
Koumadje (7-4, 220) is another player in the Seminoles’ long line of talented, defensive big men, who at 7-4, will be the tallest player in the history of the Florida State program. The center from Chad (Central Africa) has the athleticism and mobility to run the floor and a wing span of 7-7.
He has tremendous size with big hands and a long wing span which makes him an incredible shot blocker. Koumadje began playing basketball in 2012.
“I am really excited about my commitment to Florida State,” said Koumadje. “It’s a really great program; I can’t wait to get on campus and start working with the coaches. Coach Hamilton and the coaching and going to help me become a better player and be successful as a student-athlete and on the basketball court.”
Koumadje plays for Kevin Boyle at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla. He played AAU ball with Florida’s Showtime Ballers under coach Diana Neal. Koumadje played AAU basketball with Seminole signee Dwayne Bacon. He chose to play collegiately at Florida State over offers from SMU, Georgia Tech, UConn and UCLA
“Jean Marc is a great kid who is very humble and has made great improvements in his game on the defensive end,” said Boyle. “His jump hook is getting to be a very good shot for him; he will be a crowd favorite.”
Mann (6-5, 210) is a four star player who is ranked as the No. 76 overall player by ESPN and the No. 88 overall player by Rivals.com. His best attribute is his ability to create for others and the ability to break down opponents off the dribble. The shooting guard has a high basketball IQ and uses his athleticism and size to defend.
“I am elated to be signing with Florida State,” said Mann. “The opportunities that Coach Hamilton and his coaching staff will provide for me are beyond what I imagined. I look forward to playing for such a good coach with such a good coaching staff. With his knowledge of the game, Coach Hamilton will be able to help me get to the next level.”
Mann has played his first three seasons as a prep star at the Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.) where he averaged 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals to lead his team to the NEPSAC Class AA State Championship tournament quarterfinals his junior year. He was Tilton’s team captain and named as its Most Valuable Player as a junior.
Mann also plays AAU ball for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club where he averaged 10.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in the Nike EYBL I 2014. Terance is the son of Eustace Mann and Daynia La-Force. His mother is a former standout at Georgetown who led the Hoyas to the 1993 Big East title and to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 1993 NCAA Tournament. She is the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island. Mann selected Florida State over Arizona State, Marquette, Boston College, Rhode Island, Florida, Miami, Indiana and Georgetown.
“Terance is a terrific team player in every sense,” said Tilton School head coach Marcus O’Neil. “He’s been a pleasure to coach over the last three seasons. Terance has improved himself every step of the way by being focused, working hard and accepting coaching. I wouldn’t be surprised if he developed into a real standout at the college level.”