April 28, 2009
To say that Florida State small
forward Jordan DeMercy was
hesitant with his outside shot last
season is like saying Bobby Knight
is a little moody.
In 299 minutes as a freshman, the
Norcross, Ga., product shot just 10
three-pointers and made three.
“After the game and before the
game I would tell myself not to worry about it but
during the game I was just hesitant for some reason,”
DeMercy said. “This year I am not worried about it at
As a freshman, DeMercy averaged fewer than two
points per game in a limited role off the bench. But
with Florida State’s massive roster turnover this past
off-season, his role has expanded greatly. For that reason,
the coaching staff sat the 6-foot-7, 204-pounder
down following last season and had a blunt and honest
conversation with him.
“They told me that I
had to improve my shot,”
DeMercy said. “They told
me there was only one way
to do it and that was to get
a lot of reps. So pretty much
every day during the summer I
was in the gym shooting as much
as I possibly could.”
Leonard Hamilton explained why,
beyond the obvious reasons, it is
pivotal for his sophomore wing to improve
on his shot away from the basket.
“He needs to be able to hit open looks
because he is such a good drive-and-penetrator
that we need the defense to respect
him,” Hamilton said. “It will compliment his
DeMercy took the coaching staff ‘s request to
heart and spent as much time as NCAA rules allowed
working with assistant coach Andy Enfield on
improving his shot.
“When we were allowed to work together he would
always correct me on what I did wrong,” Demercy said.
“I tried to apply everything he told me in my own individual
practices, when he wasn’t allowed to help me.
(He) told me to make sure I got it on my right side all
the time, make sure it was on the right side and above
my head and that practice will make perfect.”
According to his teammates, practice hasn’t yet made
perfect, but it has made DeMercy into an entirely different
player than they were used to on the court last
“He is a different player,” senior guard Toney Douglas
said. He is not the same player as last year because I
swear he was scared to shoot a jump shot last year. All
he wanted to do was take it to the rack. I saw it this
summer in pick-up games, he had no hesitation to
shoot it and he was knocking it down.”
That improvement was evident within the first 10
minutes of the Seminoles’ exhibition opener against
LCC International when he drained his first two three
point attempts. He ended the night 2-for-3 from deep.
“He just has to groove it and gain more confidence in
it,” Hamilton said. “He spent a lot of time in the gym
and committed himself to wanting to be a good player
and he does the things that you ask him to do.
“There is a role for him,” Hamilton added, “and it is
an important one and for us to be successful he has
to be consistent and productive and I think that has
motivated him to work harder and hold up his end of
While he was known for his ability to slash to the
basket and throw one down – a trait he said he doesn’t
plan to ignore – DeMercy can’t help but smile these
days when talking about spotting up for a jumper
beyond the arc.
“I am ready for whatever my role is,” DeMercy said.
“All the way through my high school career and
last year I was a streaky shooter. I feel like I am now
becoming a consistent perimeter shooter. I feel like a