August 5, 2009 - by
Seminole Basketball Team Earns Pre-Season Top 25 Mention

Aug. 5, 2009

The Florida State basketball team, which earned a No. 5 seed in the 2009 NCAA men’s basketball Tournament and played in the 2009 ACC Tournament championship game for the first time in school history, is ranked 15th in Dick Vitale’s pre-season top 40 and 25th in the pres-season poll by Slam Magazine.

Florida State returns three starters and nearly 60 percent of their scoring and rebounding totals from last year’s 25-10 team that enjoyed one of the top seasons in school history. The Seminoles finished with a 10-6 record and in fourth place in the ACC standings – their third highest win total and third highest conference finish since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season.

Said Vitale in his blog on “Leonard Hamilton lost start guard Toney Douglas, but he has depth and talent. Solomon Alabi has a world of potential up front.”

Alabi led the ACC in blocked shots with 73 and a 2.1 blocked shots per game. He was the only freshman to lead the ACC in a statistical category in 2009 and only the seventh freshmen in ACC history to lead the league in blocked shots. Alabi was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team and was the only freshman to be named to the All-ACC Defensive Team in 2009.

Vitale’s poll includes six ACC teams in his top 40: Duke (No. 5), North Carolina (No. 8), Florida State (No. 15), Georgia Tech (No. 20), Boston College (No. 26) and Clemson (No. 29).

Said the editors of Slam Magazine: “The `Noles were big and athletic last season; not much should change this year. Yes, the loss of Toney Douglas is not one that will be filled by one player this year, that would be asking too much, but there is still plenty of talent returning or arriving in the Sunshine State this year.

Slam mentioned the awesome potential of Alabi along with sophomores Chris Singleton (Freshmen All-American Honorable Mention and All-ACC Freshmen Honorable Mention) and Xavier Gibson (2.3 ppg in 6.4 mpg as a freshman) and newcomers Michael Snaer (McDonald’s All-American) and Terrance Shannon (21.4 ppg and 15.4 rpg as a high school junior).

The editors of Slam continued: “Alabi could emerge as a force in the ACC”, “Another youngster who oozes potential is blue chip prospect Chris Singleton“, “Singleton is quick enough to beat other forwards off of the dribble”, “Gibson should contribute at a great level this season”, “Based on what he showed at the high school level, it would seem that Snaer will be an excellent replacement for Douglas” and “Derwin Kitchen showed flashes during the ACC schedule including a 19-point performance against Virginia Tech.”

Florida State will play in the Old Spice Classic on Orlando Nov. 26-29 with Iona as its opening round opponent and either Baylor or Alabama as its second round opponent. The Seminoles will also travel to play at Ohio State on Dec. 2 at 9:30 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The remainder of the Seminoles’ schedule will be released later in the month of August.

Dick Vitale's Pre-Season Top 25
1.  Kansas
2.  Kentucky
3.  Michigan State
4.  Texas
5.  Duke (ACC opponent for Florida State)
6.  Purdue
7.  Villanova
8.  North Carolina (ACC opponent for Florida State)
9.  West Virginia
10. Illinois
11. Michigan (Potential Florida State opponent in Old Spice Classic)
12. Tennessee
13. Connecticut
14. California
16. Washington
17. Syracuse
18. Mississippi State
19. Louisville
20. Georgia Tech (ACC Opponent for Florida State)
21. Oklahoma
22. Florida (Non-conference opponent for Florida State)
23. Butler
24. Ohio State (ACC/Big Ten Challenge for Florida Stat)
25. Georgetown

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