June 25, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Toney Douglas, who led the Florida State men’s basketball team to the 2009 NCAA Tournament and to the championship game of the 2009 ACC Tournament, was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 29th pick in the first round of the NBA Draft. He is the ninth Seminole basketball player in school history to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The pick by the Lakers was traded a short time later to the New York Knicks for a future draft selection and cash considerations.
Said NBA Commissioner David Stern: With the 29th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select Toney Douglas from Florida State University.”
“It’s a great situation for me and I am really excited to be going to New York,” said Douglas. “It’s the perfect situation for me; they play my style of basketball and I am happy to be playing for a head coach who likes to play the way I like to play. I couldn’t be happier.”
“It’s really a dream come true,” he continued. “Reality has set in that I am an NBA player. It’s something that I have been dreaming of all my life and it has finally happened. I am looking forward to going to New York tomorrow for the press conference and beginning my life as a professional basketball player.”
Douglas was an All-American Third Team selection by the Associated Press and All-America Third Team choice by the Sporting News as he enjoyed one of the top seasons by any individual player at Florida State in the history of the program during the 2008-09 season. He was an All-ACC First Team selection, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, the ACC Player of the Year runner-up, named to the All-ACC Tournament First Team and a was a two-time ACC Player of the Week as a senior. Douglas was also an All-America First-Team selection by Rivals.com, named to the All-America Defensive Team by Fox Sports and an All-District First Team selection by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard.
“He is really good,” said renowned basketball analyst Jay Bilas. “He a tough defender, he is strong, he’s athletic, he’s got a 6-6 wingspan. He’s a guy who can get steals off the ball, he anticipates very well, moves his feet and he plays like an athlete on the defensive end but he can also score and get his own shot. He has been a guy who has played some point although that is not necessarily his natural position; he is more of a combo guard. He can put the ball on the deck he can hit a pull up jump shot or a floater in the lane and he can get to the rim and he gets to the free throw line where he knocks down his free throws. I wouldn’t call him a lockdown defender but he gets a lot of steals and he’s very disruptive. At the end of the first round this is a very good player to be able to get.”
Florida State finished Douglas’s senior season with a 25-10 record (tied for the second most over wins in school history) and a 10-6 record in ACC play (the third most wins in ACC play in school history). Under Douglas’s leadership the Seminoles finished the season ranked No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 22 in the final ESPN/USA Today poll for the 2008-09 season. It marked the Florida State’s first appearance in the final AP and ESPN/USA Today polls since the end of the 1992-93 season.
Douglas’s selection gives Florida State its fifth NBA Draft pick in the last six years. All-ACC guard Tim Pickett was a second round selection of the New Orleans Hornets in 2004, guard Von Wafer was a second round selection of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005, forward Alexander Johnson was the second round selection of the Indianapolis Pacers in 2006 and All-American forward Al Thornton was the first round pick of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007.
Florida State is one of only three teams in the ACC with at least five players selected in the last six NBA Drafts. Only North Carolina (with nine selections) and Duke (with seven selections) have more NBA Draft choices since 2004 than Florida State.
Florida State University head coach Leonard Hamilton has now had 44 of his players selected in the NBA Draft. He has had five of his players at Florida State drafted along with five of his players at Miami, three at Oklahoma State, 29 of his players at Kentucky and one at Austin Peay.
“I don’t think Toney could have gone to a better situation with the style of ball that they play,” said Hamilton. “Their needs, their style and his ability all fit together – they fit together like a glove. I could not be happier for him and his family and he want to the perfect situation for him with his ability. I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”