April 20, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With only 177 days remaining until the start of men’s basketball practice on October 15, Florida State University head coach Leonard Hamilton continues to earn rave reviews from local and national media. Andy Katz, college basketball expert on ESPN and ESPN.com, deems Hamilton and the Seminoles’ program to be among his success stories since Hamilton took over the reigns of Florida State’s program in 2002.
Katz writes that since the summer of 2002, there have been 114 head coaching changes among 326 Division I programs – in other words, one in every three schools have started over, or will do so this season, over the past three years. Of the 15 coaching staff changes in 2002, Hamilton and his staff of Stan Jones, Mike Jaskulski and Tony Sheals have been one of the most successful.
Florida State averages 16.5 wins per season, has defeated five nationally ranked teams and advanced to the second round of the NIT this past season. It marked the first time in six years the Seminoles advanced to postseason play. In addition, Florida State averaged 7,514 fans at home in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center in 2004 – the highest per game average since the 1992-93 season.
“The Seminoles are still looking to get into the NCAAs, but they were extremely close this past season. Florida State (19-14, 6-10) was one of the toughest road trips for any ACC team. The Seminoles couldn’t beat Duke or NC State, but took out everyone else at home. Winning on the road is still a chore, but the Seminoles are recruiting top players and should be an NCAA team in 2005,” said Katz of Hamilton’s Seminoles.
Hamilton and the Seminoles are regarded as one of 10 success stories after undergoing coaching changes in 2002.