Coming out of high school in 2009, Michael Snaer was one of Florida State's most highly anticipated basketball prospects in quite some time. He was regarded highly as a scorer and one of the best shooting guards in the nation in his class, receiving consistently high marks for his incredible work ethic and competitive nature.
Despite the excitement and anticipation surrounding his arrival, Snaer's first two seasons, although far from terrible, fell woefully short of the lofty expectations that were thrusted upon him early on. In Snaer's first two seasons in Garnet and Gold, the 6'5, Moreno Valley, California native would average a shade under 9 points per game and hover around 35% from deep. He was a streaky shooter and scorer, who at times seemed indecisive and uncomfortable within the FSU offense. Entering his junior season, there was plenty of buzz and talk of Snaer regaining his confidence and settling into his role as a team leader that would be able to put the Seminoles on his back and carry them to the next level. While this all sounded good, it is no surprise that some were skeptical as to how much of a difference there would be in his game.
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As the FSU basketball team tries to continue their conference winning streak, which now sits at seven straight, Seminole fans should also keep an eye on the big showdown between the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels. Florida State holds a tie-breaker over both teams' heads at the moment and with Duke's recent letdown against Miami, they have an additional game up on the Blue Devils. Should Duke come away with the victory, it would give both powerhouses two losses in conference play and provide some breathing room for the Noles atop the ACC.
During this fantastic seven game stretch, the Seminoles have knocked off three ranked opponents in a three week stretch and done so in an impressive fashion. Though their offense is still not fantastic, it looks far more fluid and much less disjointed. It's fair to say that many have been waiting for the Noles to have a lapse in their focus at some point over the past three weeks, but that has not happened. They have kept up the intensity and continued to play well, which is extremely impressive. The Noles will take on Boston College tonight, a team who is currently 7-16 overall and are carrying a streak of their own, of the losing variety. The Eagles have dropped six straight and Florida State is looking to make it a cool seven.
Michael Snaer has been playing very well as of late with outstanding confidence and more and more confidence as the season goes on. He is looking like the player he was expected to be out of high school. Snaer is shooting 41% from beyond the arch on the year and averaging nearly 14 which is very well above his career average. It's nice to see the Noles with seems to be a consistent go to weapon on offense. Tip off tonight is at 7:00 p.mno comments
Miller making a difference on offense
Since returning from suspension in December, sophomore has sparked offense off the bench
During their current five-game win streak, the Florida State Seminoles have seen their offensive output jump by seven points per game, from 70.6 points per contest through the first 15 games to 77.6 per game.
While the players insist that the team hasn’t made any major adjustments—both Michael Snaer and Deividas Dulkys said Friday that the players have started doing the “little things” better—there has been one major addition to the offense that has contributed to the increased production. That addition is Ian Miller.
Since returning in December from an academic suspension that held him out of the team’s first 11 games, Miller has brought a scoring threat that the FSU offense desperately needed. The sophomore is averaging 11.2 points per contest in nine games since returning on Dec. 22 at Florida, and he has dropped 15 or more points in a game five times. All while playing 24 minutes a night as a reserve.
Although Miller’s average in FSU’s current five-game ACC win streak has dipped to nine points per game, he played a big-time role in the outcome of two of those games. Against Virginia Tech, Miller came up huge for the ’Noles in the second half, scoring eight of his 15 points in the final 20 minutes to help FSU jump-start their current hot streak.
“He’s a tremendous talent,” Snaer said of Miller. “He’s just one of the few guys you have on a team who can just get their own shot whenever we need a bucket. He did it against Virginia Tech a few times whenever we just needed a bucket—he’ll hit somebody with a crossover and the next thing you know, he’s pulling up and we’ve got a bucket.”
Against Maryland on Jan. 17, Miller matched his career-high with 18 points to help FSU pull away from the Terps in the second half. Miller was ultra-efficient on the evening, hitting on 4-of-7 field goals (57 percent), including 2-of-3 from behind the arc (66 percent). He also connected on all eight of his free throws, bringing his season total to 25-of-28 from the charity stripe.
Miller’s shooting percentage only sits at 38 percent for the year, but Snaer made it a point to say that the percentages “don’t tell the truth” of just how deadly of a shooter he really is.
While the Seminoles have certainly found their stride as a team offensively—better ball movement and execution in setting and using screens have helped create more open shots, which they’ve capitalized on as a squad—Miller’s contributions cannot be understated.
“Ian is a great scorer,” Dulkys said. “He can really put up numbers, and plus the depth—just another guy to bring off the bench that teams have to worry about.”
With FSU now in sole possession of the ACC lead after six conference games, the ’Noles will now play the role of frontrunner with Miller beginning to settle into his role on offense.
“That’s what we need, so that’s what I do,” Miller said of his sixth-man role. “Because we’ve got to play defense, that’s what we do. But offense is one of my good skills, so that’s what I’m here for.”no comments
Not only was the win/loss outcome on Saturday afternoon a surprise, but the true shock came in the nature of victory for Florida State. As the #3 North Carolina Tar Heels made their way to Tallahassee on Saturday, few would have given a flailing Seminole basketball team a true shot at taking home the victory. How do they respond? By beating one of the top two teams in the ACC by 33 points, snapping their 9 game win streak and handing them their first loss since December 3rd against Kentucky.The Seminoles' 90 to 57 victory on Saturday is the type of victory that can help turn a season around for the better and create some serious momentum and confidence.
The big story of the day is Deividas Dulkys and his career high 32 points, 4 assists and shooting a blistering 12 of 14 (85.7%) from the floor. His 8 three pointers made set a single game ACC record. He was about as hot as a player can be in today's game and did so within the flow of things without forcing shots or making bad decisions. Best of all, he brought the same intensity on both ends of the floor. In addition to his offensive numbers, Dulkys added 4 steals, 1 block and 1 rebound. Could this be a turning point in the season for Dulkys? It would be a welcome change for the Noles.
Other strong individual performances came from (F) Okaro White and (G) Michael Snaer, who both poured in double digit efforts with 12 and 17 points respectively. In all, this was total team effort on the back of Dulkys outstanding performance, in which the Noles completely limited and stifled the explosive UNC offense from start to finish. The Tar Heels were forced into 23 turnovers and shot just 4-19 from beyond the arch on the day. Next up for the Noles is Maryland at home on Tuesday night.no comments
As the Noles continue to establish an identity as a basketball team, the season draws closer and closer to conference play, where games truly start to hold some weight. The Seminoles' defensive play is still a force, although not quite as strong as last season, while the offense continues to be an inconsistent factor at best. In some games, FSU has players who will score from the outside and in and in others, seemingly everyone is cold. What is consistent, is the Seminoles' inability to take care of the basketball. It is difficult to perform well when you turn the ball over on roughly 30% of your possessions. It is the type of sloppy play that FSU is unfortunately becoming known for and what has people in a weird limbo between high and low when it comes to their perception of the job Coach Hamilton is doing.
Recently, Rushthecourt.net released an article giving a quick snapshot of the ACC. They have FSU ranked 4th in their power rankings, which is about where they belong in my opinion as well. Here is what they had to say about the Noles:
Florida State (6-3) snapped a three-game skid by blowing out a less than mediocre Charleston Southern team at home. Unfortunately, a promising first half (the Seminoles scored 45 points!) yielded a “meh” overall performance that included 21 turnovers. If this team can figure out how to limit turnovers, it could be very dangerous. If not, it’s just another very good defensive team.
Ken Pomeroy Fun Fact: In contrast to North Carolina, only three Florida State players–Michael Snaer, Terrance Shannon and Deividas Dulkys–average a point per possession.
Check out the rest of their take on the ACC here.
Young Players finding their groove and gaining footing
There has been some questioning surrounding why certain young players haven't seen the court much. In Monday night's contest against a decent Charleston Southern team, we got a good glimpse at freshman guard Terry Whisnant, who played a career high 19 minutes. Whisnant is a talented scorer, but is still working on picking up the rhythm and speed of D-1 basketball. He was able to show that he has what it takes, but also shed light on why he has not seen more important minutes against better competition. Whisnant took a few shots that were missed badly, which probably had as much to do with nerves as anything, but keep an eye out for him in his time at FSU.
In contrast, sophomore Okaro White looks to be settling in to this season and becoming more comfortable with his new role. White scored 20 points on Monday night, but what was more impressive than the points themself was the efficiency and confidence he displayed while scoring them. White has a versatile game and when he makes the right decisions, he is a dangerous weapon for the Noles to have.
Keep an eye out for in the next couple of weeks for the player that has been conspicuously missing from the lineup. Sophomore guard Ian Miller claims that he will be back on the floor by the time the Seminoles take on the #12 Gators on December 22nd. Hopefully he's able to work his way into game shape soon, but Miller will immediately present a scoring boost for FSU when he's back on the active roster. Remember, it's tough to know for sure when he will be available because Hamilton is about as forthcoming with this type of information as Jimbo Fisher is with injuries, which is to say--not at all.no comments
After getting off to a 5-0 start, the Seminoles are now in a position where they are having to fight off a three game losing streak. The ACC is struggling thus far in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and depending on which FSU basketball team decides to show up, a victory tonight would be big for the school and the conference as a whole. Both these teams struggle on the offensive side of the floor at times, so don't be surprised to see a bit of an ugly game.
The Spartans have a scoring combo of Keith Appling (10.7 ppg) at guard and Draymond Green (12.7 ppg) at forward. Green is not the biggest of players, but has excellent fundamentals and a great idea of how to use his frame to his advantage when rebounding. He averages 11.2 rebounds per game and gets a lot of scoring opportunities on the offensive boards. Florida State's strength is size and length. The Noles will have a team of big men fighting to ensure that they come out on the right end of things in the rebounding battle and also, typically do a great job of shutting down big men who tend to score a lot.
Ultimately this matchup will come down to how well FSU can do things on the offensive end of the floor. Michigan State is a very solid basketball club and will be well coached, obviously. But Florida State has the athletes and the defense to compete well and if an offensive rhythm is established and maintained, they can improve to 6-2 on the year. Unfortunately, that is one major if. Inconsistency on offense is Florida State's M.O. Michael Snaer continues to lead the team in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game. The problem is that the next three leading scorers have seen their offensive production decrease by at least two points per game over the last three contest. The Seminoles will need someone else to step up and become more consistent as the season matures.no comments
In an absolutely hideous display of offensive basketball, the Seminoles have dropped their first game of the season to the Harvard Crimson. The thing about being a team that has a history of playing offense this poorly and defense this well is that the Florida State Seminoles continue to be perfectly capable of losing to any team in the country or beating any team in the country. 17-47 from the floor will not cut it.
The Noles struggled mightily all night, getting off to a start that saw them miss their first 17 shots from the floor. Michael Snaer was the team's high scorer with 10 points, the only player to reach double digits. If there is any good news here, it is that the Noles get to take a shot at knocking off UConn tomorrow afternoon in the consolation game. A win of that caliber early in the season will look good for Florida State's resume long term. The question is how well this group will bounce back from the disappointing loss in such a terrible fashion.no comments
With the Noles advancing to round two of the Battle 4 Atlantis, they have earned the right to play Harvard at 4:30 on Friday afternoon. Harvard comes in with a 4-0 record on the season after defeating Utah by a score of 75-47 on yesterday evening. The Crimson's strongest offensive performances came from the likes of their big men, Keith Wright and Kyle Casey, who scored 13 and 11 points respectively against the Utes. As with most teams on the schedule, the Seminoles have a decided size and athleticism advantage over Harvard and even if the Noles were to bring their normal sloppy, turnover filled play to the court, they should still be able to win the game by virtue of stifling defense and outrebounding.
Yesterday, Michael Snaer led all scorers with 16 points. Through five games thus far, the Seminoles have had a different high scorer in each contest of the season, with no player scoring over 18. With four different players averaging in double digits entering this tournament, it is clear that FSU has multiple options on the offensive end of the floor which is certainly a positive. With a strong group of players that are capable of putting points on the board, hopefully the Noles can keep up their strong team performances.
Tipoff: 4:30 pm
Televised: Versus Network
Location: Paradise Island, The Bahamasno comments
The Florida State Seminoles were able to successfully extend their winning streak to open the season against a tough UMass team in convincing fashion. The theme of this game for both teams was turnovers, as the two played high pressure, intense defense throughout the course of the game and combined to force over 40 turnovers on the day. Ultimately, the Seminoles were able to counteract their sloppy play with and come away with the W. Florida State was able to contain the Minutemen's top two scorers, Chaz Williams and Terrell Vinson, to a combined 12 points on the day. The two have combined for an average of 30 through their first four games. In total, the Seminoles held UMass to 27.9% from the floor, including 8.7% from beyond the arch while tallying up nine blocks. That type of defense will typically get you the win regardless of the opponent you're playing.
On the offensive end, Florida State got a big performance out of Michael Snaer, who continues to play with more confidence in his junior campaign. Snaer poured in 16 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double while Luke Loukes contributed 12 points of his own. The big men did not have as solid a showing from the field on offense, but rebounded well and put tremendous pressure on the UMass front court. By game's end, FSU had nearly converted as many free throw attempts (30) as UMASS had field goal's and free throws combined (32). Again, the most glaring problem this team will face seems to be controlling the ball. If Florida State figures out a way to cut down on foolish and unnecessary turnovers and convert the many easy baskets they often miss out on, they will be a very dangerous team.
Next up in the tournament for the Noles is the winner of the matchup between Utah and Harvard. Right after this tournamant is over, FSU has a big time game with Michigan State on November 30th. That game will be as good a measuring stick that Seminole fans can expect before playing a top 10 UF team just before Christmas and commencing conference play in January.no comments
The Florida State Seminoles, now ranked #20 in the nation, look to continue the quick start to their season by improving their record to 5-0 against the Massachusetts Minutemen on Thanksgiving Day. The Minutemen bring their own undefeated record to the table and have already knocked off Boston College. Granted, Boston College is not a good team this year, but UMass is going to be the best opponent FSU has faced thus far. While the Seminole's defense has not been the completely dominant force it was last season just yet, it has been very good in the early going and is accompanied by a very welcome addition--an apparently competent offense.
There are still glaring problems as far as ball control are concerned, as the Seminoles continue to turn the ball over at an extremely high rate. The positive though, is that the Noles have seemed to have picked up a rhythm and fluidity on offense that was certainly missing throughout most of last season. Through the first four games, Florida State has four players averaging double figures and that's despite one of them scoring just a single point in the season opener. Bernard James (10.0), Michael Snaer (11.8), Terrance Shannon (11.0) and Deividas Dulkys (11.5) are all in double figures, which is huge for the Noles. Last season just two of the Noles starting five were able to sustain that type of offensive production throughout the entire season. What is intriguing about this group of players is that three of the quartet struggled significantly either all of last season or had incredibly bad streaks. Michael Snaer seems to have a sense of comfort on the floor that Nole fans have been waiting to see and Terrance Shannon is far more composed as well. Obviously, it is still very early in the year but if this is what is to be expected, Florida State could be a dangerous team to watch for.
UMass brings some explosive scorers of their own, particularly in PG Chaz Williams who is averaging 17.3 points per game to go along with his 8.0 assists. Their second leading scorer is Terrell Vinson (F), who is adding 13.0 points per game and 7.5 rebounds. The clear edge that FSU has comes in size and length, which is typically the case against the majority of their opponents. The Seminoles will be expecting to slow down this UMass offense by altering and contesting shots in the paint and controlling the glass. Against Southern Alabama (a significantly less talented opponent), Florida State's big man foursome of James, Shannon, Gibson and Kreft combined to shoot 13 for 15 from the floor and snag 24 rebounds. As competition will continue to improve, the Seminoles will need continued consistency from the big men and guards.
Tipoff Time: 4:30
Televised: Versus Network
Location: Paradise Island, The Bahamasno comments