College Road Report: FSU vs. OSU
The Big Ten shines in the annual Challenge.
OSU wound up snatching the game with a 77-64 victory and here are some of the things that caught our eye during the game:
– Florida State has a starting five bigger then many NBA teams. The Seminoles offer a starting five that stands 6-4, 6-5, 6-9, 6-8 and 7-1. Half of the teams in the NBA can’t even match that sort of size and length.
– Ohio State may have the best trio of wings in the country. How many teams can offer a guy in the running for National Player of the Year (Evan Turner), a silky smooth shooting guard who’s great coming off screens (William Buford), a lights out three-point shooter (Jon Diebler), a lockdown defender (David Lighty), and an instant offense scorer off of the bench (Jeremie Simmons) who all average more than 10 ppg? That’s straight nasty.
– Lack of a true point guard could ultimately hurt both teams down the road. Sure Evan Turner is killing right now at the point guard position, but how many times can he play 40 minutes handling the ball every possession? For Florida State, they don’t even have a single player averaging 4 apg.
– There was no shortage of NBA prospects on the floor. We caught no less than five NBA teams represented near us, with the likelihood that there were more in attendance. NBA scouts are a bit incognito, dressing in a business casual fashion when evaluating players, as opposed to college coaches who often flaunt their school’s logo as much as possible. Though the majority were there to see Turner and Alabi, there were a number of other guys (Buford, Diebler, Lauderdale, Singleton) that caught the eye of scouts for guys who have a chance to make the League down the road.
– Evan Turner is the best player in the country? He’s sure making a case thus far for national POY. 20 points, almost 13 rebounds, and 6.6 assists for a 6-7 guard? Someone once compared ET to Brandon Roy while sitting in Las Vegas during Turner’s junior year in high school. I thought that the guy was off his rocker at the time. Kudos on that one, JW.
– ET top 5 pick in next year’s NBA Draft? No doubt. I had the chance to chat it up with an NBA scout from an unnamed Eastern Conference squad who even thought that Turner could make a run for the top pick, if it weren’t for a guy named John Wall. He’s got the size, versatility, and ability to create that people love. The only thing that is holding him back at this point is his lack of a consistent outside J.
– Solomon Alabi is really coming along, but needs to stay another year. Alabi could definitely trade in calculus for cash come the end of the season, but should definitely stick around Tallhassee for another campaign. Leonard Hamilton and his staff have done an outstanding job of bringing the Nigerian big man along throughout his redshirt year all the way to this point. Why stop the progress now? The dude has some sick long term potential, but really needs to work on his footwork and hands before he’s ready to contribute in the League. Sure, this year’s NBA draft is thin on centers and he’d be a first round pick, but he should consult with the recent draftees that were sent down and are riding buses around the D-League before he makes the jump.
– Jon Diebler may be the best shooter in the country. Before everyone jumps on me with Rotnei Clarke stuff, you have to keep in mind that Diebler is nearly 6-7 and has shown the ability to get his shot off over players with similar length. One NBA scout threw out a poor man’s Kyle Korver comparison if he continues to develop off of the bounce, and we can definitely see it. If the League doesn’t work out for him, Diebler can always make a living off of shooting dvd’s with the picture perfect form that he has.
– Chris Singleton needs to take over games. FSU is going to need their star sophomore to be the man on the offensive end, if they hope to do serious damage this year. The guy is 6-9, can play both forward positions, and is the definition of the new hybrid forward that scouts are looking for in the League. Sure, he’s not a full time small forward yet, but he’s getting there. The Al Thornton comparisons are right on the money, but he’s going to have to learn to be the go-to guy that his FSU predecessor was if he really wants to enhance his draft stock.
– Where in the world is William Buford? WB has all of the skills of an NBA shooting guard, but just hasn’t seemed to get it going this year. The soph is shooting 11 percent less from the field this year and the ball just isn’t falling on the buckets that he usually makes. There were rumors about him wanting to bolt to the League after this year, but why not stick around for his junior campaign, play with a top 3 recruiting class, and contend for a national championship? It didn’t hurt Wayne Ellington or Ty Lawson much.
– Tale of two Snaers. For the first 32 minutes of the game, FSU freshman Mike Snaer was virtually non-existent. For the last 8 minutes, he showed everyone in Columbus what made him a McDonald’s All American last year. He was active on the defensive end, sliced through the lane, and converted in traffic, finishing with 10 points in those last 8 minutes. If the frosh keeps playing like he did towards the end of the game, we could easily be looking at an All-ACC Freshman team guy.
– Dallas Lauderdale is the best defender in the Big Ten. Sure, it may not look that way based on Alabi’s 21 points, but OSU was full fronting Alabi and he got a number of easy buckets off of lob passes. Once Alabi actually got the ball in the post, Lauderdale was great playing one on one defense against his Nigerian foe. Lauderdale is also shooting an absurd 94.1 percent from the field (no that’s not a typo) from the field this season, making 16 of his 17 attempts. If the junior keeps working on his offensive game, he’s definitely a guy who could wind up making a roster as a bruiser after his career is over due to his size (260 pounds), length (7-4 wingspan), and ability to block shots.