Sunday , Feb , 05 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Florida State is up and coming

Florida State is on the rise. After nearly beating the Blue Devils, they showed that they are a team worth watching out for. Why?

Al Thornton, Alexander Johnson, and Jason Rich.


Thornton, the Seminoles’ 6-7 forward, scored a career-high 37 points and pulled down 15 boards. He’s averaging nearly 17 points a game, and as he showed last night, going up against players like Shelden Williams is not so intimidating for him.


Johnson, the 6-10, 250-pound center, is averaging about 12 points a game and, obviously, has a powerhouse body. The center pulled down 11 rebounds in Saturday’s game – an impressive stat in itself. Johnson has improved drastically over last season, but when compared to Duke’s Williams, Johnson’s continued development is needed for FSU to be one of the top ACC schools.


Rich, the 6-3 sophomore guard, averages around 11 points and managed to put up 20 against Duke. Rich has nearly doubled his scoring average over last season, a key indication that Florida State is not only improving, but doing so at a rapid rate.


The Seminole trio has changed the face of the FSU’s basketball program. All have individually doubled their scoring averaged over last season. In the four years that Leonard Hamilton has guided the Seminoles, it seems as though they keep moving up. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year they become the team to beat. Thornton and Johnson are both juniors and Rich has another two years left. If they all decide to stay, and with the top conference players like J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams heading out, Hamilton could easily take his team to the top.