FTRS: First off, what is the state of the FSU hoops fan? Is hoops a passing thought for the average FSU fan or is the program gaining in popularity?
TN: There are two sports at FSU: Football and spring football. By all appearances the administration seems fine with the situation, as they do little to brand FSU basketball as a unique product. It’s run like a mid-tier Big 6 program, and the result is consistent with the approach.FTRS: Iman Shumpert is 6 points away from his 1000th career point. Who will be charged with defending Iman? What do FSU's guards bring to the table offensively?
TN: Hamilton’s defensive match-ups are tough to predict, especially on guys like Shumpert who can get to the line. I anticipate Michael Snaer on him in the early going, at least until he proves he can’t stop him. Snaer, if not overshadowed by Chris Singleton, would be candidate for All-ACC defense. He can match Iman’s size, and he’s a high motor, intense defender who generally doesn’t need much help.FTRS: Picket, Douglass, Alabi...it always seems like FSU stars have career days against Paul Hewitt. What aspects of Leonard Hamilton's coaching style allow him to flat out dominate Hewitt?
Offensively Snaer is the classic Hamilton recruit – NBA athleticism, but very raw. He’s excellent in the open court, but a liability in half court sets. PG Derwin Kitchen is much more polished, though is effort varies from game to game. If he’s focused his slashing game can be tough to defend. Deividas Dulkys is our 3-point specialist, though he’s been in a half-season slump with no end in sight.
TN: Since Ham came into the ACC I believe we’re 8-6 against GT, but we’ve also been the better program. Ham has 62 ACC wins since 02-03, Hewitt has 52, so 8-6 seems about right.FTRS: We can't talk FSU without addressing national signing day. Where would FSU fans rank this class amongst FSU's past 10 classes?
TN: I’ll leave that to the football guys, but the meaning of the class I can address. After watching our elite program degrade into a museum piece, fans (especially the 30+ age group) did a lot of soul searching trying to separate their love of Bowden from their disgust at what he’d let happen to the program. Then Jimbo was promoted and he preached a culture necessary for modern college football, and more importantly, he followed it up with results: great coaching hires, dominating wins over our rivals, ACC championship game appearance, 10 win season, and then the #1 recruiting class in the country. There’s little doubt amongst the faithful that FSU football will once again be nationally relevant by 2012, if not sooner.FTRS: Who wins Thursday? What's the margin?
TN: Reminds me of the UNC game last year – with our tourney hopes on the brink we went to Chapel Hill and won handily. I think we do the same here, winning 69-60.Thanks to Michael, Bud, and Mark from Tomahawk Nation. They are American treasures of the ACC blogging community. Check out Tomahawk Nation for some of the best coverage in ACC or college sports on the net.