FSU Basketball taking selective approach when evaluating players in transfer portal
{{ timeAgo('2021-04-20 16:50:51 -0500') }} basketball Edit

FSU Basketball being 'picky' when it comes to transfer portal

The NCAA Transfer Portal has been open for business for quite some time, but it has really kicked into overdrive since the end of the 2020-21 college basketball season.

It's not just open. It feels like an everything-must-go sale, with players from all over the country -- good players, all-conference selections -- changing schools seemingly every other minute of every day.

The Florida State men's basketball team landed one of the biggest fish available way back in December, when Houston's Caleb Mills announced he'd be transferring to FSU.

Since then, however, the portal has been quiet in Tallahassee.

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Florida State men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff have been selective when evaluating players on the transfer market.
Florida State men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff have been selective when evaluating players on the transfer market. (Associated Press)

Even with underclassmen like RaiQuan Gray, Scottie Barnes, Balsa Koprivica and Sadaar Calhoun declaring for the NBA Draft, there has been no noise at Florida State. But that doesn't mean there won't be some soon.

After all, there are spots available.

"We're picky," FSU associate head coach Stan Jones said on Tuesday. "We're not going to be one of these staffs that's chasing every name out there just to say we're recruiting somebody, like some staffs do. And the first thing that comes up in our minds is, 'Why would that young man be leaving that program?'

"Because we're very intent on keeping the chemistry of our team, the connection of our locker room, so we want to know the ins and outs of why would that young man be leaving before we're making a decision of should we try to recruit him for our roster?"

Fans see a former five-star recruit on the open market and want him in Tallahassee. FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff see a former five-star leaving a school and wonder why he's available in the first place, and if he could hurt the culture more than he would help the team.

Jones pointed out that the Seminoles have had great success in the past with transfers, going all the way back to Toney Douglas leaving Auburn.

But other than Douglas, Mills and current Seminole Malik Osborne, who transferred from Rice, the FSU program has mainly gone the grad-transfer route (Jeff Peterson, David Nichols, etc.) or the JUCO route (P.J. Savoy, Braian Angola, RayQuan Evans, Calhoun, others) when signing non-high school additions.

That could be changing, though.

With the portal flooded with players like it's never been before, and with the NCAA recently passing the one-time transfer rule, there are more talented players on the market than ever before.

So, Florida State will likely have to change as well.

"If you're going to stay in the business, you have to be like the animal kingdom," Jones said. "If you don't adapt, you become extinct. But we've been very selective over the years in the transfers we've taken in."

And they will continue to be so.

When you're become one of the best programs in the country, when you're consistently going to NCAA Tournament Sweet 16s and competing for ACC Championships, you can be "picky."

But they also have to fill out a roster. And even with a top-five signing class coming in, spots remain to be filled.

It's all part of the constantly evolving landscape of college basketball.

"It's changing in so many ways," Jones said. "I can see why Roy Williams walked in and said, 'I'm not the right man for the job anymore.' When it starts trickling down to the blue bloods, that they've got kids walking in a couple of days after they're eliminated from the tournament and they're leaving, you know that dynamic has changed drastically."

Jones then made sure to point out that he thinks FSU will be able to adapt to the new reality as smoothly as possible.

"It's a unique situation, and you've got to continue to keep the faith and keep selling what we do," he said. "We'll figure that out. Coach Hamilton has been an elite recruiter for a long time for a reason."

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