Florida State won the ACC regular-season championship on Saturday, this after beating Boston College 80-62. It marks the Seminoles’ first regular-season conference championship since 1989 – when they were members of the Metro Conference.
Leonard Hamilton, who led Florida State to the Elite Eight in 2018 and the Sweet 16 in 2019, was named ACC Coach of the Year.
“You think about what he lost from that team last year, he lost Terance Mann, Phil Cofer, Christ Koumadje – they lost a lot of really good players from that team, and here they are back again, winning the ACC,” Steve Lappas said on The DA Show. “He’s done an amazing job. I’ve known Leonard for a long time. When I was coaching at Villanova, he was at Miami. We were in the league together. I know how good he is defensively, especially.”
Hamilton, 71, has coached at Florida State since 2002. He is 55-13 over the last two seasons.
“He’s changed a little bit over the years,” Lappas said. “Playing 11 guys, he has a tremendous amount of depth. He has a guy like Trent Forrest at the point guard who’s tough, who’s been through the wars. Devin Vassell on the wings. This is a very athletic team, a tremendous defensive team, a lot of different weapons.”
But do the Seminoles have too many weapons? Ten players average at least 10.0 minutes per game. Another, Wyatt Wilkes, averages 9.1.
“To me, I always have an issue when somebody plays 11 guys,” Lappas said. “I think it becomes hard in the last four or five minutes of a game to establish exactly who does what. That’s been what I’ve noticed about people that play a lot of guys.”
To Lappas’ point, only one player, Vassell, is averaging over 12.0 points per game. He averages 12.7. If the game is on the line, does he take the shot? Or does someone else?
“Are they good enough to win the whole thing? No question this team is good enough – because they’re great defensively,” Lappas said. “But they just have to know where they want to go with three minutes to go in a tight game.”