2024 North Carolina Sports Network
Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Spotlight:
Florida State

By David Glenn
North Carolina Sports Network

School: Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee, Fla.

Previous NCAA Conference Affiliations: Dixie Conference (1948-51), Florida Intercollegiate Conference (1954-57), Metro Conference (1976-91)

ACC Member Since: 1991-92

ACC Ranking Among 32 Leagues (KenPom): 7th (2023), 5th (2022), 5th (2021), 4th (2020)

NCAA Tournament Bids: 18 (1968, 1972, 1978, 1980, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021)

Conference Titles: 4 (1955 in FIC; 1991 in Metro; 2012, 2020 in ACC)

Conference 1st-Place Finishes: 5 (1951 in Dixie; 1955 in FIC; 1978, 1989 in Metro; 2020 in ACC)

Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton (75 years old, 22nd season at Florida State)

As A Player: Gaston CC (1966-68), UT Martin (1969-71)

Record At Florida State (Through Jan. 26): 438-272 (.617) in 21+ seasons

Previous Head Coaching Experience: Oklahoma State (1986-90), Miami (1990-2000), NBA’s Washington Wizards (2000-01)

College AC Experience: Austin Peay (1971-74), Kentucky (1974-86)

Assistant Under: Lake Kelly, Joe B. Hall, Eddie Sutton

2022-23 Record: 9-23, 7-13 (12th in 15-team ACC)

2023-23 Preseason Prediction (Media): 11th in 15-team ACC

2023-24 Record (Through Jan. 26): 12-7, 6-2 ACC

2023-24 Midseason Ranking (KenPom): No. 75 nationally (10th in ACC)

Upcoming Schedule Highlights: UNC (1/27), Virginia (2/10), at Virginia Tech (2/13), Duke (2/17)

The non-conference and conference portions of Florida State’s schedule this season have delivered completely opposite results for the Seminoles.

Under 22nd-year head coach Leonard Hamilton, the program’s all-time wins leader, the Seminoles dropped disappointing games to SMU, South Florida and Lipscomb in December. But since the turn to the full Atlantic Coast Conference slate, FSU has strung together six wins over its last seven contests and held sole possession of second place in the ACC in late January.

Much of the tide turning in favor of the Seminoles over the last month had to do with the continued development of their deep bench, which is customary for Hamilton-led teams. FSU has no shortage of weapons beyond its starting lineup, with six reserves playing at least 10 minutes per game.

Point guard Primo Spears leads the reserve unit in minutes played and points per game, and he is one of three Seminoles averaging double-figures in scoring this year. He saw the start to his FSU career delayed this season because of his two-transfer status (from Duquesne and Georgetown).

“I think we have a nice group of youngsters who are talented,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got our depth back, and we can sustain our energy for 40 minutes like we’ve been accustomed to.”

Forward Jamir Watkins, a VCU transfer in his first year at Florida State, also has provided an instant spark for the Seminoles this season. The team’s scoring leader at 13.9 points per game, he is fresh off pouring in a career-high 27 points at Syracuse.

Senior guard Darin Green Jr. has picked up his outside scoring right where it left off last season. A Central Florida transfer now in his second year with the Seminoles, Green served as FSU’s most dangerous threat from outside in 2022-23, with 91 successful 3-point attempts. Through 19 games this year, he made 29 shots from downtown, at a 39.7 percent clip.

“If (Green) can see the orange on the rim, as far as I’m concerned, he can shoot it,” Hamilton said. “I’m not going to hold him back. He’s improved in other areas of his game, though. I think that he’s learned to include his mid-range game. I think he’s taking the ball to the basket a little bit better, because we’ve insisted that he takes advantage of all his skills.

“Last year, we were not a very good perimeter shooting team, and people would load up on him, and so I would have shot the ball a lot better. This year he has some complementary guys around him that can shoot the ball.”


2023-24 Florida State Seminoles
(12-7, 6-2 ACC; through Jan. 26)


PG Jalen Warley*, Jr. — 23 mpg, 7 ppg, 3 rpg, 37% FG, 69% FT, 33% threes, 52/20 ATO, 6 blocks, 24 steals
(6-7/205); 28 mpg, 7 ppg, 3 apg in 2022-23; Westtown School; Philadelphia, Pa.

G Darin Green Jr.*, Sr. — 31 mpg, 12 ppg, 3 rpg, 42% FG, 69% FT, 40% threes, 18/20 ATO, 3 blocks, 30 steals
(6-5/195); 2022 UCF transfer (2-year starter); Wharton (Fla.) HS; Charlotte, N.C.

F Jamir Watkins, r-Jr. — 26 mpg, 14 ppg, 6 rpg, 44% FG, 79% FT, 31% threes, 57/47 ATO, 9 blocks, 30 steals
(6-7/210); 2023 VCU transfer (part-time starter); Trenton Catholic; Trenton, N.J.

F Baba Miller, So. — 24 mpg, 8 ppg, 5 rpg, 48% FG, 52% FT, 32% threes, 28/24 ATO, 20 blocks, 19 steals
(6-11/204); 17 mpg, 4 ppg, 4 rpg in 2022-23; Spain Junior National Team; Mallorca, Spain

F De’Ante Green, So. — 15 mpg, 6 ppg, 2 rpg, 51% FG, 75% FT, 15% threes, 11/18 ATO, 7 blocks, 3 steals
(6-9/210); minimal PT in 2022-23; Asheville Christian; Asheville, N.C.

Key Reserves

G Primo Spears, Jr. — 24 mpg, 12 ppg, 2 rpg, 36% FG, 79% FT, 24% threes, 25/19 ATO, 0 blocks, 11 steals
(6-3/185); 2023 Georgetown transfer (starter); Mount Zion (Md.) Prep; Hartford, Conn.

G Chandler Jackson, So. — 14 mpg, 4 ppg, 1 rpg, 39% FG, 78% FT, 27% threes, 23/10 ATO, 1 block, 14 steals
(6-5/220); 12 mpg, 4 ppg in 2022-23; Christian Brothers; Memphis, Tenn.

G Josh Nickelberry, Gr. — 11 mpg, 3 ppg, 1 rpg, 36% FG, 64% FT, 32% threes, 7/9 ATO, 1 block, 4 steals
(6-5/200); 2023 LaSalle transfer (2-year starter); Northwood Temple; Fayetteville, N.C.

F Cam Corhen*, So. — 18 mpg, 9 ppg, 3 rpg, 63% FG, 71% FT, 7/14 ATO, 6 blocks, 11 steals
(6-10/225); 24 mpg, 8 ppg, 4 rpg in 2022-23; Sunrise (Kan.) Christian; Allen, Texas

F Jaylan Gainey, Gr. — 12 mpg, 4 ppg, 3 rpg, 62% FG, 42% FT, 2/8 ATO, 8 blocks, 7 steals
(6-10/230); 2022 Brown transfer (2-year starter); Academy at Smith; Greensboro, N.C.

*—returning starter (started at least 50% of current team’s games last season)

Florida State Seminoles
10-Year Snapshot

2022-23: 9-23, 7-13 ACC (12th), no postseason (Leonard Hamilton)
2021-22: 17-14, 10-10 ACC (8th), no postseason (Leonard Hamilton)
2020-21: 18-7, 11-4 ACC (2nd), NCAA Sweet 16 (Leonard Hamilton)
2019-20: 26-5, 16-4 ACC* (1st), COVID (Leonard Hamilton)
2018-19: 29-8, 13-5 ACC (4th), NCAA Sweet 16 (Leonard Hamilton)
2017-18: 23-12, 9-9 ACC (8th), NCAA Elite Eight (Leonard Hamilton)
2016-17: 26-9, 12-6 ACC (2nd), NCAA Round of 32 (Leonard Hamilton)
2015-16: 20-14, 8-10 ACC (11th), NIT Sweet 16 (Leonard Hamilton)
2014-15: 17-16, 8-10 ACC (9th), no postseason (Leonard Hamilton)
2013-14: 22-14, 9-9 ACC (7th), NIT Final Four (Leonard Hamilton)

*—conference champion

NOTE: Please visit the North Carolina Sports Network’s 2023-24 profiles and 10-year snapshots for all 19 Division One men’s basketball programs in North Carolina and all 15 Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Appalachian State Mountaineers, Sun Belt Conference

Boston College Eagles, Atlantic Coast Conference

Campbell Camels, Coastal Athletic Association

Charlotte 49ers, American Athletic Conference

Davidson Wildcats, Atlantic-10 Conference

Duke Blue Devils, Atlantic Coast Conference

East Carolina Pirates, American Athletic Conference

Elon Phoenix, Coastal Athletic Association

Gardner-Webb Runnin’Bulldogs, Big South Conference

High Point Panthers, Big South Conference

Louisville Cardinals, Atlantic Coast Conference

NC Central Eagles, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

NC State Wolfpack, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina A&T Aggies, Coastal Athletic Association

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Atlantic Coast Conference

Pitt Panthers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Queens Royals, Atlantic Sun Conference

Syracuse Orange, Atlantic Coast Conference

UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Big South Conference

UNC Greensboro Spartans, Southern Conference

UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Coastal Athletic Association

Virginia Cavaliers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Virginia Tech Hokies, Atlantic Coast Conference

Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Atlantic Coast Conference

Western Carolina Catamounts, Southern Conference