Florida State

The Acc

November 18, 2005|By PAUL MCMULLEN

Coach: Leonard Hamilton, fourth season at school (45-48), 18th overall at college level (245-258)

2004-05 record: 12-19, 4-12 (tied for 10th in ACC)

Returning starters: Senior G Todd Galloway, junior F Alexander Johnson, senior F Diego Romero, senior G-F Andrew Wilson

Sun prediction: Losing record

Why it will happen: The good news is that Baltimore native Galloway is back after leading the Seminoles in assists. The bad news is that his 3.0 average was lower than that of all but one ACC point guard, a reflection of Florida State's 68.6 scoring average. The only double-figure scorer from last season, Von Wafer, ill-advisedly entered his name in the NBA draft. The Seminoles haven't finished above .500 in the ACC since 1992-93, when they were coached by Towson's Pat Kennedy, and progress has not been visible under Hamilton, whose three-year ACC record is 14-34, with one road win.

Why it might not: Uche Echefu, a 6-9 Nigerian, who prepped at Montrose Christian, was a late signing who transformed the recruiting class into the third-rated in the conference, behind those of Duke and North Carolina. Casaan Breeden, 6-8, is also expected to contribute immediately. Several holdovers, like Johnson and wing Al Thornton, had their moments last season, when the Seminoles lost nine times by five points or fewer If they can break .500 in those tight finishes, the Seminoles can get to the NIT.

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