Florida State men’s basketball will have to face the No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs without one of its best players. Due to his father’s recent passing, forward Phil Cofer will not be available for Thursday’s game, according to CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein.
Leonard Hamilton tells me he doesn't expect Florida State to have Phil Cofer for Thursday's Sweet 16 game against Gonzaga. Hamilton: "We're going to respect Phil during this tragedy and the passing of his father. He knows where we are and we know where he is. We're here for him."
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 25, 2019
Cofer’s absence is hardly unexpected. News broke on March 21 that his father Mike Cofer had passed away after being sick for a period of time. Fan bases and teams from across the nation voiced their support for Cofer and his family, even helping donate to his family’s GoFundMe page for the funeral costs and ongoing medical costs.
While it is hardly significant in the grand scheme of things, Cofer’s absence means the Seminoles will need to keep relying on their reserves and young players to fill his role. The fifth-year senior averaged 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game during the regular season, despite being hampered by a nagging foot injury. Cofer did not play in the first two NCAA Tournament games against Vermont and Murray State.
It is unknown whether or not Cofer could return later down the road. Head coach Leonard Hamilton floated the possibility if the Seminoles were able to advance further in the tournament. Either way, do not expect a clear answer unless the situation actually arises.