Both men’s and women’s basketball teams at Florida State are experiencing some of their greatest recruiting success in program history. Thanks to the stellar results put on the court by head coaches Leonard Hamilton and Sue Semrau, the Seminoles are bringing in classes full of elite talent and well-known names.
The 2019 recruiting classes are shaping up to be a perfect example of how on-court success leads to off-court success. Both the men and women basketball programs have two of the best 2019 classes in the nation, and each signed most of its commits in the Early Signing Period, which ranged from Nov. 14 to Nov. 21.
We break down those signees and give a quick analysis of which each brings to their respective teams.
4-star SF Patrick Williams
Williams is a raw prospect who went through a growth spurt during his junior year that changed him from a point guard to a small forward. He’s a very athletic wing player with a quick release and All-ACC scoring potential. There’s room for growth as a defender, thanks to his length. He will not be seeing many reps until he has been in the system for at least a year. Back in our commitment piece, we said that his ceiling is someone like Dwayne Bacon, since he has similar length and scoring potential.
4-star C Balsa Koprivica
Koprivica is a 7-foot center with notable athleticism. Koprivica is a stretch center thanks to his technical ability and shooting prowess. He is another player who will need time in the program before he is ready to contribute. With Koprivica, it is mainly his weight and ability to play down low at the next level. There are some questions about whether he will be eligible or not, thanks to an AAU coach allegedly asking for money to send him to a certain program.
3-star C Naheem McLeod
McLeod is another 7-footer (sensing a trend?) who is pretty similar to Koprivica. McLeod has to fill out his frame before he can see minutes in college basketball. Much like Koprivica, McLeod is also a bit more skilled than previous FSU project players. Christ Koumadje and Michael Ojo come to mind as examples, but McLeod is further along in his game than either of those two. His defensive ability is just getting discovered and he is more comfortable around the rim than his ranking would suggest.
2-star G Nathaneal Jack
Jack is a plug-and-play JUCO guard. Despite a 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame, Jack is more of a spot-up shooter than a rim attacker. Florida State is expecting him to fill the role of someone like P.J. Savoy or Devon Bookert, who can threaten from behind the arc and go on scoring bursts. Some defensive potential is there with his length. He probably will never be a full-time starter.
5-star F/C River Baldwin
Baldwin is a post player with already incredible defensive ability. Baldwin is 6-5 and shows a knack for defending the rim. She stands firm in the paint and gathers everything from blocks, to rebounds, to put-backs. She also displays a nice awareness to push the ball down the court. Given her overall set of skills, it would not be surprising to see Baldwin contribute immediately.
5-star G Sammie Puisis
A wing prospect out of Ohio, Puisis has a very well-rounded arsenal on offense. She can drive to the rim, step back and hit the three, pull up from mid-range, find the open teammate, and generally do it all. She might be the best overall shooter in the entire class. Defensive ability is still somewhat up in the air (it is for a lot of high school players), but head coach Sue Semrau praised her basketball IQ and willingness to compete on both ends of the court.
3-star P London Clarkson
Post player with an interesting twist. Clarkson is left handed and provides the yin to Baldwin’s yang. While she might not be much of a rim defender at 6-foot-2, Clarkson has a refined set of offensive moves. She has nice touch on the glass and is capable of going up against bigger defenders and coming away with points.