Late last week, Florida State basketball received some positive news: senior forward Phil Cofer has been granted an extra year of eligibility. (Back in the 2015-16 season, Cofer injured his foot, which cost him the majority of the season.)
Guess Who's Back….Back Again…Cofer's Back….Tell a Friend! pic.twitter.com/g3D4pQCwsr
— FSU Hoops (@FSUHoops) May 25, 2018
During his fourth season in Tallahassee, Cofer evolved into one of the ACC’s most improved players. Once a cog in the rotation, Cofer became a critical piece on both ends of the floor for FSU.
After attempting just 32 three-pointers in his first three seasons at Florida State (76 games), Cofer launched 128 in 2017-18 — making 48 (37.5 3P%). Cofer also shot 55.3 percent from inside the arc, including 54.2 percent on post-ups and 56.8 percent on other attempts at the basket, per Synergy Sports.
That combination — spread shooting from a stretch-4, mixed with interior efficiency — was key in helping Florida State rank inside the top 50 in offensive efficiency for the third straight season, despite losing Jonathan Isaac, Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes to the pros.
Cofer’s ability to play in space and stretch defenses to the three-point arc also opens up a little more room for Terance Mann to do his thing. Mann, a 6-foot-6 wing, is one of the ACC’s most efficient finishers at the rim. According to Synergy, Cofer shot 41 percent (59 eFG%) on catch-and-shoots last season: 1.19 points per possession, No. 6 in the ACC (minimum 100 possessions).
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Sophomore point guard C.J. Walker — 34 starts in 2017-18 — decided to transfer to Ohio State; then promising young shot-blocker Ike Obiagu also decided to depart Tallahassee. Obiagu will head to Seton Hall.
Those two move came along with the conclusion to Braian Angola’s two-year career at Florida State. Similar to Cofer, Angola made a serious jump prior to his senior season, too, and played at an incredibly high level for Leonard Hamilton.
With Cofer back, though, FSU has a very intriguing lineup/rotation for the 2018-19 campaign. By the end of this season, Trent Forrest had usurped Walker has Florida State’s top ball handler. Forrest doesn’t have much in the way of a three-point shot (yet), but he’s a bruising playmaker who had an excellent postseason run. The ball will be in his hands more next season, which is a good thing.
Forrest, Mann and Cofer is a dynamic trio to build around for FSU; however, it’s more than just those three guys. P.J. Savoy, one of the ACC’s premier catch-and-shoot bombers and a favorite of the ACC Analytics page, returns to provide additional spacing.
Also back: rising sophomore wing M.J. Walker. Walker, a former top-30 recruit, had some nice moments as a freshman, but experienced an up-and-down rookie campaign. If he rounds into form, look out: FSU has another explosive scorer on the wing.