Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Measuring Stick for FSU; Seminoles' Trip to UF Could Show How Much Progress They've Made This Season

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Measuring Stick for FSU; Seminoles' Trip to UF Could Show How Much Progress They've Made This Season

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union

GAINESVILLE -- Florida State's Von Wafer says today's game against Florida will give him a good idea how good the Seminoles' basketball program has become.

FSU is 12-1, and the Seminoles already have had two previous tests: a five-point loss at Pittsburgh and a four-point win over Maryland. But how they play against the state's top basketball program and one of the nation's elite teams will let Wafer know if the Seminoles have gotten closer to what UF coach Billy Donovan has built in Gainesville.

"This will be another test to see if we really, truly have closed that gap," said Wafer, a two-time ACC Rookie of the Week. "Saturday's game will show if we are ready, if we are for real."

Donovan already has an answer for Wafer: Absolutely.

"They're a team that is very, very underrated as far as the national scene is concerned," Donovan said. "You're dealing with, in my opinion, the ingredients of a top-10 team, a top-five team.

"The reason I say that, is they have a very, very experienced team in a lot of areas, and then you have very highly-exposed freshmen that come in."

Donovan compared FSU to his 1998-99 team that had a mix of upperclassmen (Kenyan Weaks, Greg Stolt, Eddie Shannon) and talented young players (Brent Wright, Udonis Haslem Major Parker, Teddy Dupay, Mike Miller). That team also had outside shooting to complement an inside presence.

"We had some older guys and those guys," Donovan said, "and we didn't start off in the Top 25. We had to kind of earn our way into it. They're in a similar situation. They earned their way [into the USA Today/ESPN poll]."

FSU leads the ACC in 3-point shooting (41.3 percent) and is coming off a school-record 17 3-pointers against Stetson last Tuesday. Tim Pickett leads the ACC in 3-pointers (38) and is third in 3-point percentage (40. …

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