Jalen Warley’s decision to pick Florida State Basketball gives them the current No. 1 recruiting class for 2021.
The past month on the recruiting trail has been nothing but amazing for head coach Leonard Hamilton and Florida State Basketball. They landed four impact prospects in the 2021 recruiting class, most notably, combo guard commit Jalen Warley.
Rated as a five-star prospect (No. 23 overall according to 247sportsComposite), Warley is a 6’4 playmaker with an all-around game that will thrive with the Seminoles. He picked the team over the likes of Michigan, Virginia, and Memphis this weekend, giving them now five commitments total and the No. 1 overall class currently.
It’s not a major surprise, given Coach Hamilton’s past success on the recruiting trail. In the past few years, he and the Seminoles have landed five-star prospects Jonathan Isaac, Dwayne Bacon, Patrick Williams, and Scottie Barnes, a point/forward incoming freshman on the 2020-21 roster.
But if the recruiting services are an indication, Florida State Basketball will have multiple “five-stars” in the 2021 class when it’s all said and done. 6’6 shooting guard Matthew Cleveland is ranked just one spot behind Warley and with a good senior high school season can get that exclusive extra star as well. And Bryce McGowens, who committed to the program before this offseason, has risen to No. 35 in his own right.
Roster impact for Florida State Basketball
This trio of guards will have a major impact on Florida State for the 2021-22 season, with starting guard MJ Walker a rising senior and Barnes likely gone after just a year as well. While current wing Anthony Polite will likely start at the three-spot, it’s not out of the question that McGowens, Cleveland, and Warley will start together. Of course, with how deep Coach Hamilton’s rotations are normally, all three will have plenty of playing time.
The good news doesn’t even end on the perimeter, as the Seminoles also added top-60 center John Butler Jr. and JUCO big man Naheem McLeod. Both are listed over 7’0 and will add to the usual giant depth of bigs the team loves to rotate in and out, wearing down opposing frontcourts. That strategy helped Florida State win the ACC regular-season title this past season, despite not having a player average more than 12.7 ppg.
Even with the depth hurting individual players’ ability to produce high volumes of production, the program is still sending players to the NBA Draft on a consistent basis, including projected 2020 NBA Draft 1st rounders Devin Vassell and Patrick Williams. This, along with the winning and ACC affiliation has made the Seminoles a very viable option for those who don’t want to go to Duke, UNC, or Kentucky.
With the ongoing pandemic eliminating official in-person visits, players in the 2021 recruiting class are making decisions quicker than normal. So far, Florida State has benefitted the most from that, essentially done already with who they’re targeting in the class. That gives the coaching staff a huge advantage going forward, allowing them to potentially target top-tier 2022 prospects. With the great momentum going with the program, who’s to say that five-stars in that group wouldn’t be interested?