As was announced Wednesday, Florida State basketball announced the signing of Michael Ojo. From Tennessee Temple Academy in Chattanooga, Ojo earned All American player at the National Association of Christian Athletes. While at Temple Academy he averaged 15 ppg, 14 rpg, and 5 blocks per game. At 7-1 you would expect the blocks and rebounds total.
He is no stick either at 290 pounds.
With that kind of size and weight it does make you wonder why it was just 15 ppg. Temple however was not a prolific scoring team, usually averaging in the high 50's and low 60's per game.
But the key words from Leonard Hamilton and Ojo's coach at Temple, Randy Lee, were patience and a perfect fit for Hamilton's system. I read that as Ojo will need time to develop. He was not ranked by any recruiting services and has played the game just a couple of years at an organized level. It could be as many as four years to see the true potential of Ojo as we know Hamilton will not rush his younger players.
As for Lee's comment, clearly what he is referring to is Ojo's defense. We all know Hamilton's calling card is defense first and with Ojo's size he gives what Hamilton's strategy has been for several years now....considerable size and a lot of it in the middle.
But don't expect Ojo to be an impact player right off the bat. That is just not going to happen because of his inexperience. He will play, no question. But as usual Hamilton, or more specifically, Stan Jones, who works with the big men, will take their time with him. Jones has shown his ability to improve the skills of his players.
And don't expect this to be the end of Hamilton's recruiting for the 2012-2013 season. With the transfer of Antwan Space to Texas A&M, that opened up another scholarship. Most Seminole fans are hoping that will be 6-8 SG Rodney Hood, formerly of Mississippi State.
Notebook: Budget issues - With the recent news that Florida State will have a budget shortfall of $2.4 million dollars, the impact of that was the men's coaches will not receive the anticipated raises after the ACC Championship season. Now how Hamilton feels about that is completely unknown as he does not discuss such mundane and private matters. But my guess is the money aspect to coaching is not his priority. So if fans are thinking he will be looking for greener and more financially rewarding pastures, I am doubting it will. When he says he likes Tallahassee he really means it. I also expect this staff to remain intact for some time to come.
The Tuck -- The Civic Center -- is in need of renovations and upgrades. How that will be paid for in light of the budget is up for debate. It's not the best nor is it one of the worst places to watch a game. How the venue affects recruiting is also up for debate. Years ago the coaching staffs would cringe at the prospect of showing prospective recruits the old practice facility at Coyle. Of course, FSU has the new (well, ten years new now) practice facility that is still among the best in the country. But in my years following the program I have never heard any FSU player complain about the venue we play in.