Posted on: June 9, 2009 10:51 am
One of the interesting developments from this past basketball season was the emergence of Toney Douglas -- Florida's State's high-volume scorer who I never thought would amount to much when he transferred from Auburn to FSU after his freshman season.
Douglas was a marginal national recruit coming out of high school, ranked in between Tyree Evans and Sam Perry in the Class of 2004. But when the tiny combo guard had a breakout freshman season, he (with the backing of his father) decided he was the type who could decide his role for the Tigers, thought he ought to be able to demand more minutes at point guard, or else.
Auburn coach Jeff Lebo didn't see things the same way.
Which led to Douglas transferring.
That's when I wrote this ...
Douglas' father -- Harry Douglas -- publicly criticized Jeff Lebo and reportedly demanded his son be Auburn's point guard. But Lebo decided he would rather make his own lineup decisions, him being the coach and all. So ... Toney Douglas ... transferred to Florida State, where the sophomore will surely shoot and score at an astonishing rate like any talented non-point guard would while Harry Douglas whispers that Leonard Hamilton isn't using his son correctly.
In other words, I was not a believer. But Douglas proved me wrong over the past three seasons and developed into an All-American as a senior while leading Florida State to the NCAA tournament. Now he's in New York for a workout with the Knicks, in position to possibly be selected in the first round of this month's NBA Draft.
"I can't tell you how much leadership and toughness he gave to this team this year," Florida State associate head coach Stan Jones told CBSSports.com. "And the big timely shots that he took for this team, he delivered. I can count on one hand the times he didn't deliver this year, and he's just kept it going. His confidence is going through the roof."
If Douglas goes in the first round he'll be the second Seminole to earn a guaranteed contract in the past three years despite entering FSU with little fanfare. The other was Al Thornton, an unheralded recruit turned dominant force who was the 14th player selected in the 2007 NBA Draft.
"[Toney's story] is another good story to go along with the Al Thornton story," Jones said. "Al wasn't ranked by anybody (coming out of high school), but he became a lottery pick. His mom and dad trusted us, and he worked and did the things he had to do to develop his game. He and Toney both had to grow into their games, but they worked. They're two of my favorite guys I've ever coached."