Player: Matthew Cleveland
Last Year’s Stats: Coming in as a freshman, Cleveland was a highly touted prospect that many were excited to see what he could do early on. The young man didn’t disappoint, as he played in 29 games and started in eight, eventually averaging 11.5 points per game.
Now, the 6’7 guard from Georgia returns for his sophomore year and FSU fans should be ecstatic with his return because he certainly could be one of the clear leaders for this year’s team. When watching him in high school and last year, Cleveland should instantly be one of the go-to offensive weapons for the Seminoles and he has shown time after time that he can fill it up. He showed that in high school and with Florida State’s success with players at his position, Cleveland could be the next in line.
Cleveland has shown that he understands how to score the ball well, finding ways to get his shot, get to the basket, and use his size to his advantage. His minutes only continued to increase as the year went along and having that under his belt could be huge this year for Florida State. And Coach Hamilton has already been saying that Cleveland has made “tremendous progress” with his outside shooting (coming off a season in which he only hit six 3-pointers and shot 18 percent from behind the arc).
Now, Cleveland will undoubtedly have a bigger role for Florida State this year and if the Seminoles improve from their 17-14 overall record from last year, we have a strong feeling that Cleveland will be a big part of that. It isn’t too far-fetched that Cleveland’s name could be found at the end of the year on a few All-ACC teams and possibly in the discussion as ACC Player of the Year, that is how much talent this young man possesses.