The Florida State Men’s Basketball team is already hard at work as they attempt to build on the 26 wins they accumulated last season. The Seminoles will be boosted by five talented freshmen who we can confirm have all made it to campus. Wyatt Wilkes, MJ Walker, Ikey Obiagu, RaiQuan Gray, and Anthony Polite will all have a chance to make an instant impact on the team after the departures of Dwayne Bacon, Jonathan Isaac, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Michael Ojo, and Jarquez Smith.
Wilkes hails from Winter Park, Florida where he starred at Winter Park High School. He started at the varsity level throughout his prep career and averaged 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.8 steals as a junior. He also nailed 214 shots from behind the arc during his time at Winter Park. At 6’7”, he will likely man one of the spots on the wing for the `Noles. Wilkes is a capable rebounder and a willing passer who unselfishly finds open teammates.
He projects to instantly work his way into the rotation as a freshman. Wilkes will be competing against Gray, Phil Cofer, Terance Mann, Braian Angola-Rodas, and Mfiondu Kabengele for minutes next season. His all-around skills should help drive him to success during his time at Florida State. Wilkes’s attitude is what sets him apart. He’s a very confident player who believes in himself and his teammates.
The freshman forward has already arrived in Tallahassee and he’s enjoying the city. Currently, he’s enrolled in classes at FSU and is also participating in offseason workouts with the rest of the team. Wilkes has nothing but good things to say about the city, coaches, and other players across the roster.
Check out my full interview with Wyatt Wilkes below. We’ve spoken with Wilkes previously here.
NoleGameday: How are you settling in to Tallahassee?
Wyatt Wilkes: “I feel like I’ve lived here for a year already. But I think it makes it easier when all the guys on the team are all helping you out, giving you advice, helping you get places, just with everything. If you need anything you can go to one of the guys on the team, so that’s helpful.”
NoleGameday: What are your thoughts on the city so far?
Wilkes: “I love it around here. It’s beautiful, the weather is great. Comparatively to Orlando, it is nice. It’s not as a humid. I love it up here.”
NoleGameday: What’s your schedule looking like? Are you enrolled in summer classes?
Wilkes: “Yeah, I already took one class online. I start summer C with two classes. We only have two workouts a week right now because we can only practice for two hours. Depending on the coaches, they just give us a time to show up. We lift 3-4 times a week around the team workouts and everyone is just getting in the gym constantly.”
NoleGameday: Has everyone officially arrived in Tallahassee? Yourself, RaiQuan Gray, MJ Walker, Ikey Obiagu, and Anthony Polite?
Wilkes: “Yep, everybody is here finally. It took a little bit, but we got everybody in.”
NoleGameday: How are workouts going with the team?
Wilkes: “The thing I would say is different from my high school workouts to my workouts with the team is just physically, they’re not anything insane, it’s just mentally where it’s more difficult. It’s little things, that’s what really matters at this level. The game itself doesn’t change. The little things like exploding through a screen so the ball can’t be knocked away,checking down when you have a ball screen coming up so you can rub shoulders with the big man, Those things matter when you’re playing really good and athletic wings. At this level, everyone is equal to you or better than you, You have to be extremely diligent and precise when doing the small things. You have to beat them in the mental game to get an open shot or pass.”
NoleGameday: Who’s the funniest guy on the team?
Wilkes: “Everybody is funny in there own way. Christ (Koumadje) is funny, Phil (Cofer) is funny, Braian’s (Angola-Rodas) funny, RaiQuan (Gray) is funny.”
NoleGameday: What’s the chemistry like right now? It’s still early, but are all the guys on this squad pretty close?
Wilkes: “This is one of the quickest times I’ve ever integrated myself to a team and felt like a family. Especially with five new freshman, it’s usually a little more difficult and takes more time but I felt like I was part of the team as soon as I got here. And that’s a testament to the coaches and the returning players.The coaches have the returning players take the young guys under their wings in workouts and the veterans include everybody in everything. It’s just a good atmosphere.”
NoleGameday: Is there anything specific you’ve wanted to improve on this summer?
Wilkes: “Staying low on drives and keeping my hips down. Especially when you’re driving to the paint and you bring the big man out. You can’t just brush him off, he’ll stand you up and it’s not a foul because you’re going into him. Keeping your hips down allows you to take that bump and find shooting or passing options.”
NoleGameday: Who has impressed you the most in workouts so far?
Wilkes: “Trent’s work ethic is wild. The guy, I don’t think I’ve seen him tired. Some guys just have it like that, and I think Trent has it like that, but he doesn’t just rest on those abilities. He runs on the treadmill in his time off, he always in the gym shooting. It makes me feel like I need to put in the work because he’s putting in extra work. It’s good to have a leader like that on the team because he just lifts everyone else’s game because of how hard he works.”