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Best NBA players from Florida State University
To date, a total of 22 players from Florida State University (FSU) have gone on to play in the NBA. These are the best of those players ranked by their career scoring averages. All players with scoring averages of 9.0 or more points per game are listed. One player on this list is in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
In the 2011 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards took Chris Singleton from Florida State with the 18th overall pick. Singleton averaged 10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game st FSU from 2009 to 2011. He's a very limited offensive player, but should make at least some kind of mark in the NBA with his defensive play.
My favorite NBA team, the New Jersey Nets, have yet to draft a player from Florida State, but the second player on this list played for us for parts of three seasons. He averaged 19.5 points per game for us in 102 games.
Best NBA Players From Florida State University
1. Dave Cowens - 17.6 points per game
Dave Cowens averaged 19.0 points and 17.2 rebounds per game at Florida State University from 1968 to 1970. He was then taken with the fourth overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. After averaging 17.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game in 1971, Dave Cowens was named NBA Rookie of the Year.
Overall, Cowens played 11 years in the NBA, and averaged 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. In addition to being Rookie of the Year, Cowens was NBA MVP in 1973, was a seven time all-star, was All-Star Game MVP in 1973, and he won two championships with the Celtics in 1974 and 1976.
During the 1977-78 season, Cowens led the Celtics in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Only a few other NBA players, including LeBron James(notes) who did it twice with the Cleveland Cavaliers, have ever led their teams in all five categories for an entire season.
I'll always remember Dave Cowens best for taking time off during a basketball season in the 1970s to drive a cab. Everybody thought he was crazy at the time. Dave Cowens was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Sam Cassell averaged 18.3 points and 4.4 assists per game at Florida State over two years in 1992 and 1993. He was then taken with the 24th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. Sam Cassell played 15 years in the NBA, and averaged 15.7 points and 6.0 assists per game.
Sam played for eight different teams in his career, including parts of three seasons for my New Jersey Nets. Cassell averaged 19.5 points while playing for us, and I always considered him a winning player. He won two NBA Championships with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995, and one with the Celtics in 2008.
Al Thornton averaged 12.3 points (19.7 as a senior) and 5.2 rebounds (7.2 as a senior) per game at Florida State from 2004 to 2007. He was then taken with the 14th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Thornton has played four NBA seasons, and has a career scoring average of 11.9 points per game.
4. Mitchell Wiggins - 10.0
Mitchell Wiggins averaged 23.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game at Florida State over two seasons in 1982 and 1983, after he transferred from Clemson. Wiggins was then taken with the 23rd overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He played a total of six years in the NBA, and averaged 10.0 points per game. After the NBA, Mitchell Wiggins played in Europe, mainly Greece, for a number of years.
After transferring from Auburn, Toney Douglas averaged 16.7 points (21.5 as a senior) at Florida State from 2007 to 2009. The Los Angeles Lakers took Douglas with the 29th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and immediately traded him to the New York Knicks for cash and a second round pick. Over his first two NBA seasons, Toney Douglas is averaging 9.8 points per game.
6. George McCloud - 9.0
George McCloud averaged 13.5 points (22.8 as a senior) per game at Florida State from 1986 to 1989. He was then taken with the seventh overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. McCloud played 12 years in the NBA, and averaged 9.0 points per game. His best season was 1996, when he averaged 18.9 points per game for the Dallas Mavericks.
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