Florida state

John Butler remaining in NBA draft, FSU hoops lose sixth scholarship this offseason

Florida State’s men’s basketball program suffered a tough loss on Wednesday.

After an impressive freshman season at FSU as a big up and coming development, forward John Butler is choosing to start his pro career, CBS Sports First Time Jon Rothstein reported.

This dilemma has been in the air for weeks. Butler, who averaged 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 39.3% from three as a true freshman last season, participated in the NBA Draft Combine and signed with an agent, but the hope of his return to the Seminoles still lingered.

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Just hours before the deadline where college basketball players must decide whether to stay in the NBA draft or return to school at midnight on Thursday, it was reported for the first time that Butler would not return. for its second season.

It’s a significant loss for the Seminoles, as Butler was a versatile defenseman with his 7-foot-1 frame and one of the best three-point shooters on FSU’s roster. He was not originally considered a one-time player at the college level and could have had a major impact for the Seminoles next season after a full offseason in the strength and conditioning program.

Butler got the combine invite and could very well be taken at some point in the draft later this month due to his potential once he fills out his 190-pound frame. His choice, however, indicates that he is ready to embark on this professional career now, probably in the G-League, instead of spending a second season at FSU.

It’s the second year in a row that FSU has lost a player to the NBA who likely could have gained ground by returning for another season. Center Balsa Koprivica left after the 2020-21 season, was the 57th overall pick in last year’s draft and is now playing abroad in Serbia.

As FSU picks up ACC Sixth Man of the Year Matthew Cleveland for the upcoming season, Butler is the sixth scholarship player the Seminoles will need to replace on next year’s team.

FSU’s signing class of 2022 ranked 24th nationally according to 247Sports and the Seminoles also added a pair of transfers in Brown forward Jaylan Gainey and UCF guard Darin Green Jr.

Contact Curt Weiler at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CurtMWeiler.

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