Evaluating Dorian Finney-Smith to Florida

In an off-season filled with high-volume, low-efficiency players transferring schools – Billy Donovan has already dipped into the transfer pool and found the rare gem in Damontre Harris. Now he gone back and brought in a second transfer. This time it’s Dorian Finney-Smith, who left Virginia Tech after Seth Greenberg was let go. Is Finney-Smith like most of the other transfers – unlikely to make much of an impact – or does he follow along more closely with Damontre Harris?

On the surface it’s questionable. The 6-8 freshman converted 2s at a woeful clip (31.4%), and free throws at an equally poor 58.4%. He did convert 3s at a decent rate (36.6%), though he attempted just 71 on the year. His assist rate was average, his turnover rate was below average, and he only drew 2.7 fouls per 40. All in all it led to an unsightly 92.8 offensive rating. But he was a freshman. It’s not unusual for freshman to put up ugly numbers. And more importantly, he didn’t jack up a ton of bad shots at the expense of his teammates. He took fewer shots when he was on the floor than any of the other starters.

So what to make of all this?

First, Finney-Smith was a tremendously talented recruit. Prior to his arrival at Virginia Tech, the Hokies hadn’t landed a consensus top-50 player in over a decade. Finney-Smith came in at No. 22, and with good reason. He has all the ability to become a legit wing, and at his size, that’s a problem for opponents. Second, though he has the ability, he wasn’t ready physically to take over games against such good talent. He was still a high school player getting by on freakish athleticism. He also wasn’t mentally ready, as evidenced by his 0-25 shooting streak he went through at the beginning of ACC play.

Now he gets to go to Gainesville and spend a year practicing and working on all of those flaws. In a year and a half we’ll most likely see a version of Finney-Smith that the Hokies fans were expecting this season.

Now, on to the third thing (I bet you thought I was stopping at two). The Gators return eight players on scholarship. They signed four in their recruiting class, and are now bringing in two transfers. That’s fourteen. Billy Donovan only has 13 scholarships to use.

Stay tuned.