Michael Snaer’s emerging leadership

FSU's new-found offense has been all over the national coverage. I've started breaking down the X's and O's to show the reasons for the greatly improved offensive efficiency, but one topic I haven't covered is the emergence of Michael Snaer. The 5* guard out of California brought elevated (and unrealistic) expectations with him due to his lofty recruiting ranking from Rivals. Now a junior he's shown steady improvement all three seasons. And when FSU switched to a 3-guard lineup, the light finally came on for Snaer, and since then he's established himself as this team's floor leader. Snaer is FSU's most complete player, and no one outworks him in the gym, so it's important that he stepped up.

Here are two plays from the Wake Forest game. Both of them were in danger of breaking down before Snaer took over. The first play follows a Wake miss in the 1st half. Luke Loucks has left the game in foul trouble leaving Jeff Peterson to run the point. Peterson, not as experienced as Loucks, takes way too long on this play to initiate the offense. The arrow points to the shot clock, and already :13 seconds have elapsed before he starts the set.


 After Peterson pushes the ball to the wing, notice the spacing (or lack thereof) of the Noles offense. Four guys are crammed into a 20' circle and there's nowhere for Snaer to go with the ball.


FSU takes a few seconds to get their spacing right, and now it's down to :15 seconds. Xavier Gibson has the ball on the left wing (circled) and wants to get the ball into the post for Bernard James, but James is behind his man on the baseline so Gibson has to reset.


The ball is swung back to Snaer (bottom left of picture) and Xavier Gibson and Bernard James (circled) both have the same idea and come to set screens for Snaer. Now the play is completely blown. Wake has four defenders guarding the paint and there's not many options for Snaer. Seeing that there are only :08 seconds left on the shot clock Snaer realizes that the best shot this set is going to open up is a 27' 3-pointer. So he jacks it rather than working for a contested shot or potentially a shot clock violation.

Here's the video of the entire play:


This next play is from the 2nd half. FSU has begun stretching its lead by mixing things up on offense and attacking from all levels. Wake Forest is in a 3-2 zone and Snaer (lower left) is cutting toward the right wing. Okaro White (lower right) should be cutting through the defense for the right corner, but instead heads to the same spot as Snaer. Jeff Peterson (circled) has the ball.


Snaer and Okaro White (circled) arrive at the same location and Snaer immediately sends him to the corner.


With the play properly set up the ball goes to White (circled) who kicks it out to Ian Miller to swing it around the top of the zone. Michael Snaer is cutting baseline and the Wake defense reacts to take the left corner away from him.


But Snaer isn't going to the corner. He gets past the vision of the defense, v-cuts back and screens the center of the zone allowing for an easy alley-oop to Okaro White.


Here's the play at full speed: