TALLAHASSEE -- Apparently a career of making shots in the clutch has failed to impress NBA talent evaluators. According to several NBA Draft experts and their projections, Florida State's former buzzer-beating phenom, Michael Snaer, may be looking at a draft-day snub Thursday night.
The draft begins at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.
In their final mocks, draft pundits at CBS Sports, nbadraft.net and draftexpress.com, all kept the 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of their first- and second-round projections. Snaer may have to find a less conventional route to take in order to make it into the NBA.
That is not to suggest a professional career isn't in the cards for Snaer. If you take a deeper look at some of the scouting reports on him, you see that there is much for NBA teams to like about him.
On his Draft Express profile from March, Snaer is considered "a very good perimeter shooter," "a steady and relatively versatile threat" on the offensive end, and "a very good perimeter defender, with lateral quickness and length to excel at the next level."
The profile went on to add that Snaer has "proven himself to be a legitimate NBA prospect."
So why no love on the draft boards?
The simple answer: timing. The 23-year-old was the victim of a deep guard draft class, as well as the victim of a young team that needed him to change roles in his crucial final season.
One look at the guards listed ahead of Snaer on the various mocks, and all of a sudden one thinks they are reading a who's who list of NCAA Tournament stars and sons of former professional athletes.
There's Ben McLemore (Kansas, could go somewhere in the top five picks), Victor Oladipo (Indiana, also could go in the top five picks), Trey Burke (Michigan, also could go in the top five), Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse), Shane Larkin (Miami), Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan) and Peyton Siva (Louisville), among others. Some of those others include players Snaer faced, like Virginia Tech's Erick Green and North Carolina State's Lorenzo Brown.
Excluding Green, each of the aforementioned players were on teams that had a rather strong supporting cast. Aside from forward Okaro White, the Seminoles this past season had trouble consistently fielding a group that could play with and around Snaer.
Junior guard Ian Miller was hurt all year. Junior forward Terrance Shannon, who transferred to Virginia Commonwealth earlier this offseason, was out much of the season with a head injury. The remaining contributors were freshmen and transfers still learning FSU's defense-first system.
As a result, Snaer's style of play was tweaked. In some cases, his production increased. As a result of those increases, though, his statistics stagnated in some cases, nose-dived in others. He was putting up far more shots in far more mid-range, transition opportunities than he had at any other point in his career. His team trailed often in contests; even in many of those it ultimately won because of a last-second shot from him. As the best shooter who was consistently on the floor, the veteran took it upon himself to rally his team as much as he could.
By the end of the year, the load Snaer shouldered culminated in an 18-16 finish for the Seminoles. Their season ended in the opening round of the NIT.
It was a far departure from where Snaer had ended his junior year. The All-ACC standout helped will the Seminoles to their first ACC Tournament in school history. He also pushed them into the NCAA Tournament for a fourth year, helping guide the program into the Round of 32.
The Orlando Magic was one of the NBA teams the Moreno Valley, Calif. native worked out for during pre-draft evaluations.
According to FSU sports information, since 2009, FSU has been one of five schools to have had a player drafted. Kentucky, Connecticut, Ohio State and Washington are the others.
Last year, the Dallas Mavericks selected former FSU center Bernard James with the 33rd overall pick. James went early in the second round, one year after Chris Singleton was selected in the middle of the first round by the Washington Wizards. Singleton was FSU's most recent first-round pick.
In all, 40 former Seminoles have been drafted. Of those 40, 10 have been first-rounders.
To read a little more on what the draft pundits think of Snaer, check out the longer profile on him at draftexpress.com.