As we continue a downward spiral toward our #1 player, we make another stop on the pan handle for our second Seminole. At #7, Florida State point guard Trent Forrest.
Forrest, a 6-4 lead guard out of Chipley, FL, came into his own during the 2017-18 season, which created high expectations for last year. For my money, those expectations were met as long as they were realistic to begin with. If you expected him to shoot 36% from beyond the arc last season and drill 40 triples, that was not realistic. What Forrest did do was play 1100 minutes and average more than 3.5 assists and fewer than 2.1 turnovers, something only three others in the conference can boast. He logged nearly as many steals (69) as turnovers (74), and shot 78% from the free throw line. Throw in 9.3 points and 4.5 rebounds and the only guards in the conference that were more well rounded last season were RJ Barrett and Ky Bowman.
While Bowman and Barrett were obviously fantastic offensively, neither was as good as Forrest defensively. He is the only returning guard in the conference to log 1000 minutes last season with a D-rating below 95. He was sixth in the ACC in defensive plus/minus, sixth in steals per game, 10th in defensive win shares, and second in total steals.
Though he won’t “wow” anyone with overwhelming athleticism, at 6’4 and solidly built, Forrest does have the ability to bully some of the smaller guards in the league. What he lacks in shooting ability during half court sets, he makes up for with easy opportunity creation, such as steals leading to fast break opportunities, and offensive quarterbacking.
He will be a key cog on the perimeter this year as the ‘Noles will lean on MJ Walker and Devin Vassell to provide some of the perimeter scoring punch vacated by Terance Mann, Fi Kabengele, and PJ Savoy. Forrest will need to be the steady hand that puts Walker and Vassell in position to be successful. I also look for him to be a dark horse defensive player of the year candidate in the league.