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Florida State sophomore projected as 1st round pick in 2023 NBA Draft

The ‘Noles look to bring back their NBA Draft 1st round pick streak.

Florida State didn't have any players selected in the 2022 NBA Draft, snapping the three-year streak of having at least one Seminole drafted.

However, the 2023 NBA Draft holds the possibility to reignite the streak for head coach Leonard Hamilton and the 'Noles. 

In a 2023 NBA Mock Draft from NBADraft.Net, Florida State sophomore guard Jalen Warley is projected No. 21 overall to the Denver Nuggets. 

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard played in 31 games for the Seminoles in 2021-22, making five starts. He averaged 3.7 points and 2.5 assists per contest.

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Warley scored a career-high 15 points in Florida State's 88-70 loss against Duke Feb. 19. He also brought in a career-high seven rebounds while collecting six assists versus the Blue Devils.

With the departure of former guard Anthony Polite, Warley likely steps into the starting backcourt alongside guard Caleb Mills. Warley's offensive prowess and natural ability should be showcased with increased opportunity after averaging under four field-goal attempts per game. 

The Mt. Airy, Pennsylvania, native can play either guard spot and operates as both the primary ball-handler and off-ball guard in the offense. Defensively, Warley's size and length allow him to defend multiple positions even though he might lack the top-end foot speed of other guards.

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Warley caught the attention of several Seminole fans when he stayed in Donald L. Tucker Civic Center practicing free throws after Florida State's 65-64 win against Miami Jan. 11.

Several Florida State players have burst onto the scene at different points in their careers, including former guard/forward Devin Vassell. After starting zero games as a freshman, Vassell started all 30 games as a sophomore and increased his scoring output by over eight points per game (4.5 to 12.7 points). 

Vassell's performance opened the door for the San Antonio Spurs to select him No. 11 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, and the recent mock draft places Warley on a similar trajectory.

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State basketball throughout the summer.

All statistics for this story were collected via Sports-Reference College Basketball.

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