Florida State's Terance Mann is interviewed during the ACC Operation Basketball at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on October 24, 2018.
(Photo by Sara D. Davis, theACC.com)
The Florida State Seminoles basketball team went on an unexpected run in last year's NCAA Tournament, making an appearance in the Elite Eight before losing to Michigan 58-54.
Terance Mann was a huge piece in the Seminole's success last year. The returning senior averaged 12.6 points per game (.568 shooting percentage) and was the team's leading rebounder with 185 total (average of 5.4 per game).
Mann has an extremely high basketball IQ and is a versatile player for head coach Leonard Hamilton. According to the Blue Ribbon Yearbook, Hamilton is quoted as saying, "Terance is a stat-sheet stuffer. He's been through the wars and does a lot of things for us. He knows what it takes to help us win."We got the chance to sit down and talk with Mann at ACC Operation Basketball in Charlotte this past Wednesday.
"Over the past three years, I've realized that when you think about your own goals you have a whole different mindset going into the season," Mann told us in our personal interview with him.
"I'm really focused on being a great leader and showing my team that they can respect me. If I have their respect they have my respect and things are gonna mesh well."
"If you show your team that they can count on you then it'll be good."
After hearing those comments from Mann, I alluded to who I think is the greatest basketball player of all-time, Bill Russell, and how that selfless mindset is a good thing to have and how Russell's approach to every game was how could he make his team better. It led to a lot of success for Russell and no doubt it will continue to push Mann's career forward.
"Once you take the spotlight off of you in your own head then things will start clicking for you. Things will just start happening and you won't even realize it."
On top of being a great leader and teammate, we also learned that Mann is really good friends with Clemson football's star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.
We asked him if he had any predictions for the upcoming Clemson/Florida State football game in Tallahassee on Saturday."I think we're gonna win. One of my closest friends is on Clemson," Mann told us. We proceeded to ask him who it was and were caught off guard by his answer.
"Christian Wilkins...We played on the same AAU team. He use to windmill and stuff."
We've all seen the video after Clemson defeated Alabama in the 2017 National Championship game down in Tampa, Florida of Wilkins doing a split during the teams celebration. This was nothing new to Terance.
"He use to intimidate the other team with splits. We would be stretching and he would just go right down into a split."
The 2015 Boston Amateur Basketball Club team photo. Christian Wilkins #35 on the far right. Terance Mann #14 is on same line and next one over from Wilkins.
Photo Courtesy of BABC @thebabc / www.thebabc.com