Five things to know about FSU junior guard Anthony Polite
Florida State Seminoles fans know more than a little about what Anthony Polite contributes on a game-by-game basis. He combines good shooting from the three-point arc with solid fundamentals.
But with a career-high 22 points in a 71-53 win over Colorado, Polite suddenly found himself in the spotlight as the Seminoles head into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and a date Sunday with Michigan.
Polite was 8-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-7 from beyond the three-point line, as he helped the 'Noles pull away in a dominating second half.
Here's a look at the redshirt junior guard, who took a very interesting route to Tallahassee.
Anthony Polite's dad was a Seminole, too
Michael Polite played for Florida State from 1988-91, scoring 1,066 points and helping the Seminoles reach the NCAA Tournament three times during his career.
The elder Polite played for Mainland High in Daytona Beach before his FSU career, and blossomed into a starter as a junior and senior, averaging more than 13 points during his final two seasons.
Anthony was born in Switzerland
After his FSU career, Michael Polite made his way to Switzerland to play professionally, and ended up playing for 10 seasons there. His wife gave birth to Anthony in Lugano, and Anthony grew up in Europe as the family stayed in Switzerland after Michael's pro career ended.
As a result, Anthony Polite developed his basketball skills in a European style at first.
"He brings that European system where I think they spend a lot of time with youngsters earlier in life fundamentally. He seems to be pretty sound when he dribbles left, dribbles right, he has good shooting form," his future coach, FSU's Leonard Hamilton, said in 2018.
He played prep basketball in Boca Raton
He decided to play high school basketball in the United States, enrolling at age 15 at St. Andrew's Prep in Boca Raton. He quickly jumped onto the radar while playing for the Scots, eventually becoming the Palm Beach Post's Small Schools Player of the Year in 2017. He led St. Andrew's to a 26-2 record and a berth in the Florida Class 4A Finals that season.
From The Palm Beach Post:Boys basketball: St. Andrew’s G Anthony Polite picks FSU
He picked FSU over several other schools
The Seminoles may well have had an advantage as Polite's father was an alum, but they had some stiff competition when Anthony Polite chose which school to attend.
He had offers from Memphis, Miami, Virginia Tech and Pitt. But in the end, it was FSU.
“I liked FSU’s coaching staff and the players, and the fit," he told The Palm Beach Post. "I thought it was a great fit for me."
He's been a solid contributor, then scored 22
As a junior, Polite averaged 9.6 points per game prior to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, hitting 45 percent of his three-point attempts.
But he had never hit the 20-point plateau — until last week. Against Colorado, he scored that career high, and really came up big in the second half. He went 5-for-7 after the break, including 2-for-3 from behind the arc.
Jonathan Tully is a digital producer with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @jtullypbp.