Michael Snaer highlights own versatility in aim for NBA
JUN 25, 2013 9:34a ET
Michael Snaer is known as a clutch shooter and a tough defender.
His skills as a ball-handler? Not so much. Snaer had 82 assists and 91 turnovers in his senior season at Florida State.
Snaer decided in the months between the end of the Seminoles' season and the upcoming NBA Draft to do something about that. He's seen significant improvement as a ball-handler after working out with the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas.
The goal for Snaer, of course, is to be drafted but that's not a given considered that just 60 players will be taken in the two-round draft. Snaer, who is expected to be taken late in the second round or will have his choice of teams as a free agent, feels that making one of his weaknesses a strength will help market himself to NBA teams as a "combo guard," a guy that can shoot, defend, pass and even run the point if needed.
"I want to utilize all of my talents," Snaer said. "There's really nothing I can't do. I'm not great at everything. I want teams to know that I will be able to come in and work hard and learn."
Snaer already has a lot to offer NBA teams. Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton often called him a gym rat and thought of Snaer as one of the hardest working players he has had at Florida State.
He was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard and twice was named to the conference's defensive team. He scored 1,560 points, eighth-best in school history. He made 196 career 3-pointers, fifth-best at Florida State all-time, knocking down 38 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
And with time tricking off the clock, nobody wanted the ball more than Snaer. As confident as any shooter in the country, Snaer was nearly automatic in the final seconds. He knocked down six buzzer-beating 3-pointers in his final two seasons, beginning with his first in January 2012 to upset No. 4 Duke on the road. He had four last-gasp 3-pointers in a six-week span during the 2013 ACC season, helping Florida State escape with wins over Clemson, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Virginia.
Each time, Snaer said that the shot felt good when it left his hands. That it had a chance and went in. But he was reluctant to do more than that, to analyze the big picture – that he was draining these shots with regularity and with little regard to the pressure of the situation.
After all, it wasn't just one game-winner. It was six of them. But looking back on it, he has been able to appreciate the meaning of those shots.
"I remember how important it was to hit those," Snaer said. "My junior year to keep our (ACC) championship hopes alive. And this year, to win games and keep us above .500. I really know my team needed it and I needed it."
Snaer said that subject has come up in pre-draft interviews, with one NBA executive joking with him that he must have made 50 buzzer-beaters. All laughing aside, those shots are in the past. But they are part of his resume, and it tells NBA teams that he's not going to shy away from taking the shot with the game on the line.
While Snaer didn't get an invite to the pre-draft camp in Chicago in May, he has been busy racking up frequent flyer miles as he crosses the country to work out for NBA teams. Snaer estimates he's worked out for a dozen, and it's been a dizzying experience. One day he's in Chicago, the next Portland and a day later it's Cleveland.
And Snaer has turned heads.
"Michael had a good workout with us," one NBA scouting director told FoxSportsFlorida.com. "I've watched him play since he was a freshman at FSU.
"During those four years I've seen a lot of improvement. The thing that he's done is he's shown he's capable of handling the ball much better than he's shown (in college)."
The hard work this offseason may be paying off. With just 60 picks, Snaer has to do something to distinguish himself.
He is happy with his workouts and interviews. Teams are reluctant to give away too much when they meet players, but Snaer said that "you can tell when teams really like you." And he feels he's made an impression.
"It's crazy," Snaer said. "You have to work so hard not to be anxious. I know I'm chasing my dream. It's so close now."
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