January 13, 2024
Ta’Niya Latson continues to shine at Florida State, closes in on 1,000 points
'You've got to be special and elite to do it at a rate that Ta'Niya's done it, it's otherworldly'
After her standout freshman season was cut short by untimely injury just before the postseason, fans were unsure of what to expect from Florida State guard Ta’Niya Latson. But Latson quickly silenced any doubts that she’d return to top form in 2023–24. The sophomore currently leads the Noles in scoring with an average of 20.3 points per game and is ranked 19th in the country in scoring. So far this season, she’s posted four 30-point games, three of which were in a row.
“In the summer, I was a little doubtful,” Latson told reporters on Jan. 10. “Just getting back into top shape was my biggest goal this year.”
Prior to last year’s season-ending injury, Latson averaged 21.3 points per game and won ACC Rookie of the Week seven straight times. It quickly became clear that Latson wasn’t just “good for a freshman” — she was quickly establishing herself as one of the best players in the ACC. Latson finished the season leading the conference in scoring and was selected to the 2023 All-ACC First Team for her efforts. She also earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
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Latson’s injury caused her to miss both the ACC and NCAA tournament in 2023. However, Florida State head coach Brooke Wyckoff was sure that Latson would come back better than ever in the 2023-24 season.
“I’ve never doubted Ta’Niya and who she is as a person and a player in terms of getting back,” Wyckoff said.
Latson totaled 659 points — the ACC single-season freshman scoring record — last year and is now closing in on 1000 points. With her eight points in the Noles’ win over No. 20 North Carolina on Thursday, Latson brought her 2023-24 season total to 324 points and her career total to 983 points. At her current scoring rate, Latson is set to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone within the next couple of games despite only being a sophomore.
“You’ve got to be special and elite to do it at a rate that Ta’Niya’s done it, it’s otherworldly,” Wyckoff said.
But Latson isn’t particularly concerned with getting to 1,000 points. Despite being a critical part of the Florida State offense, she isn’t extremely focused on personal accolades as she is on the Noles’ accomplishments as a team.
“I’m not looking to score 1,000 points next game,” Latson said. “I’m looking to go win the game, honestly, and just be myself.”
While it is an indisputable fact that Latson is a formidable offensive weapon, her contributions to the Noles’ success both as a defender and as a team leader have been critical. Latson serves as a co-captain alongside junior forward MaKayla Timpson and has made it a point to develop her leadership skills this season in addition to her skills on the court.
“As a leader, being able to use her voice, to know that her voice matters, and she backs that up with her play and her work ethic,” Wyckoff said.
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Latson’s ability to excel on both sides of the ball has made her particularly dangerous for her opponents. While her defensive stats don’t exactly jump off the page, Wyckoff emphasized her significant development in that area, specifically in defending off of the ball.
“I’m just letting the game come to me,” Latson said. “That’s always my mindset, going into the game, being aggressive.”
In the Noles’ Thursday night matchup with the Tar Heels, Latson was helped off the court after falling to the floor in the final minute of play. Next up, the Noles are set to take on No. 11 Virginia Tech. Florida State has not released any additional information regarding Latson’s status and whether or not she will play in that game.
“Virginia Tech is a very good highly ranked team, but we are very good ranked team as well,” said Wyckoff. “So it’s shaping up to be a great matchup and we’re excited to be playing that game at home.”