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For Michael Snaer it's National Title or Bust

Michael Snaer has found his confidence.

Not that it was ever lacking, but considering some of the downright cockiness that exudes from former McDonalds All-Americans, Snaer trends more towards humble than brash.

That's why last season Snaer turned heads when he predicted the Seminoles would win the ACC mid-season.

They did.

Florida State ended up winning their first conference tournament championship a couple months later and the junior guard was named tournament MVP. 

"Just from gaining that confidence from last season where Coach was giving me a little more freedom to do some of the things I want to do on the court has given me just a completely different outlook on the game than I've had here," said Snaer, who admits he's had to grow into the player he is now.

"You know you come here freshman year and you don't really know what you can and can't do. But now I kind of have a good idea of what I can and can't do and I know how far my skills will take me and I'm really feeling confident about the skills I developed over summer and the skills I've developed while I'm here and I feel like it's going to take me far."

When Snaer arrived at Florida State he bore considerable hype. A five star recruit, McDonald's All-American, Snaer had spurned offers from much more established programs in the hopes of building one at Florida State.

It wasn't without aches and pains, Snaer admits as much. He admits at times his confidence wavered.

But just three years later Snaer and his teammates were cutting the net down in Atlanta and the Seminoles had won the first ACC basketball title in school history. Along the way Snaer lead the Seminoles to wins over the ACC's most historic programs, beating Duke and UNC in the semifinals and finals respectively. Coach K raved, calling Snaer the best competitor in the ACC. Roy Williams praised him effusively too. He won tournament MVP.

Snaer sat opposite Leonard Hamilton and guard Luke Loucks after hoisting the title and talked about what it meant for a football school to be playing basketball so well.

They may not be there to stay, but it's safe to argue that as of last season the Seminoles had arrived.

And as a result of his impressive junior year Snaer received invitiations to NBA summer camps held by Lebron James and Kevin Durant after the season.

He squared off against top competition, continued gaining even more confidence, and then told ESPN last week that he didn't think he could be guarded. That he think he's one of the best two-guards in the country.

He isn't backing down from those claims.

"Definitely on the court my confidence has grown to a level that it hasn't been in a good while and now I'm finally at that point again where I do feel like I'm very talented on the court and that's how you're supposed to feel," said Snaer.

"Any other guy who you would ask at my position would tell you the same thing. That just comes from being around some of the best competition, no disprespect to those guys I think that there's so much talent out there and I'm very fortunate just to be in that company with those guys. It was an amazing experience for me."

Here's the thing about Snaer though, despite all of the confidence he's gained from three straight trips to the NCAA tournament, winning FSU's first ACC title and entering 2012 as one of the top guards in the country...

Snaer doesn't think he's lived up to expectations.

"My biggest thing is, something that I've been thinking about lately, I want to earn the right to be here," said Snaer.

"I don't want to let the fans down, let the people down who are counting on us to do well, counting on me to come here and get something done because I said in my freshman year that I wanted to come here and I wanted to make history. I wanted to be part of one of the best teams in Florida State history. To bring our fans something they haven't felt and I don't want to let that down."

Clearly making history wasn't winning conference titles or just getting invited to the dance.

Snaer's eyes are set on a national championship. It's title or bust. 

"I feel like we have an opportunity to maybe go out and get a national chamionship," Snaer admitted. "If we can do that, if we have that team that would be great. I'm definitely going to push it. I'm going to give it everything I have and I'm going to demand everything of my teammates and you know however far that takes us – hopefully it's to a national title game – however far it takes us I'll know at least I got the best out of myself, the best out of my teammates."

"But I'm not settling for anything lower than that."

Really, Snaer doesn't want to settle at all. Just like he believes he's one of the best guards in the nation he believes Florida State can win a national championship in basketball this season. 

And he's telling the truth when he says he doesn't feel he's earned his way yet.

"Not yet. I don't feel [like I have], I mean I've been given a chance to get an education off a scholarship, I've been given a chance to do something remarkable and I haven't accomplished it yet is pretty much how I feel," said Snaer.

"And even though we gave our fans a little something last year, it's just like an appetizer, I'm hoping we can bring that to them this year. If we don't I know that's something I'm going to have to live with that I didn't bring that to the fans here and to the university that I love."

 

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