House brings shooting, defense to Noles

Tom House’s recruitment didn’t begin with Florida State. But as the Ohio guard narrowed his search to Furman, Georgia, Florida State and Boston College, playing basketball in Tallahassee felt like the best fit for him.

House verbally committed to the Seminoles on Wednesday afternoon following visits to Georgia and FSU this month. He will make his signing official in November as part of the 2022 class.

“The coaches have been there so long so — they have got to be doing something right if they’ve been there so long and everything’s consistent there,” House told the Osceola on Wednesday. “The guys seem like they genuinely were friends with each other instead of just on the same team. It’s just a really good culture all around on the team.”

A standout at Dayton (Ohio) Centerville, House is an accurate shooter from 3-point range and has put an emphasis on defense, too. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound House averaged 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists as a junior in helping Centerville claim the Division I state title (Ohio’s largest classification) earlier this year.

An FSU hallmark of defense is an element House is familiar with and he said Centerville’s concepts are similar to what coach Leonard Hamilton and the staff employ.

“We press full court, play man to man the whole time,” House said. “My high school coach (Brook Cupps) is a really good coach. He’s also put a big emphasis on toughness and defense and taking charges. Whether I like it or not, I’ve had to buy into that from my high school coach. I feel like I’m a pretty capable defender. Of course, my strengths are probably offensively, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it over my high school career. And that’s why college coaches have started recruiting me.”

House’s dad, Jeff, coached men’s and women’s college basketball as well as in the WNBA before retiring recently. His mom, Ann Leonard-House, coached college volleyball, while his sister, Elizabeth, plays volleyball at Dayton. 

Jeff House connected with FSU assistant Stan Jones a few years back, and the Seminoles have been following Tom.

“At the time I was not good enough to go play at Florida State,” House said. “But they just kind of kept an eye on me and then, over the course of this last high school season and AAU, I started getting a lot better so that’s kind of where the connection started.”

House’s Hudl highlights are full of catch-and-shoot 3-pointers but he’s also able to fake the jumper and drive to the rim. He is also working on strength training to continue to add weight.

On his visit to FSU, House felt he connected well with Hamilton as they often talked about subjects outside of basketball.

“He emphasized on my visit just getting to know me more than just a basketball player,” House said. “He had me down there because he thought I was a good enough player to play for him. So he was just trying to get more connected with me and I think that’s what separates us from a lot of coaches is he tries to connect with his players, more than just basketball. And then of course all of his success speaks for himself and the way he coaches.”

The early signing period begins on Nov. 10. House and Cameron Corhen are the program’s commits for the 2022 class.