February 18, 2002
“The most important things we can do as a team is give our fans a reason to come to the Civic Center and cheer us on. I think the support of our fans is important going into the last three home games of the season. The fans can help determine how we play and how we are playing going into the ACC Tournament. We have to take a winning streak into the tournament. A winning streak will help us as we begin post-season play and will allow or fans in Tallahassee to feel good about our team heading into next season. We want to be playing well going into the tournament with a shot at winning as many games as we possibly can.
February 15, 2002
“I’m looking forward to playing North Carolina and playing in the Dean Dome, but I’m not sure of what to expect come game time. I have been there and have seen how big it is. It is a neat place and it a great place to play basketball. I don’t know what to expect from the fans but it should be fun and I’m looking forward to playing there Sunday. They are a good matchup for us and just being able to play after a week off is going to be good for us.
February 14, 2002
“The week off between the NC State and North Carolina games was an important one for me personally. I had to take care of my academics – doing that was my first priority. I took a couple of tests and was able to concentrate on studying for them without the pressures of practicing and playing a game.”
February 11, 2002
“I think this is going to be a good week for us to have some time away from the basketball court. On the other hand, I think we need to be on the court practicing. I’d like to have it both ways, to be honest. I would like to get some rest and take care of some things off the court and I want to continue improving as a player and helping our team prepare for the stretch run.
February 7, 2002
“You can watch a game from Cameron Indoor Stadium a million times but it’s noting like playing there. The atmosphere is a basketball atmosphere and it’s the best I have ever played in. The fans are crazy – they are the Cameron Crazies. They are all there just waiting to cheer the team to victory. They are one of the reasons why the team is so successful. Their fans support is amazing. One of my goals as a Seminole is to bring our fan support up during my career so the Civic Center becomes a tough place to play. I thought it would be a lot more intimidating than it was during the game. We have played just over 20 games this season and that is the loudest place I have played during my career.”
February 2, 2002
“I think that there is a lesson to be learned from every game played. You have to learn a lesson as an individual player and the team has to learn a lesson (or lessons) as a whole. Following our game against Wake Forest, I feel we have to learn that we can’t give in or stop fighting at any time during a game. You can never know the outcome of a game because, I feel, we played in spurts during this game and that is one of the reasons we lost. On one hand, we were down by 15 at one point, fought hard and got back into the game. On the other hand, after we had clawed and scratched our way back into the game, we let them pull away at the end.”
January 30, 2002
Our game at Georgia Tech is another experience that is going to help with our mental toughness and help make us a better basketball team. The trip began with a longer-than-usual trip to our destination city. When we arrived, we checked into one of the top hotels in the city of Atlanta. It was definitely the tallest hotel I have ever been to in my life. My room was on the 27th floor and it took us quite a while to catch the elevators when we went to practice and left for the game that night. Georgia Tech beat us and I have to give a lot of credit to their players and their coaching staff.
January 28, 2002
We are three weeks into the ACC season and one of the great things about playing for Coach Robinson is you learn and improve as a player each day in practice. The ACC is a tough grind and the one thing you have to learn as the season goes on is you have to be tough and play through the aches and pains you get everyday.
January 26, 2002
We made our longest trip of the ACC season to Maryland to play the No. 3 ranked Terps. I had been up to the College Park/Washington, D.C. area when I played with Anthony Richardson in the Capital Classic All-Star game last spring. I think we proved we can play with any team in the nation when we defeated Duke Jan. 6. We played with Maryland early and felt really good about being in the game. After about the first 15 minutes of the game the momentum shifted their way and they went on a roll and took that roll into halftime. We came out flat in the second half and won the game going away. For us to be successful against Maryland here in Tallahassee, we need to prepare just as we did for our victory over Duke and have the same kind of crowd support.
January 24, 2002
We played Clemson at home and I didn’t have a great game. I wasn’t shootng the ball well, but we won and that’s the important thing.
January 20, 2002
Our game against Virginia was a nightmare from the start. We left for the airport in Tallahassee from school at 10:30 a.m. and expected to take off on our charter before noon. But it was snowing in Charlottesville and our departure was delayed. We flew into Richmond and had to take a bus to Charlottesville. We landed in Richmond and had to wait one hour before the bus got to the airport to pick us up and then had to take a 90- minute ride to Charlottesville. We ate as soon as we got off the bus and went straight to practice. The game was in the afternoon so we shot in the morning, had our pre-game meal and left for the game at about 2 p.m. I felt rushed the entire trip and never felt like I was able to get into any kind of a rhythm.
January 16, 2002
Beating North Carolina was one of the more exciting games during the early part of our conference season. That was another big win for us because it was the first time in a while we had beaten North Carolina and the first time ever that we defeated Duke and North Carolina in the same season. We started out by taking a biog lead and unfortunately allowed North Carolina to get back in the game and take the lead. We stayed mentally tough and focused late in the game and won by 10 points. It was a great win for us.
January 7, 2002
One of the great things about beating Duke on Jan. 6 was the fact that classes started the next morning. It felt great to be “a big man on campus” for at least one day. We were all excited to tell everybody on campus about the game. I think the best part of the day was in my biology class when the professor asked if of the basketball players were in class that day and if there were to please stand up. It felt really great to be able to stand up and hear the cheers from everyone in the room. It made me feel really proud to be a member of the Florida State University basketball team.
January 6, 2002 – Post Game Celebration
The first person who called me was my girlfriend. She left the first message on my answering machine in my room. I also received phone calls from my parents and my brother, Keith, who plays at Dayton. The first call I made was to my parents and then to my brother. I just started calling people – friends and family – because I was having so much fun.
January 6, 2002 – Seminoles Beat Duke
I can’t really describe what I felt like when the buzzer went off. It was hard to explain what happened because as soon as the game ended and the fans rushed the court I felt like l lost all control of my mind and body. It was crazy. All the Duke players fell to the floor and all of our fans rushed the court. I remember sprinting to the middle of the court and being pushed all over the floor. It felt like I was pushed by about a million fans all at once. It was the best time in my life. I was jumping up and down and celebrating with our fans – I can’t remember being happier.
January 6, 2002 – Last Minutes of Florida State’s Victory Over Duke
During the last minutes of the game I had the feeling if we stayed with Duke we could win the game. Once Mike Dunleavy hit the 3-pointer to go up four points, I thought the game might be over at that point. But Antwuan Dixon made the 3-point shot for us (to make the score 75-76) and I felt we could win the game. After they missed a couple of free throws I knew we had enough time to win the game.
January 6, 2002 – Game time
The building was electric from the time I entered the doors to put my uniform on to the time we took the court for tip-off and throughout the entire game. I was nervous in the first half when Coach Robinson put me in the game in the first half. My hands were sweating like crazy and I was very nervous because it was the biggest crowd I had ever played in front of — and it was against Duke – the No. 1 team in the nation. They were the best team in the nation and I had to play well to help our team win the game.
January 6, 2002 – Morning/Afternoon
The first thought that popped into my head when I got up that morning was that we had an outstanding opportunity in front of us in playing Duke tonight. As soon as I got to team shoot around I could feel the excitement in the building and among my teammates. It was different than any other game. We were focused, quite and mentally preparing for the game at 6:45. We were all getting ready to do what we had to do against Duke.
January 5, 2002
Our final practice for our game against Duke wasn’t really any different than any other practice leading up to our game against the No. 1 team in the nation. I think we were all practicing with a mental toughness because we knew we had to play well to beat Duke. I think everybody was working their hardest to make not only themselves better but also to make each of our teammates and the team as a whole better. My last thought before I went to bed was thinking we could bet Duke and shock the world.
January 3, 2002
To begin the new year, we bused to Tampa to play at the University of South Florida. It was about a five-hour ride that seemed even longer than that at times. We stayed at a nice hotel and evidently, everyone got a lot of rest, because we came into the game with a great deal of energy. We played well against South Florida and earned a great win for our team and the entire program. We prepared for them in practice and went into the game with a strong understanding of both our game plan and what we thought they might try to do against us. I think our preparation helped us gain the win. Beating South Florida is going to be a highlight of our season when all is said and done. Not only was it our first road win of the season but it also came against a very good team. I don’t think we had won at South Florida since the late 1980’s. Everybody was very excited – all of our players and the entire staff. Even our trainer, Sam Lunt, got into a celebratory mood because he knew what a huge win it was for us. I think that our victory over South Florida was an important turnaround in our season.
Wednesday December 19, 2001
“It was very exciting for me to play in my first league game against Wake Forest earlier this week. I will always remember the game for being my first in league play and I will always remember it for being our first loss in league play. I hate to lose and don’t like the feeling of losing. So, as excited as I was to play the game, I am more upset with the fact that we lost the game. We fell behind early and I was happy with the way we fought back as a team to get back into the game. We didn’t play 40 minutes of good basketball against a good team and that is one of the reasons we were not successful. I went into the game with the mindset that I was going to be more physical in the post and feel that I played alright. Not good or great and not how I want to play in future games, but playing against Wake Forest showed me some of the things I have to improve upon during the rest of this month and into the bulk of the ACC schedule.
“The beginning of the ACC schedule brought an end to the final exam period and the end of my first academic semester at Florida State. The first semester was pretty much what I expected it to be. I knew the classes, the class work and managing my time was going to be tough but I feel I adjusted to the rigors of college life as well as I had hoped to.
“One of the things we do as a team now that the semester exam period is over and the holidays are here is our annual visit to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. We are going Thursday, the morning after our game against Cleveland State. I am looking forward to seeing the kids and hopefully brightening their day. I don’t really know what to expect because I have never participated in an event like this before. I’m sure it will be a fun experience because I like being around little kids and if we can make them happier for just a short time we should all feel better about ourselves.
I’m also looking forward to going home for the holidays and spending time with my family and friends for a couple of days. I am leaving for home after Saturday’s game against American and coming back on Christmas day. We are going to celebrate Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve. My mom is going to cook a big turkey and it is going to be fun to spend time with my family.
Wednesday December 12
I am really excited about playing in my first ACC game against Wake Forest Sunday. I feel that we are going to play well as we continue to improve as a team. We are going to step up against Wake and play as well. I know they are a good team and feel we are a good team. We have to play hard and play well to be successful in the game.
Going into our game against Wake and our final five non-conference games of the season, I want our team to continue to improve each day. As a team I want us to work the ball in our offensive sets to find easier shots and score more points. I want all of my teammates to be excited whenever they step on the court for practice and games and I want us to continue to come together as a team. Individually, I want to start knocking down my mid-range jumpers and taking the ball to the basket a lot harder. I think once I do those things, I will enjoy being on the court even more than I am now.
I am growing more comfortable with the college game and my comfort level grows more and more each day. I knew basketball at this level would be physical and it is every bit as physical as I thought it would be. The athletes are much quicker and can jump a lot higher than in high school so I have learned that I have to work much harder on both ends of the court. College basketball is everything I had heard about from my brother and seen on television and it is much different from playing high school ball.
I talk to my brother Keith quite often. Most recently, I spoke with him Monday night. He is doing all right, but as I do, he wants his team to have more success with more points and the scoreboard and more wins in the league standings. I know that he is working hard and things will work out for him at the University of Dayton.
Tuesday December 4, 2001
As a student and an athlete at Florida State University, I have experienced many things I have only dreamed about. Two of those experiences came last week on our trip to Northwestern to play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The first was traveling on a charter plane and the second was practicing in the Chicago Bulls practice facility. Both were in credible experiences.
Flying on the charter plane was a different flying experience because we are given so much room to spread out legs and relax our bodies. I am used to sitting in an exit row on commercial planes where, though there is extra space, it can get pretty cramped for a tall person. On the plane we flew to Chicago, I had two seats and more legroom than I have ever had to stretch out. It was also nice having a little personal television in the back of the seat in front of me. That was a plus because we were able to watched ESPNews the entire way up to Chicago from Tallahassee. That definitely made the trip go a lot faster.
Practicing in the Bulls practice facility was another really good experience. It was neat because I have watched the “Michael Jordan to the Max” video probably about 50 times and had seen that facility countless more times on television. It was good to shoot on a floor that Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen had practiced on.
Playing in the Midwest was also another good experience for me. It was different because there were fans in the stands who knew a little bit more about my game and who I was. It was great, too, because my mom was able to make the trip from Ohio to watch me play.
Through the first four games of the season, I feel that I am playing pretty well on defense and I am struggling shooting the ball. That’s probably because I’m still trying to move much faster on offense than I used to. I feel like I’m not knocking down shots because I can feel myself fading away from the basket. I can correct that by just getting back to fundamentals. I think I’m running the floor pretty well and I’m happy with that aspect of my game.
Our upcoming games against Birmingham Southern and Western Carolina are two games that we need to play well in and need to win in order to keep our confidence up and keep our fans coming to the Civic Center. We all have to continue to have positive attitudes and to continue to work hard in practice. I feel that each member of the team is improving and that we’re continuing to improve as a team with each practice. We have to take advantage of playing at home and protecting our home court advantage. Over the next month, six of our seven games are at home at we need to take advantage of playing on our court.
Monday November 26, 2001
The hardest thing about playing over the Thanksgiving holiday was not being able to go home and be with my family. The great thing was my family coming to me for the holiday. My mom and dad came down for our game against Elon and that was very exciting for me. I could hear my dad yelling and screaming at the referees just like in high school. It was fun to hear his voice and to be able to spend time with my parents for a couple of days.
The first Thanksgiving away from my family was different, but, because my parents got to Tallahassee on Thursday I got to see them. But not being with my brother, who plays for the University of Dayton and my grandmother, was kind of different. I missed it mostly because my grandmother and my mother together are great cooks. Fortunately, the coaching staff and the administration made us feel at home with the meal they provided for us.
On Thanksgiving I was most thankful to be able to see my parents and to be able to spend time with them. I am thankful I have the ability and have been given the opportunity to play basketball at Florida State University. It’s really awesome here in Tallahassee and I love it.
I’m really looking forward to playing Northwestern and playing on national television for the first time in my Florida State career. I don’t think I’ll be too nervous because this is one of the reasons I came to Florida State. I want to help this program get to the point where we are playing on national television almost every game. I think it is going to be fun to have all of my friends from home be able to watch me on television.
I am really looking forward to playing Northwestern because I feel our team is quickly coming together and playing more as a team. We still need to gel more and I think everybody’s attitude has really picked up after our victories over Savannah State and Elon. I think we need to keep our effort up and our leaders need to keep pushing us to get better as individual player and as a team.
The fact that we have to fly to Illinois is already making me a little nervous. I haven’t flown since the unfortunate disasters of Sept. 11 and I don’t know what to expect. I’m sure everything will be fine because I know coach Robinson would not put us in any difficult situations so I’m sure everything will go well with our flights.
Tuesday November 20
Beating Savannah State was very exciting for our team tonight. It was our home opener and the first of what we hope to be many wins this season. I felt more comfortable in tonight’s game than I did against Florida. I worked on shooting with more confidence this week in practice than I had going into the Florida game. This week in practice, I did not worry if my shots were going in or not. I was concentrating on getting my shots up to the basket. I think that carried over to tonight’s game and I was able to get some easy jumpers. I threw up the one air ball and realized I needed to move closer to the basket to where I should be shooting the ball.
My dad told me earlier this week that I needed to make it hard for coach Robinson to take me out of a game. He told me to play my hardest when I got out on the floor and to go until I couldn’t go anymore. I think everybody on our team is playing there hardest when they get on the floor. We are all so anxious to get into the game that once we get in we just have to play basketball and have a good time on the court.
The main difference between our first two games was that we were playing on the road against a ranked team in their home opener on Friday night and I think we were hesitant and not playing basketball like we can. Against Florida, we should have played like we practiced and for some reason we weren’t playing that way. In tonight’s game, I think we played the way we practiced this week. After we lost to Florida we went really hard on Sunday and Monday and it showed on the court against Savannah State. Everybody was playing as hard as they could tonight.
Monday November 19
I am really excited to be playing our first regular season home game Tuesday. I am excited to get on the floor and hope we can get a good number of fans to come out and watch us play in the Civic Center. It’s fun to play in your hometown where the people are cheering for you instead of booing when you make shots. I thought practice today was spirited. We went through a lot of scout team offense and defense set to reiterate where we need to be and what we need to do against Savannah State. I think we accomplished everything we needed to in our scouting report and got out of practice in a pretty short amount of time.
Saturday November 17
We practiced pretty hard today. I would say we practiced at game speed the entire two hours we were in the gym. We did a lot of conditioning today. Coach Robinson is intent on us having a good season and he knows that we can play much better than we did against Florida. I think he wanted to get the point across that losing was not acceptable and was not going to be an option this season.
Friday November 16
We all received a 9:30 a.m. wake-up call and had to be at breakfast by 10:00. David got up a little bit earlier than I did but we both went to breakfast together with the rest of the team. The hotel had a nice buffet breakfast that we ate as a team in a separate room from the restaurant. I didn’t really feel nervous like I thought I was going to when I woke up on the morning of my first game as a Seminole. We left the hotel at 10:40 to go to shoot around at the O’Connell Center. I listened to music and the bus and wondered why I still didn’t feel as nervous as I thought I was going to. I guess not feeling nervous was a good thing. We got to the O’Connell Center and had our shoot around from 11:00 until about 11:45. It was my first time going on the road and playing in a different gym. It was pretty neat to be playing at a place like Florida after having watched games from there on television a number of times. Just being there was a good experience and it gave me the chills. We had about three hours between shoot around and our pre game meal. I walked around the hotel and took a nap before pre game meal. We left the hotel for the game at about 5:30. I was trying not to think about much at all which was difficult because we were going to play our first game. It was nuts getting to the arena because of the traffic in the city and surrounding the arena. Getting to the arena was a relief because it was almost time to play the game. I think most players were nervous as they come out for their first game because all the fans are booing them and doing the Gator Chop. I was laughing on the way out of the locker room. This was what I had been waiting for since I signed my Letter of Intent to play for Coach Robinson and the Seminoles. I was very excited when Coach Robinson put me in the game early in the first half but knew that I had to stay focused on the task at hand. It was my first time going in and I had to get the job done so he didn’t take me right back out. During the game, I was able to forget about the 12,000 fans that were there because I had to do my best at playing the game. I think I was pretty relaxed throughout the entire game. There were only a couple of times that I got out of sync. The bus ride back to Tallahassee was very quiet. I think all of the players were really tired after the game and didn’t want to talk too much about it. We watched the game film on the bus to see what we did and didn’t do correctly during the game. We arrived in Tallahassee at about 12:45. I went straight back to my room and went to bed.
Thursday November 15
Preparing for my first road trip was interesting and a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I had to do laundry and pack my bag the night before we left. I had class all day long and wasn’t going to be able to get back to my room before practice began. I brought my bags to the locker room before I went to classes in order to be prepared to get to practice and on the bus on time. We left after practice at about 6:45 for the approximately two-hour trip to Gainesville. Once we got to Gainesville and checked into the hotel, it was nice to be able to feel like we were about to play a game. The preparation, for the most part, was over and it was almost time to play. It was nice to finally get to Gainesville and be able to relax a little. I was supposed to room with Delvon Arrington but the coaches switched my rooming assignment and I moved in with David Anderson. I think the coaching staff wanted to put the post players together. Delvon and Monte Cummings, a pair of guards, roomed together. We ate dinner at 9:30 and had a team meeting at 10:00 to go over some last assignments from the coaching staff. After the meeting we relaxed in the room before going to sleep.
Wednesday November 14
Practices all week have been intense and rightfully so. We have been going really hard all week in practice but today was especially hard. We went up and down the floor a lot because we know that Florida is going to press us quite a bit. We worked on our press offense and our press defenses because we want to get them into a pressing game. We want to have to make them work during the game so we prepared to press on both ends of the floor.
Sunday November 11
The excitement for the Florida game began immediately after the exhibition game against the EA All-Stars. I know that I was pretty pumped to be able to look forward to our first regular season game. The excitement actually began six or seven days before the game at practice today. We began the day with weights at 6 p.m. and then practice began at 7. Practice went well because all of the players knew that we were in game week and had to focus on Florida.
Saturday November 10
I thought we all played really well together during our victory over the EA Sports All-Stars. There was one point in the game when we fell behind by about 10 points but the starters pulled the team together and got us back in the game. Once the starting five rallied the team Coach Robinson began to substitute the second team players into the game. I think we were able to spark the team and the crowd. It felt really good to be able to provide a lift like that. We were able to increase our lead and every player on the team got in the game and participated in the victory. Late in the game, the All-Star team got into foul trouble and we were able to play good, aggressive basketball and win the game going away.
Sunday November 4
Today was our first real test. We finally got to play against other players in other uniforms who didn’t know all of our offensive and defensive sets. It was exciting to play in the Civic Center in front of our fans again. The morning began with a shoot-around at 9 a.m. and our pre-game meal at 10 a.m. After we ate pre-game meal together as a team we had to be back at the Civic Center at 12:20 to get ready to play the game. Between the time we arrived at the arena and the 2:00 game time, we shot around, stretched and received medical treatment. We then took the floor and were finally able to play the game. The morning, at least to me, seemed to take an eternity. The game had its ups and downs. At times we looked good and at times we didn’t look so good. We won the game on a last second shot. If we had made more of our free throws, we could have beaten them by more. We still have a lot to work on and many things we have to get better at. Still though, I like the way we are playing with the regular season opener on Nov. 16 at Florida. Preparations for our second and final scrimmage begin Monday with the game scheduled to Saturday in the Civic Center.
Thursday November 1, 2001
Tonight was the annual Garnet and Gold game at the Civic Center. It was fun to be able to play a game in front of a crowd instead of practicing. It was also fan day on the arena floor. There were interactive games that the fans could play and tons of little kids running around at both ends of the court. The atmosphere was light and spirited for all of the players and coaches during the game. The game went smoothly and I thought everyone played pretty well. We were all playing hard and trying to show the fans in attendance that hadn’t seen us play this year what kind of talent we all had. It was fun to play in front of a crowd and I hope they were as excited to see us, as we were to see them. I think it was a great way to get the season underway. We begin preparation for our first exhibition game of the season tomorrow. Our next game is against the Nike Elite All-Stars on Sunday.
Tuesday October 30, 2001
We practiced at the Civic Center again today and are practicing there all week long in preparation for Thursday night’s Garnet and Gold game. We didn’t have a great practice today and it seemed that many of us were there in body but not in spirit. I thought we looked sluggish on the court. In my opinion, there’s really no excuse for that with our first game approaching so quickly. Tomorrow is another day so hopefully we will have a good practice and get back on track. After practice we went back to the Moore Center and lifted weights. Lifting is not fun after a two-hour practice, but we have to do it to continue to improve as individual players.
Sunday October 28, 2001
Saturday October 27, 2001
We had a full scrimmage in the Civic Center before the football game against Maryland. We began practice as we usually do with form shooting, jumping rope and warm-up drills. We then went straight into the scrimmage. The coaches divided the team into newcomers and younger guys vs. the veterans. The newcomers came out and strong and were putting it to the veterans the first half. Unfortunately, the veterans pulled back into the game with a couple points before halftime. In the second half, the veterans put it to the newcomers and we were blown out. I guess you could say we made too many “freshman mistakes”. I scored 19 points and had six rebounds, but still felt bad because we lost. It was a good experience to play our first scrimmage of the year in the Civic Center. After the scrimmage we had a tailgate and got to go see a great football game. Florida State defeated Maryland, 53-21.
Friday October 26, 2001
Today was the first day we practiced in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center. I loved walking onto the floor and looking up at the seats. It made me think about the start of the season when all the fans are going to come fill the arena to watch us play. Walking in the Civic Center reminded me of the 2001 Ohio state championship game. Practice was pretty light as compared to the rest of the week.
Thursday October 25, 2001
Today was an off day. It feels weird not having anything to do after noon.
Wednesday October 24, 2001
I thought practice went well today. Coach Robinson began practice with offensive drills and conditioning. The entire second half of the practice was a scrimmage. The scrimmage was good for all of us, and we had a chance to be competitive with each other. I felt good about the way I played (and I hope Coach Robinson did, too). I scored 14 points and had 11 rebounds. Hopefully I can keep playing this way throughout the season.
Tuesday Oct. 23, 2001
I didn’t think today’s practice went too well. We practiced with effort but we weren’t executing well. I sensed early on that the coaching staff was growing more and more upset with every missed assignment. Coach Robinson put in a new play and for some reason it confused all of us. We also couldn’t run the plays we had learned last week. We had to run as many times today as we did during the entire first week of practice. At the end of practice, Coach Robinson gathered us in a circle and asked us how our effort was. There were many different comments from most of the players. Delvon Arrington, I think, said it best. He said that we were all working hard but we all had a tough time executing today. My thoughts were that we just didn’t play well today. However, as all days come to an end, new days will begin. We have a one-hour scrimmage scheduled for Wednesday’s practice – a scrimmage we are all looking forward to.
Sunday Oct. 21, 2001
All I have to say is that I don’t like Sunday practice. Sunday should be a day of rest.
Saturday Oct. 20, 2001
Practice went well today. We went over the plays we learned during the week. It was a tough practice and we had to run conditioning drills after it was over. For me, it was a tiring practice. Coach Robinson is doing a great job of getting us in shape for the season. The conditioning drills are no fun but we all know that they will help us as the season gets underway. I was trying my hardest near the end and it was difficult to make all of my times. My legs were dead but we all had to grind it out. We just have to keep telling ourselves the pain will be worth pain during the season. After conditioning, we had to lift weights. Though my legs and body were tired and in pain, it was another thing we had to do to improve ourselves. My workout wasn’t pretty or very long but I did the work and felt good about it at the end.
Friday Oct. 19, 2001
We finally arrived at the end of the first week of practice. It feels good to be finished with school for the week and know that we can all sleep in Saturday morning. I thought practice went well today. I am not scoring all that much during practice, but it that has picked up as I have picked up more of the practice plan. We are in the midst of learning our secondary break options and what to do when the ball is entered on different sides of the floor in our three-man game. After practice, I went home and did nothing. It felt good not to have anything to do for just a little while. Prior to practice, coach Robinson went over the statistics from our first week. I led the team in screens through the first week and hope I can keep that up throughout practice and the season.
Saturday Oct. 13, 2001
The first day of practice! The day began with a team tailgate at 10:30 a.m. before the start of the Florida State vs. Miami game. The football game was incredible, the atmosphere was great and we were in the game until later in the second half. When the game ended, we all headed for the locker room and our first practice of the year. Coach Robinson came into the locker room before practice and spoke to us for a couple of minutes before we had quiet time. He turned out the lights for two minutes and we focused our minds on the practice that was ahead of us. We went to the practice court and were greeted by about 125 of our fans that had been invited for our first practice of the season. It was really exciting to see the people and feel the excitement surrounding the program. It’s a really good time to be a Seminole basketball player. It was a great atmosphere. It was really nice to see the fans come out to watch our first practice. As a team we went around the court and shook their hands in a show of gratitude. Everyone was excited about getting started. Coach Robinson began the practice with a short discussion. After the discussion, we broke into our assigned groups and began our drills. The practice was just like I imagined it would be. It was like basketball camp and all of the players were working as hard as they could. The practice seemed to go on forever, and when it ended, everyone was tired. The practice was successful and I think Coach Robinson was pleased with the first day.
Friday Oct. 12, 2001
Today was media day for the team. We gathered in the locker room and put our uniforms on. We then went into the gym where a throng of reporters was waiting for us with their tape recorders and cameras. Most of the reporters spoke with the seniors before coming over to the underclassmen. A couple of the reporters talked to me and I tried to answer their questions as best I could. As freshmen, this is the only time we speak to the reporters until after the first exhibition game on Nov. 1. I am comfortable speaking with the media and know that I will have to get used to it here at Florida State. Florida State receives a lot of media attention and I am looking forward to that.
Tuesday Oct. 9, 2001
Today we had what the coaches call the “crossings” test. We all had to run the length of the court six times in a designated time frame – and we had to do it 15 times. My time was 35 seconds per six lengths and my tough time was 30 seconds. If a player finished their tough time 10 times in the 15 lengths we had to run today, then they didn’t have to participate in the conditioning drills during the first week of practice. We began by stretching really well. Before the running began, I had a pained feeling in my stomach because I didn’t want to begin he drill. It was pretty quiet in the gym while we were stretching. The coaches said a few words to us and then we began running. The first few lengths weren’t too difficult, but the breaks in between the laps became shorter as the drill continued. I glanced at the scoreboard and saw that we had seven crossings to go and never looked back up. There was a sense of satisfaction when we finally finished. I was glad that I had made it through without passing out. At the end, we all congratulated each other on making it through our first conditioning test of the season. My body was so exhausted and I was huffing and puffing as coach Robinson said some closing words to us. We then huddled as a team and began to play pick-up. As the games began, I could feel the games were going to be sloppy. We played only a couple of games before stopping because they weren’t helping any of us and we didn’t want anybody to get hurt.