Oct. 30, 2001
The season officially gets under way for Antwuan Dixon and his Seminole teammates as they play their annual Garnet and Gold Game in the Leon County Civic Center Nov. 1. As a team co-captain and returning starter, Dixon is looking forward to the start of his senior season. He stopped by for his weekly chat with seminoles.com and answered a couple of questions from fans of the Florida State basketball program.
What Are You Most Looking Forward To As The Garnet And Gold Game Approaches?
“I am anxious to see how our entire team adjusts to playing in front of a crowd and with the bright lights on. It will be our first time playing in front of a lot of people this season and we are very excited about that. It will be the first time some of our younger guys will be playing in the Civic Center, and I want to see how they are going to react. It is a lot of fun to play basketball, but to play basketball in front of a crowd. A great atmosphere makes it even more fun. The adrenaline will be flowing and I know all of our guys are excited.”
What Are You Going To Concentrate On During The Garnet And Gold Game?
“I am going to concentrate on trying to help my team win the game, first and foremost. While doing that I want to try to help every player on our team improve as an individual so we can improve as a team. This year I am focusing on what I have to do each game. I will also focus on being a leader on the court as well as providing more scoring opportunities for not only myself but for every member of the team. I also want to have more of a defensive presence when we are defending the basket. I have worked on my defense and want to create more turnovers by breaking up passes in the passing lanes.”
Through The First Two Weeks of Practice, What Are The Biggest Improvements You Have Seen On The Court?
“The biggest improvement I have seen during the first two weeks of practice is the rate at which the guys are learning Coach Robinson’s system. It’s a lot faster than ever before. All of the guys comprehend what coach is saying. Unlike before, coach doesn’t have to repeat himself because the guys understand the points he is trying to get across to us. When the coaching staff puts in a new play in or teaches us a new situation, we are learning and reacting to it much quicker. Not only is that making us a better team but also we are able to learn more. In that way, we are continuing to get better and better with each practice.”
After Two Weeks Of Practice, What Do You Feel The Team Has To Work On The Most Before The Season Begins?
“I feel that we have to work on playing as a team because we have been playing against ourselves since practice began. As we start the season, we have to work on playing together against another team. I feel our chemistry as teammates is good and we are learning each other’s tendencies well but we have to play on the same team to get into a grove as a team as opposed to playing against each other.”
What Is The One Thing You Have Concentrated On So Far In Practice To Display You Leadership?
“I have really focused on being a leader along with my fellow co-captain Delvon Arrington. I have worked on showing guys where they are supposed to be during our drills and scrimmages. When I feel one of my teammates needs reinforcement in a certain play or drill, I have been able to take them off to the side and show them what the play is supposed to be. As a team we are trying to get our plays and drills correct all of the time. If somebody doesn’t get a play, I can help tell him where he is supposed to be or what he is supposed to do. It’s a responsibility that I have accepted with being a captain
What Has Impressed You Most About The Newcomers?
“The thing that has impressed me the most about the newcomers is their maturity. They are very mature for freshman. They all have the ability to grasp the plays and the drills quickly and that has really helped everyone during the first two weeks of practice. The speed at which they learn the plays and drills has allowed the coaching staff to spend more time running practice and less time teaching plays and drills. That’s just another way we are improving as a team.”
What Has Been The Hardest Part Of Practice So Far?
“The hardest part of practice so far has been the physical conditioning that we have had to go through. I felt that all of my teammates reported to practice in pretty good shape. The coaches are working us pretty hard to get us in better shape. We are in better shape now than when practice began, and getting there has been the hardest part. It’s a little hard to maintain your focus throughout the preseason but we have been working hard on our conditioning and it will pay off as the season goes on.”
What Has Been The Best Thing About Practice So Far?
“The best thing about practice so far has been the players’ ability to adjust to what coach Robinson wants to do on a daily basis. In addition, all of our practices have been very competitive and that is going to help us all season long. We are deep and talented at every position and that has led to competition for every position. We are pushing each other and making each other better thus making our team better.”