Nov. 14, 2001
Game week is finally here! Florida State’s last game came against Clemson on March 8 in the ACC Tournament. Antwuan Dixon and his teammates are excited to get back onto the court against Florida on Friday night. The senior co-captain stopped by to discuss game-week preparations, the anticipation of tipping off the season and his thoughts and feelings going into his final collegiate season with seminoles.com.
Give Us Your Thoughts On The Final Exhibition Game Of The Preseason Against EA Sports.
“I think we played well as a team during the final exhibition game of the preseason against EA Sports. I feel we executed well on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, played well together and made a high percentage of our shots. We played especially well in the second half as we scored 70 points and shot 69 percent from the field. I think that second half might have been the most complete half of basketball we have played as a team since I have been at Florida State. We got out on their guys, we defended well and we hit our shots. I think the coaching staff was pleased with the way we closed out the exhibition season and took another step in preparing for our regular season opener against Florida Friday night.”
Are You Pleased With Your Progress And Where Your Game Is Entering The Season?
“I am very pleased with how my game has progressed as the season approaches. I worked during the off-season and continued that hard work during the preseason. I am knocking down my shots and playing well on defense. Those two aspects of my game have allowed me to have a lot of confidence as we prepare to go to Gainesville and play Florida. I am looking for all of my teammates to enter Friday’s game with a great deal of confidence and I know that we will all play our best in that game.”
What Do You Expect Practices To Be like This Week Before Leaving For Gainesville?
“I expect our practices this week to be very intense. We all need to be very focused all week long and into Friday for us to be successful against Florida. We need work on executing our plays and taking care of the basketball. The main thing we need to do is practice hard for the start of our season. Our first game is on the round, in a tough atmosphere and against our rivals. I think that if we play well and take care of the ball it will be a good game.”
Has The Intensity In Practiced Been Turned Up A Notch Now That Game Week Is Here?
“We have only had two practices this week, but already the intensity has been turned up. It’s a great week to be a Seminole basketball player. We are finally in game week for our first game and it’s against top ranked Florida. It’s easy to get excited to play in this game. Our game against Florida has always been a big game for us here at Florida State. We always play the night before our football team plays the Gators. It’s going to be a very intense week of practice just like it’s going to be a very intense game.
How Well Will You Sleep On Thursday Night The Night Before The Game Against Florida?
“I think I will sleep pretty well the night before the game. I’m a senior and I have played in a lot of big games for this basketball team. I will be nervous, but not as nervous as I was when I was a freshman. I sure some of the freshmen won’t be able to sleep because they are going to be so anxious and excited about getting the game underway. I’ll be pretty calm, get a good night’s sleep and be ready to play at 7 p.m. Friday night.”
What’s It Like Playing In The O’Connell Center at the University of Florida and Do You Enjoy Playing In That Arena?
“I enjoy playing in the O’Connell Center for a number of reasons. First, the intensity level is so high for the entire game. The intensity begins when you come out on the court for pre-game practice. The arena is where you dream about playing a college basketball game. They always have a packed house and they sell-out for every game. The fans are jumping and screaming the entire game and they make it a great atmosphere to play in. The atmosphere makes you want to keep playing and never stop. I would like to see our fans make the Civic Center that charged-up and excited during our home games.”
What Aspect Of Your Game Have You Improved Upon The Most Since The End Of Last Season?
“The aspect of my game I feel I have improved the most since last season is consistency in my overall game. I am more consistent on the offensive end as well as on the defensive end. I am taking shots within the offense and I have a lot of confidence in my game and myself this season. I also have a lot of confidence in all of my teammates this season. ”
What Is Your Most Vivid Memory of Playing at Florida During Your Sophomore Season?
“My most vivid memory of playing at the University of Florida during my sophomore year was how loud and rambunctious the fans were. They were so intense during the entire game. I felt energized by them during the game. I felt that it took my level of intensity higher and helped me move faster throughout the game. I felt the fans helped speed up the pace of the game.”
How Do You Feel About Playing A Team Ranked In The Nation’s Top-10 To Open The Season?
“I feel that opening up our season against one of the top ranked teams in the nation is great. It gives us the experience of playing in front of a huge crowd against a great team early in the season. These are the types of games we want to be involved in all season long. I am used to playing in great arenas because we play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the feeling of playing in big games never gets old. We are fortunate to be able to play good teams on virtually every night out and that’s one of the fun things about being a Seminole men’s basketball player. Friday night’s game against Florida is going to be a challenge for us. I feel great about going into Florida and playing them. They are one of the top teams in the country and it is going to be a great way to open our season.”
You Decided To Become A Seminole As A High School Senior in 1997. What Are Your Thoughts As You Begin Your Senior Season?
“I want to come out and make this year my best as a member of the Florida State basketball team. Being a senior in college brings back memories of being a senior in high school. I was able to pick up my play as a senior in high school and give myself a chance to move on to the next level. That’s what I would like to do as a senior in college. I am looking forward to playing well this season to hopefully putting myself in position to move up to the next level. I would like to move onto the next level and play some form of pro basketball when my career is finished at Florida State. I want to have the best season possible and help my team win as many games as possible.”