Oct. 14, 2000
By RANDY BEARD
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Steve Robinson plans to enjoy this weekend.
Not because tonight’s football game will be one of the few chances
he’ll ever see a Florida State team thrash a Duke squad by more than 30
Not because he’s excited about all of Florida State’s homecoming
Not because he dared to introduce his latest collection of
basketball talent to the media on Friday the 13th and survived to tell us
all about these Seminoles.
While those may be darn good reasons for him to smile, they don’t
explain the grin Robinson already was wearing yesterday. “I am really
looking forward to getting on the floor, to start practicing, to hear those
shoes squeaking, whistles blowing, guys running into each other, coaches
screaming and yelling,” he said.
Yes, according to the NCAA schedule-makers, basketball season has
arrived. At least preseason has. And that means that Robinson can glance
out on the gym floor today and see a team that technically is tied with the
likes of Duke for the best record in the country.
Never mind all those magazines that predict the Seminoles will end
up battling Clemson to stay out of the ACC cellar. Or that this FSU team
will provide the Cameron Crazies plenty of heckling material when they
Robinson and his players will deal with those expectations later.
Now is the time for dreaming. “We are reaching for the sky, to go as far
and as high as we possibly can,” he said.
Sure, the players have read what the experts are predicting. They
even know what FSU boosters are thinking because of the departures of Ron
Hale and Damous Anderson, who combined to account for nearly of the
Seminoles’ points last season.
But as far as senior point guard Delvon Arrington is concerned,
once the season begins he and his teammates will quickly raise everyone’s
“We’ve seen those predictions. It is a big motivation to our team,”
said Arrington, who is the team’s leading returning scorer at 8.9 points
per game. “But we know what we need to do when we get on the court.”
“We’re in the toughest conference in the country, so we’re going to
have to come out ready to play every game,” said Adrian Crawford, FSU’s
only other senior, who is back after a knee injury limited him to 15 games
last season. “But we have guys who can score, and we can be very good
defensively . . . Look at Wisconsin last year. I don’t know where they were
picked at the beginning of last season, but they weren’t supposed to get to
the Final Four.”
Robinson isn’t ready to promise 20 wins, but he does think this
could end up being his most balanced squad. He’s already convinced it will
be his most athletic.
He says post players David Anderson, Nigel Dixon and Mike Matthews
will anchor a solid defense while providing those valuable points in the
paint the Seminoles were missing a year ago. As for the scoring options on
the perimeter, Arrington, Crawford and juco transfer Monte Cummings should
have it covered.
Until the ball is finally tipped up, Robinson will continue to toss
around the word “potential” like he’s conducting fast-break drills. But
when the final ACC standings are posted in five months, he expects to be
“I can’t wait to get started . . . I think we will be the most fun
team since I’ve been here,” said Robinson.