Dec. 15, 2003
Ganiyat Adeduntan is a year older and a year wiser. After one year in the Florida State system, the Athens, Ga., native is settling in and becoming a solid contributor for the Florida State women’s basketball team.
“I am a totally different player from last year,” Adeduntan said. “Defensively and offensively, I’ve definitely moved a step forward. I am not where I need to be yet, but playing-wise I can do more things on the defensive end and help my team better and I can set people up better on the offensive end. I know what to expect now from the coaches and I know what I can do and what I need to do. I think knowing what to expect just helps a lot. When you don’t know what to expect, you are afraid of messing up.”
What fans have come to expect from Adeduntan has been solid three-point shooting. In fact, Adeduntan is not only leading the team, but the Atlantic Coast Conference in three-point shooting percentage, hitting 58 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. Her seven three-pointers is second to teammate Tasheika Allen and as a team, FSU is shooting a league-leading 51 percent from three-point land.
“Actually, this summer, I was working more on driving because I think I relied too much on shooting threes last year,” Adeduntan said. “The main thing that’s helping a lot is people penetrating this year and setting me up. That goes for Tasheika too. We are both getting set up real nice. Our guards are penetrating and we are just standing there ready to shoot.”
Adeduntan has played in every game this season and recorded a season-high 11 points in the win over Harvard. The effort earned the sophomore Seminole Classic all-tournament team honors for the second straight season as her 3-for-4 shooting from three-point range in the championship game helped the Seminoles win their fourth consecutive Seminole Classic title.
“Coming off the bench, my role is to give a spark, keep the defensive intensity up and be on attack mode on offense and looking to score, rebound and set people up,” Adeduntan said.
While Adeduntan admits she loves the offensive side of the game, she has learned the importance of playing solid defense and is working to improve her game in that area.
“In high school, defense was an emphasis, but when you come to college, everybody is like you and people know how to score, so finding a way to stop an offensive player is the thing I am getting better at,” Adeduntan said. “I love shooting the three, pulling up for a jump shot, grabbing a rebound and setting somebody up, but getting a steal is nice too.”
The Seminoles have set high goals for the season and Adeduntan has set high goals for herself to ensure that the team’s expectations are met.
“Our first goal is to finish in the top three of the ACC, make it to the NCAA Tournament and make it to the Sweet 16,” she said. “We are just trying to win every game day in and day out. Personally, I want to win. I don’t care how it happens, but I want to be on the court helping my team win.”
Although in just her second season, Adeduntan sees herself in a position to help lead the new players, but she’s quick to accept direction from them as well.
“I’m still learning from the people ahead of me, but I am learning from new people too,” Adeduntan said. “The difference is that this year I feel like I can say stuff to people now. Last year, I was just always learning. Now I feel like I know more so I can tell people ‘hey you’re doing this or you need to do this or you did a good job here and there,’ but I am still listening to the juniors and seniors and having the open mind I am supposed to have.”
A nursing major, Adeduntan just completed the fall semester in which she took 13 hours, most of which were science-related, like anatomy. While playing a sport and taking a full course load is demanding, Adeduntan has learned how to balance it all.
“Overall, I just try to get my work done,” she said. “I am not one to procrastinate. I do get tired sometimes so I always get my sleep in because I don’t want to be tired for basketball. Just trying to stay on top of things is kind of draining at times, but when I get on the court, I try and just focus on that. Whatever I am doing, I try to just focus on that, instead of thinking and stressing about other things.”
For Adeduntan, it’s not all stress and no fun. She has been known to sing in the back of the bus on road trips and is just plain silly at times.
“I think I’m funny,” Adeduntan said. “Some people might call me goofy, but I am talkative and I’m a great singer.”
She’s also driven to succeed which is going to mean great things for the future of Florida State basketball.
“I go for what I want, so I am driven,” Adeduntan said. “And usually what I want, I usually get.”