Nov. 10, 2001
Junior Shinikki Whiting, who led the Seminoles with nine rebounds in Florida State’s first exhibition, gave her perspective on how the team is doing this preseason as the Seminoles prepare to host the Virgin Islands All Stars on Sunday, November 11th in the squad’s final exhibition game of the preseason. The All Stars, who will play a nine-game slate against teams from Georgia, Alabama and Florida, are coming off of an 80-74 loss to Miami Friday night. The Seminoles are looking to bounce back from an 82-68 loss to the Premier Players, who remain undefeated with wins over FSU opponents North Carolina, Auburn and Florida.
“We finally got a chance to see what everybody was capable of doing and I thought we did pretty good as a team,” Whiting said of Tuesday’s performance. “We’ve got a lot of talent and we have a lot of fun. It seemed like everyone who went into the game was really relaxed and confident.”
Although there are five new players on the team this season, the Seminoles have already begun to mesh as a team.
“The chemistry is there, but we still have a lot of things to develop,” Whiting said. “We’re pretty comfortable with each other, but there are still things we have to learn about each other.”
According to Whiting, since Tuesday’s exhibition, the team has worked on getting out on the shooters after stopping the penetration.
“On Tuesday, we were worried about stopping the penetration,” Whiting said, “but then when they pitched the ball out to the shooter, we weren’t out there fast enough to recover, so we’ve been working on that.”
Whiting feels that in order to be successful in Sunday’s game, everyone will have to contribute.
“We need a lot of people to step up, because we have a lot of injuries,” she said. “Hopefully everybody’s ready and comes in with the same confidence that they did on Tuesday night.”
Whiting definitely had confidence in her game on Tuesday. Not only did she lead the team in rebounding, she also added eight points to her effort. With the team’s talent this season, there are several go-to players, but Whiting knows what she needs to do.
“I’m just trying to be consistent,” Whiting said. “I just want to go out every night and if I’m not doing it on the offensive end, I want to do it on the defensive end and vice-versa. I just want to give all I can. Team comes first and when my team is set, then I can worry about myself. I’m just focusing on not leaving my teammates out to dry on defense and helping the team first.”
Although she is definitely a team player, Whiting has had to change her approach to games this season. Having been one of the first players off of the bench last season, Whiting has positioned herself comfortably in the starting line up.
“Actually, my approach has changed, because last year, I was able to sit back and catch the flow of the game,” Whiting said. “But now, you just got to get out there and get after it. When you’re starting a game, you have no time to lapse. You have to get out there and be intense from the get-go.”
Florida State will open the regular season on November 18th vs. NCAA Tournament participant St. Mary’s at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to Whiting, fans should prepare for a fun season.
“If I had to describe this year’s team in one word, it would be ‘fun’,” Whiting said. “Fun for fans, fun for each other. We have fun learning new things everyday. We’re just a really fun group of kids.”
And the fun begins on Sunday, which is Women’s Basketball Fan Day. Doors will open at 1 p.m. There will be games, face painting, balloon animals, give-a-ways AND THEN SOME. Following exciting basketball action, the Seminoles will meet the fans at an autograph session where free posters will be distributed.
“I’m just hoping that we can get more people out to our games,” Whiting said. “And not just on Fan Day. I want it to continue after Fan Day. I know that we’ll continue working hard in practice so we can have a winning season and give our fans something to have fun with, something to cheer for and something to be proud of, a reason to come out and watch us. We don’t want to disappoint anyone. So we’ve got to get out there and work hard and give it all we got.”