November 14, 2005 - by
Passing Out Of The Paint With Diego Romero

Nov. 14, 2005

With one season of Division I basketball under his belt, Diego Romero enters his senior season as one of the top big men in the ACC. His basketball knowledge, mobility and ability to play both inside and outside gives him a distinct ability over other big men in the conference. Romero has the ability to play with his back to the basket or take his defender out to the perimeter and earn success in both places. He sat down with before the start of the season as discussed topics ranging from Florida State’s trip to Trinidad and Tobago to his ability to be a team leader.

What are your thoughts on the trip to Trinidad and Tobago?
Everything about the trip was great. It gave us an early start on our season. We got 10 days to practice and start to get to know each other, especially the new players. Overall it was a good trip and I think it was a great start to this year.

On the trip to Trinidad and Tobago did you guys do anything together off the court in an attempt to bond?
A: We only spent two days over there and we played four games. It was a real quick trip and right after the last game we went straight to the airport. It was all business.

How are the new guys fitting in, both personality and playing style?
My first impression about of all of them is they are a great group of people. They work hard and they really contribute to the team. They have talent, like everyone on this team, that’s why they are at FSU. That’s why they are playing in the ACC. They work hard everyday and try to get better.

Do you think the new payers will fit into Coach Hamilton’s system and Florida State’s philosophy?
No question they will. The coaching staff has recruited our players and has assembled a well rounded team.

Q: You had knee surgery at the end of last season and have been rehabbing all summer. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling great. I am feeling really, really good. I’m ready to get back. It doesn’t hurt when I walk so that’s a big improvement already. It doesn’t hurt when I go to class. I don’t have any pain when I sit class. I am really happy where I am right now.

What have you been doing to strengthen your knee and prepare for the season?
Sam [Lunt] and Coach Bradley have been working really hard with me in rehab. I do pool exercises. I have treatments. I’ve really been working on the court doing defensive slides to try and get ready.

Do you feel this team possess more cohesion than teams you’ve played on in the past?
A: With the juniors and sophomores from last year, we realize that we can’t win with just talent. We know we need to go out every night and compete every night and not to take any game for granted. We are going to win if we go out every night and compete.

It takes more than individual talent to win a game. Do you feel this team has that togetherness where no one player is trying to be the star?
I really just feel something special with this team. This is the first time in my whole basketball career that the whole team understands that we need each other. I’ve played on national teams, in junior college, and everywhere I’ve played you always have two or three players that think they are better than everyone else. I don’t see those kinds of players on this team. I just see a bunch of guys that work hard and work together to be the best we can.

Since you got to Florida State you have faced many obstacles. Initially it was with your eligibility status and then with injury. How does it feel going into your senior season with all that behind you knowing that you can just focus on basketball?
All I did all summer was pray for one healthy season. That’s all I asked for just one healthy season without any kinds of problems. No knee pain so that I can perform.

Do you feel a lot of pressure as a senior to perform?
I don’t really feel pressure when I play basketball. I play basketball because it’s fun. I know it is a serious game because we have a lot of people behind us, but if you feel pressure when you play basketball you shouldn’t be on the court.

Do you feel pressure off the court to be a leader?
A: That’s the harder part of being a leader, but with Andrew [Wilson] and Todd [Galloway] we all help each other out and talk to the young guys and let them know they are doing a great job so far.

Is there anyone on the schedule that you look forward to playing?
I look forward to every game. We are just taking it one game at a time.

By Jenn Hunter
Florida State Sports Information
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