Feb. 5, 2005
Senior forward Anthony Richardson has been a major part of the maturation of the men’s basketball team. Richardson has seen the team improved from a 12-17 record in the 2001-2002 season, to a 19-14 record in 2003-04 season, earning a place in the postseason for the first time since the 1997-1998 season.
“We have made a lot of progress. We have a lot more fan support, a lot more people from the community coming out to support us,” Richardson said, “the team is playing a lot better since my freshman year we are winning a lot more games each year and we are an upcoming team.”
In 2001, Richardson attended Florida State as the number one rated high school prospect in the state of North Carolina by recruiting expert Bob Gibbons. As a freshman, Richardson was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team Honorable Mention, averaging 7.2 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game and recording 15 blocked shots.
“I was still learning the game back then, I had to score a lot and be an all-around player,” stated Richardson.
At the end of his freshman year, Leonard Hamilton replaced Steve Robinson as head coach, though Richardson stats increased as a sophomore, placing second on the team in points (12.4 ppg), rebounds (5.3 rpg) and blocked shots (1.1 bpg). Richardson averaged 7.3 points per game as a junior and played an important part for the Seminoles’ chase for the postseason.
“The team obviously changed a lot, because when you get a new coach you get different type of players and a whole different look,” Richardson noted, “it was my first time making the post season, I wish it would have been the NCAA tournament instead of the Invitational, but it was good for the program and it was real important to me to play in the post season. This year, we are going to try to make it to the NCAA’s.”
Entering his senior year, Richardson’s experience and leadership is immeasurable for the Seminoles, as he and Adam Waleskowski are the only two seniors on the team.
He entered the season on the verge of setting numerous Florida State men’s basketball records. Richardson became the 28th player in school history to play in 100 or more games on December 23, 2004, against Stetson and recorded his 77th block career in a 70-64 win at North Carolina State on January 26, 2005, tying him for 11th with Ron Hale. He needs 79 points to be the 38th player to reach 1,000 for a career, 59 rebounds to be the 26th player to snag 500, and 15 steals to move into 19th place all-time, passing George McCloud.
“Reaching these milestones means a lot to me because it was something that I wanted to do when I had committed to the school,” Richardson noted, “to be recognized as one of the top players to ever play at Florida State is a great accomplishment. It would be great to have my name in the record’s book”.
Having his name sketched in the record book comes second to the team goals. “If I had to choose between the NCAA or personal records, it would be the NCAA without a doubt, because that is a team award and it is something that we are all working towards and something I really want,” Richardson commented
Victories over Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and North Carolina State during his four years means a lot to the Raleigh, North Carolina native.
“If I didn’t play for them, I have always wanted to be able to beat those teams, especially in North Carolina,” Richardson admitted, “to play any schools in North Carolina it is always a challenge and you have to bring your “A” game to get a win. I had grown up watching them a t.v. and now that I am playing against them I want to beat them.”
Richardson feels that this team is going to peak soon.
“After the Florida game, I felt that we have grown and were ready to go on a roll, but we didn’t,” Richardson said, “but we have to wait and see how the team performs night in and night out. The sky’s the limit with this team. When we come to play we can beat anybody. It’s obvious when we play our best we can play with anybody and beat anybody.”
By Derick Thornton
Sports Information Student Assistant