Nov. 27, 2001
Tallahassee, FLA –
Florida State University men’s basketball coach Steve Robinson met the media prior to Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern. Here’s what he had to say about the matchup.
On the Northwestern Game
“This is a big game. I have told our guys that it is a big game because it is our next game. It’s also another chance to see a little bit about where we are at. We are playing a very good Northwestern basketball team. I think Bill Carmody has really done a good job with those guys in terms of how they play and the system that they run. It is a very difficult system to prepare for. You have to really be sharp, you have to be good on your defensive end. That’s pretty evident because of the success they have had at Princeton. We have to really be up to being on the road and really be up to handling the style of play.”
Is your team confident?
Most certainly. I don’t think we just ran up and down the floor and weren’t productive. We were pretty productive in the time periods we were out there. I thought our execution has gotten better with each game. We have done a pretty good job on the defensive end of the floor which, to me, led to good offense because we were able to take care of the basketball and force them into some turnovers which led to us getting some easy plays going the other way.
How tough a style is Northwestern’s to prepare for?
“This is different. It is a different style – its basketball. It’s something you face but you just don’t always face it in an organized setting like you have with this basketball team. There are a lot of different reads and a lot of reactions based on your offensive movements. We have to be sharp, we have to be active and we have to be very alert on the defensive end of the floor.
What is the difference between Northwestern and the Carmody coached Princeton teams?
They are, probably, overall, more athletic and better athletes then what they had at Princeton. The tempo is a little faster than they played at Princeton because I think they are still being taught all the concepts of that Princeton style of play. I think this team has a little bit more freedom to make their reads and cuts and they probably get up and down the floor better than some of his Princeton teams.
Does it benefit you to have played Princeton two years ago in Hawaii?
“I played against Princeton when I was at Cornell so I have some prior history against the system. Delvon (Arrington) has played against Princeton. I told him yesterday (Sunday) that he had to make sure his teammates understand the concentration and effort that it is going to be required to play this game. If we don’t understand then we will go up there and we won’t play worth a darn.”
Talk about the last time you played Princeton in 1999
“That was a pretty good and experienced Princeton team that we played if I’m not mistaken. We didn’t have the depth, I don’t think. You have to remember, too, that the game was played with experimental rules. The shot clock was 45 seconds. You had to chase those guys around for a long, long period of time and that’s not easy.”
How much further along is this team since the Florida game?
“Have we gotten better? Have we grown some as a team? Yes, I think we certainly have done that. It will be our second road game and a very tough road game for us. I think we find some things out as the game goes along. Growing is something that is continuous and continually happening. We want it to continually happen. I think I see a lot of things that our guys are doing that are encouraging. We just have to keep putting it all together and keep making those steps forward – that’s a big thing for our basketball team. When we stop trying to listen or learn then we are running ourselves into a wall. We are still moving ahead.
What have you learned about you team so far?
“I have learned that I can put a lot of combinations out on the floor. I think every game is going to provide us with different situations. You have been able to see some of the consistency in how some of the guys play and what they are capable of doing. I can look at Anthony (Richardson) and have a better feel for what he can give us. The same thing with Adam. I have a better feel for J.D. and those guys and what the three first-year guys can do for us. Trevor is also getting opportunities. They have all been productive coming off the bench and that has been a big thing for us. The reason we have been able to go to the bench as freely as we have been able to is because they have been productive.
What is Adam Waleskowski’s role and what do you expect from him?
“I expect him to keep getting better. He’s a freshman and he’s playing his first year of college basketball. He works hard and he’s a guy who’s going to be an effective player for us. I think the thing he has to do is keep working hard, keep getting better and keep producing. He’s producing every time he gets on the floor. That’s very encouraging to see. I think Adam has a great feel for the game and he makes good basketball plays on the court. He also works hard and he is going to have opportunities to excel for us.
Do you have a feel for how good a defensive team this team can be?
“I think so much of it boils down to how hard they can play. It takes effort to challenge shots from outside and stop a guy from going to the right or to the left. It boils down to how much effort they can reach down and get. One of the things that has been good for us is that you have a first unit and you are able to replace that unit. Or, you have a player and you are able to replace a player. The guys who are coming in, whether a starter or a guy off the bench, they have been able to raise the level of their game or their intensity and I thinks that’s what will make us a better defensive team. I hope we can continue to do that. We have parts that allow us to be a good defensive team now it’s a matter of executing on defense like you execute on offense. It’s a matter of getting to the right spots and rotations of where the ball is. If you don’t get that it’s like missing a screen or running right when you should have run left.