October 16, 1999 - by
Steve Robinson On The 1999-2000 Seminoles

Oct. 16, 1999

On the 1999-2000 season:
“I am really looking forward to the upcoming season. We have a lot of
veterans back – four starters and 10 letterwinners. Last year at this
time, we were a very young team with just one starter back. So that makes
me feel comfortable right off the bat.”


On the Seminoles’ schedule:
“Looking at our schedule, it is going to be a very tough one. The ACC is
the best league in college basketball – nothing is easy in our conference.
Then you look at our non-conference games. We are playing some very good
teams. I have seen a couple of preseason magazines and their top 25’s. We
will play three teams outside the ACC that are in the top 10 in those polls
(Auburn, Temple and Florida). A tough non-conference schedule will help us
get ready for the ACC season so this is something are fans are going to see
every year. We are going to play good people.”


On the returning players:
“We have an All-ACC player back (Ron Hale), one of the top field goal
shooters in the nation (Damous Anderson), one of the best three-point
shooters in the ACC (Adrian Crawford) and a guy who was third in the ACC in
assists and steals (Delvon Arrington). Plus, we have a lot more big bodies
to use upfront.”


On having more big players this season:
“Last year, after Karim (Shabazz) left the team, we had 10 fouls to use
with two players (Justin Mott and Oliver Simmons) in the post. We had to
scramble a lot down low because we had no depth. Damous (Anderson), who is
really a small forward, had to play center for us some last year. This
season, we will have a lot more big bodies. You talk about Justin and
Oliver returning but we also brought in David Anderson, who is 7-0 tall.
We have the big fella, Nigel Dixon, who takes up a lot of space, and we
also brought in Rodney Tucker, a 6-8 kid who can play power forward. I
really feel good knowing that we can turn a few different ways down low.”


On senior forward Ron Hale:
“I expect Ron (Hale) to have another outstanding year. He really broke
through last year. Now teams will be out to stop him and he will be a
marked man but I know he can have another great season. I just want him to
be a little more consistant. Ron has so many skills. He is 6-9, can
handle the ball, probably has the best knack for rebounding on the team and
has a great shooting stroke. I really think he will go out on a high note.”


On senior forward Damous Anderson:
“Damous (Anderson) is a guy who did a great job for us last season. He
came in midway through December and he ended up being our most consistant
player the last few weeks of the season. He averaged about 12 points and
five rebounds for us and he was basically just learning on the fly. I
think he will also has a good season. He and Ron form a very good one-two
punch.”


One that one-two punch:
“I think you might see some different things out of those two (Hale and
Damous Anderson) this year. We might try to have Ron play some at big
guard and that would allow Damous to play out on the wing. Ron has the
kind of skills needed to play in the backcourt but we just didn’t have the
size to let him do it last year. We couldn’t afford to move him. Damous
is really a natural small forward and he should flourish out there.”


On expectations for Florida State:
“The great thing about today is that nobody’s name is on the ACC Trophy and
the national championship trophy. You have to play for it. At the
beginning of last season, everyone picked Duke to win the national
championship. Well, they had to play for it and Connecticut was able to
beat them to win it. We intend on playing as hard as we can to try and
compete for first place in the ACC. People may have us picked for the
bottom third of the league but we will only finish there if we allow it to
happen. I am a competitor. I don’t like to lose and I am going to do
everything in my power to help us win. I came to Florida State to try and
make this program an annual contender for the ACC Championship and
eventually a contender for the national championship.”


On junior point guard Delvon Arrington:
“Delvon has got to be one of the fastest players in the country with the
ball in his hands. He had a very good first season of college basketball
last year. He finished third in the conference in assists and steals. He
can do a lot of things for us and I expect him to grow and improve even
more this year.”


On junior guard Adrian Crawford:
“Adrian is a true combo guard. He will miss the first couple of weeks of
practice because of surgery on his left knee earlier this week. But he
will be back for the start of the season. He will probably step into the
starting lineup at off guard but he will also spell Delvon at point guard.
Adrian gives us a good leadership presence on the floor too.”


On the renovation of the Leon County Civic Center:
“I really think they have done a good job. It should be ready for the
start of the season and it is now a very nice facility, a good place to
watch college basketball. I had the chance to sit in one of the suites for
an event a while back. My sons made me take them to go see wrestling there
one night. The suites are a very nice place to watch an event.”


On what he has learned coaching at Florida State his first two years:
“It has been a great experience. We are building something for the long
term and we needed a good solid foundation. I think we have put that in
place. There are no short-cuts to success and our players now know that.
Now we are going to start to grow. The upcoming season will be about
growth and improvement. The coaching staff wants to improve, the players
are going to improve. Everyone involved with the basketball program has
got to improve and get better. I have also learned that the ACC truely is
the best basketball conference in the nation. I had always heard that when
I was at other schools but know I really know it. I have lived it for two
years. Nobody takes it easy on you or has sympathy for you. You are going
to get knocked down but you better pick yourself up to fight again or you
are going to stay down. I won’t allow that.”

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