Oct. 8, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Andrew Wilson is one of Florida State’s top outside shooters and one of the biggest secrets in the Atlantic Coast Conference who returns to the Seminole lineup after missing almost the entire 2001-02 season with a knee injury. He suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee against Florida in the season opener last year after having played only seven minutes. Wilson has worked extremely hard to get back into the lineup and sat down with seminoles.com to discuss his return to the court, Florida State’s newly opened Basketball Training Center and what his goals are for the season.
What Are You Most Looking Forward To As The First Day Of Practice Approaches?
“The one thing I am looking most forward to is the change of pace and getting back to competition. This off-season has seemingly been the longest of my career. It just seemed like the season was never going to get here. The fact that the season is finally approaching, practice is nearly here and we will be able to get out on the court and compete is a great feeling. Getting to practice with the coaches on the court will give us more structure and I am really looking forward to that.”
What Do You See As The Biggest Improvement The Members Of The Team Have Collectively Made Since The End Of Last Season?
“I think the biggest improvement the members of the team have made since the end of last season has got to be in the strength and conditioning aspect of our training. All of the returning players stayed here during the summer and all of us worked extremely hard to become stronger and better conditioned. It will be obvious when practice begins that we have all improved our skills because we all spent a lot of time in the gym over the summer. I think the new coaching staff instilled a greater work ethic in all of the players and helped us believe that the hard work we put in during the summer and fall would help us when practice began in October.”
What Is The One Single Best Aspect Of The Basketball Training Center In Your Mind?
“It is tough to single out the most outstanding aspect of the Basketball Training Center because it is such a wonderful building. The entire building is unbelievable. From the weight room to the training room to the gym to our locker room to the players’ lounges to the coaches’ offices – everything is unbelievable. One important this is that we can come to the building whenever we want to. You can come during the middle of the night or you can come early in the morning. We have access to the facility whenever we want to be here and work on our games.”
How Have You Benefited From The Strength And Conditioning Program?
“We have definitely benefited from the new strength and conditioning program. The program developed by coach Mike Bradley has really pushed us to our limits to say the least. I know every time we finish a workout in the weight room you feel like you want to pass out because you have worked so hard. That’s how hard and intense we work out each time we go into the weight room. I feel the strength and conditioning program could end up being the difference in a winning and a losing season this year. I think we are going to be in so much better condition than everyone else we play against that we will see the benefit of our hard work late in games when we have to get over the point of being tired.”
Have You Done Anything Specifically To Strengthen Your Knee After Injuring It Last Season?
“I worked extremely hard on rehabilitating my knee shortly after the injury. Most of the rehabilitation on the knee took place during a two-month period just after the injury against Florida. I really focused on lower body exercises over the summer and I really improved the strength in my lower body which is what helped my add weight to my body frame. The rehabilitation I did after the season with our trainer Sam Lunt allowed me to get to a point this summer where the knee didn’t bother me and I could concentrate on strengthening my entire body for the season.”
What Are The Things You Are Concentrating On To Improve Your Overall Game?
“The one thing I am concentrating on to improve my overall game is the mental aspect of the game of basketball. I feel my skills are where they need to be and will improve under Coach Hamilton and his staff. I have to go out on the court and know I can get the job done. I really worked on that aspect of my game in addition to watching a lot of tape. I feel my mental preparation for the upcoming season is so much better than it ever has been. I knew what I needed to work on this summer in order to reach the next level in my game. I feel my mental preparation is going to be the one thing to allow me to make the next step upward in my game.”
Who, In Your Mind, Is Going To Be The Player On The Team Who Will Surprise The Most People This Season?
“I think we have two guys on our team who are going to surprise people this season. In my opinion, both Tim Pickett and Nate Johnson – two of our new junior college players – are going to be very good players for us this season. I don’t think they have received a lot of publicity coming in this season and a lot of people might not know anything about them. I really feel they are going to step in immediately and help our team a lot. They will be players our opponents are going to have to watch out for. They are really going to shock people when the first see them play.”
What Are Your Goals For The Upcoming Season?
“My goal for the upcoming season is to help lead this team to the NCAA Tournament. Other than that, I don’t have too many individual goals. I really feel this team is capable of making it to the NCAA Tournament. I think we know we are capable of making it to the NCAA Tournament. That’s the only goal I have really set for myself and the team as we begin the 2002-03 season.”
What Does This Team Have To Do To Brings The Fans To The Civic Center?
“I think the main thing this team needs to do to bring fans out the Civic Center is to win basketball games. It’s really that simple. We have great fans at Florida State but nobody wants to support a team that doesn’t win as consistently as some of the other programs in the nation. In order to get fans to come see us play we are just going to have to win some more games. Once we start winning, Seminole fans are going to come out on a more consistent basis.”
What Team Are You Most Looking Forward To Playing Against This Season?
“The team I am most looking forward to playing against is Florida on Dec. 6 in the Civic Center. Not only are they probably our biggest rival but they are an in-state team and I have lost to them twice since I have been a member of this team. They are a good team and are going to be ranked in the top-10 in the country so it’s going to be a big game for us.”