Oct. 12, 2000
There is justice in one little part of our world. Florida State
basketball coach Steve Robinson saw to it, naming junior point guard Delvon
Arrington a tri-captain. Try, indeed. That’s a good word to precede his
How many minutes did Delvon Arrington play last season? 938. Damous
Anderson? 821. Ron Hale? 864. And unlike forwards Anderson and Hale,
Arrington couldn’t just run down the court and hide in the corner and take
a breather. Not as a point guard. Sort of puts the guy’s effort in
perspective, doesn’t it?
To take a somewhat different approach, Arrington played so many
minutes, by the end of the year, Robinson took to making jokes about all of
Delvon’s “available playing-time” and how many players on the team would
have been jubilant with so much “PT.” It was good spin. But if you watched
the team, you knew which ball was bouncing and who was still bouncing it.
With Adrian Crawford out with a bum knee, Robinson was strapped at
that position. It was up to Arrington to hold the fort together through the
“now you see ’em, now you don’t” senior seasons of Hale and Anderson. By
the end of the schedule, the little guy was playing on spaghetti legs.
If you saw Arrington trying to play against Maryland in the ACC
Tournament the day after the Georgia Tech win — he lasted just 16 painful
minutes — you saw a warrior. Robinson needs guys like that.
Thing was, that was just half the story. Academically, Arrington
couldn’t let up because a fourth-year of eligibility (next season) was
riding on his academic performance. As long as he’s set to graduate within
a four-year window (He should get his sports management degree this
spring), the NCAA will grant him the year of eligibility he lost in
1997-98. So a lot was riding on him every day.
“I don’t think most people really saw what I went through last
season,” said Arrington, who will share the captain duties with Crawford
and junior forward Antwuan Dixon. “It was hectic. But I couldn’t worry
about that. I had to worry about our team and what coach wants me to do. It
was a tough road to go down. ..”
When the year ended, he took a week and a half to regroup, then
went back into the gym, the weight room and the court and has been there
ever since. When FSU basketball practice begins this weekend, he’ll be
“Getting better, getting better. That’s all I’m thinking about,” he
said. And not just this season.
“So I’m not looking at just this year,” he said. “Y’all haven’t
seen me at my best. It’s just like Coach Rob said. ‘You’re going to improve
this year and guess what, this is not your best year yet.’ And that’s how I
feel, too. I feel like they haven’t seen the other dimensions of the game
which I’m going to show.”
It won’t all be dishing. There’ll be some swishing, too.
“We’re looking for Delvon to be a complete player,” Robinson said.
“I think he can be a scorer at the point. Not just a one-dimensional type
of player. And I think he really can do this.”
Now that Robinson has some backup help at point guard and Crawford
is healthy, Arrington feels ready for a breakout year.
“I want to lead this team,” he said of his new job. “I really do
want for people to look to me to lead.”