January 25, 2022 - by

M. Basketball: 20 Questions For Matthew Cleveland

Florida State’s Matthew Cleveland is enjoying a strong start to his Florida State career.  The freshman from Atlanta, Ga., averages 10.8 points per game and is the league’s leading candidate to win the Seminoles’ fourth consecutive ACC Sixth Man of the Year Award.

He has earned two double doubles (13 points, 10 rebounds against NC State; 21 points, 10 rebounds against North Florida) and has scored in double figures nine times in his first season as a Seminole.

The Seminoles travel to play Georgia Tech on Wednesday, January 26, in a game that means a lot to Cleveland. Here is some of what he had to say about himself, his teammates, and travelling back to his hometown for the first time in months

Knisley: Do you have any hidden talents?
Cleveland: I can sing and dance well, but that’s about it.

Knisley: What is your go to karaoke song?
Cleveland: Heartbreak Anniversary by Giveon.

Knisley: Is there someone on the team that can sing or rap really well?
Cleveland: Michael Brown can rap very well and Cam’Ron Fletcher can sing pretty well, too.

Knisley: What is your biggest fear?
Cleveland: Heights.

Knisley: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Cleveland: Either Fiji or Paris.

Knisley: If you could play with or against any basketball player in history, who would it be?
Cleveland: LeBron James.

Knisley: What is the best advice that anyone has ever given to you?
Cleveland: Trust the process. Just know that everything that’s for you will be for you.

Knisley: Who would you say the funniest guy on the team is?
Cleveland: Michael Brown.

Knisley: What is your favorite Florida State jersey combination?
Cleveland: Black jerseys.

Knisley: What is your favorite part about Florida State so far?
Cleveland: My teammates. It feels like a family, our chemistry is just on a different level.

Knisley: Who have you become especially close with on the team?
Cleveland: John Butler.

Knisley: As a freshman, is there someone you look up to on the team?
Cleveland: Either RayQuan (Evans) or Malik (Osborne). They lead by example and keep everyone level-headed during games and at practice.

Knisley: How has your game improved since coming to Florida State?
Cleveland: I’ve taken a bigger step in terms of confidence and knowing that I deserve to be out there on the court. I’ve been able to be a better player because of my increased confidence

Knisley: How do you stay confident on the court?
Cleveland: It’s easy to stay confident while being team-oriented because my teammates give me confidence. It helps when everyone is feeding off of each other’s energy.

Knisley: Obviously, you are very academically inclined as well. How have you adjusted to balancing college courses with college basketball?
Cleveland: It has been an adjustment, especially because my classes in high school were in person, and you have a set school day every day of the week. But now, some classes are online and some are in person. It’s about making sure you have all of your work done on time and can still get to practice and do the things you need to do to succeed.

Knisley: How did you feel the first time going on the court for the Seminoles?
Cleveland: It was pretty nerve-wracking for sure. Just making sure that I didn’t mess anything up but also wanting to let people know that I was here.

Knisley: Why did you choose Florida State?
Cleveland: It felt like a family environment to me. That’s big for me if I’m going somewhere away from home. I wanted somewhere I could be comfortable and be myself; I felt like it fit me the best.

Knisley: What do you like most about the coaching staff at Florida State?
Cleveland: They can make you laugh at any moment.

Knisley: Both of your parents went to Georgia Tech and the school was an early contender, was it difficult for you to make the decision to go elsewhere?
Cleveland: It wasn’t too difficult because both of my parents said it was my choice and gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to at the end of the day. But, it was hard to leave Atlanta.

Knisley: Does this game against Georgia Tech on Wednesday mean more to you because of that?
Cleveland: It definitely means a lot to me, because I’m going back home. My family and friends are also going to be at the game, so it will be fun to have them watch me play.

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