Nov. 1, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
This is the time of year when coach Steve Robinson wants his newcomers to do their talking on the basketball court. Period. Junior college transfer Monte Cummings and freshmen such as J.D. Bracy and Michael Joiner aren’t allowed to talk to the media until after the first game.
But the group has made plenty of noise during preseason practices. FSU fans will get their first look at the 2000 recruiting class tonight in the annual Garnet and Gold Scrimmage at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center.
Recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons rated the five-member class among the nation’s top 20.
“The strength of our new guys is they add depth to our teams,” Antwuan Dixon said. “We will be a more versatile team.”
Bracy can play tonight, but as a partial qualifier he cannot participate in intercollegiate competition. Bracy shot well in Florida State’s closed scrimmage on Saturday. The other freshmen are forwards Joiner and Andrew Wilson, and point guard Ryan Lowery.
Monte Cummings, a junior college transfer, will be counted on to play in the wing immediately. But Robinson has not made a decision on his starting lineup for the Nov. 17 home opener against Florida.
“Monte Cummings can shoot the ball well from the outside, can really drive the ball to the basket,” Robinson said. “Very complete player, an experienced player. Monte’s like a guy who plays golf. Sometimes you go out and decide ‘I need to hit a three-wood or a five-iron.’ And Monte is kind of picking and choosing a little bit in the preseason about when to turn it on, when not to turn it on.
“He does a lot of good things. I’m trying to get him to grab the 3-wood and smack the heck out of the ball.”
Mike Mathews isn’t really a newcomer, but this will be his first season he can play in regular-season and postseason games. Robinson is counting on him to help underneath, where Florioda State’s biggest challenge can be found. With David Anderson slowed by a hamstring injury, Nigel Dixon and Mathews will need to contribute quality minutes.
The addition of Cummings, and a healthy Adrian Crawford, will benefit Delvon Arrington, Florida State’s best returning player. Last season Arrington was surrounded by players such as Ron Hale and Damous Anderson, neither true wing players, who could not help him bring the ball up court. That should help cut down turnovers. Arrington, ninth in all-time assists at FSU, also said he would like to improve his 8.1 scoring average of a year ago.
“What I’m working on is my shooting, and that’s what you are going to see more of this season,” Arrington said. “I’m looking to score a little more this year, and I think I will cut down on my turnovers as well.”
This should not be Arrington’s last Garnet and Gold game. He is expected to earn back the year of eligibility he lost as a partial qualifier.
By Steve Ellis