January 30, 2004 - by
Senior Michael Joiner Giving Seminoles A Big Lift In ACC Play

Jan. 30, 2004

Every successful team needs that one guy. You know the one. The type of player who does whatever is needed, in any situation, to help the team win. For Florida State University men’s basketball, that one guy is senior Michael Joiner.

“I don’t feel like I’m a go-to man, but I feel that I’m one of the players that needs to come ready every night to help out however I’m needed, if it’s offense, defense or whatever is needed to make us successful,” Joiner said.

An integral part to the Seminoles’ success over the last season and a half, Joiner was almost not along for the ride that has seen the Tribe start to garner national attention.

Coming off a freshman season that saw him become only the second Seminole to earn ACC All-Rookie honors, Joiner’s sophomore season did not live up to his high standards. To make matters worse, the head coach that brought him to Tallahassee had been fired.

Standing at the crossroads of his college career, Joiner considered transferring from Florida State. What kept him in the Garnet and Gold was long conversations with his parents and the new coaching staff. Joiner believed in what incoming head coach Leonard Hamilton was saying and he wanted to be a part of it.

A native of Fayetteville, Fla., Joiner is now helping lead a renaissance of the Seminole basketball program. This year’s squad set a school record for consecutive victories to start the season and picked up its first victory in a conference opener since the 1999-2000 campaign, the year before Joiner arrive in town.

“I’m not totally pleased because I don’t feel we are where we could be, but I feel that we’re going in the right direction and coach Hamilton has definitely take us to a new place since I’ve been here,” Joiner added. “I’m glad that I’m going out with this program in the right direction.”

Even though he never lost his passion for the game, coming to the gym everyday wasn’t always the easiest. That has all changed under Hamilton as the second-year floor boss has instilled a new attitude in his players.

Another big difference Joiner has noticed is the support from the fans. Last season the Seminoles averaged 1,442 more fans per game than the year before and have had two crowds this season above their norm of 6,384 from 2002-03.

“It’s definitely a different feeling on campus with the support,” Joiner added. “We’re getting more local fans and that means a lot to us, because when I first got here the support wasn’t that much, but they’ve come around. When the students come back it’s just going to add to the energy and give us a real home court advantage.

“I’m glad that I’m going out with this program in the right direction.”

As one of the main ingredients holding the Seminoles together, Joiner is constantly interacting with his teammates on the court, but away from the gym he prefers a little solitude. Self-described as a normal, laid back college student, Joiner likes to read or watch a little television in the small free time he has.
Majoring in political science with a minor in communications, he wants to explore his options in playing basketball once his time is done with the Seminoles. With his last season of collegiate basketball almost halfway complete, Joiner is trying to leave the Florida State program going in the right direction.

“Everyone talks about my freshman year, but I want them to remember my entire career,” Joiner admitted. “I had a great start and struggled a little bit in between, but I want to end with the torch still burning. I’m also proud to help lay the foundation for successful seasons, even after I’m done playing.”

If the professional ranks are not in the cards for Joiner, he has thoughts of working in higher education or even coaching. No matter what his options are, Joiner should have not any problems fitting in. It’s what he does naturally.

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