Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Trip Abroad Gives FSU a Head Start; Trinidad Experience Allowed Hamilton Insight on Team's Newcomers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Trip Abroad Gives FSU a Head Start; Trinidad Experience Allowed Hamilton Insight on Team's Newcomers

Article excerpt

Byline: IRA SCHOFFEL

TALLAHASSEE -- College basketball coaches will get a first glimpse of their 2005-06 lineups when preseason practices open today.

They'll get a taste for team chemistry, see how new players mesh with old, and they'll be able to evaluate whether incoming freshmen can stand up to the physical nature of college ball.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, however, already knows the answers to those questions.

In early September, Hamilton took his team on a four-game exhibition tour of Trinidad. The NCAA allows one such trip every four years, and Hamilton hopes the excursion will pay instant dividends for a program desperately seeking improvement.

"It was pure basketball," Hamilton said. "We played four games in 44 hours. So it was just basketball, basketball. We didn't have a chance to do a lot of sight-seeing."

Though the trip was brief, the practice time that went along with it was invaluable. NCAA rules allow up to 10 days of practice in conjunction with these trips. And because FSU took its tour after the beginning of school, the Seminoles' incoming players were allowed to participate in half the practices and all four games.

"We were able to get our youngsters some very valuable minutes," Hamilton said.

Though FSU's players have been working primarily on their offensive skills during offseason workouts, Hamilton said they will switch gears with the start of practice today. The first three days of preseason drills will be focused on defense.

The Seminoles ranked next to last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring defense, allowing 68.6 points per game. A year earlier, FSU surrendered 65.1 points a game.

"Last year's team was not characteristic of the way we think that we should be playing defense," Hamilton said of his team, which finished 12-19. "We need to really, really get ourselves back to correcting all those mistakes I thought we made last year. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.