Chatting with Alexander

Florida State finally returns to the postseason tonight, visiting Wichita State in the first round of the NIT. The Shockers (21-10), under fourth-year coach Mark Turgeon, received their second straight invitation into the NIT after falling to NCAA-bound Northern Iowa in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Click here for an interview with FSU freshman center <b>Alexander Johnson.</b>

Some of the older guys have never played in postseason. This is a big opportunity.

"Yes it is. I fell like Florida State is just coming up. We have a big chance here – this year the NIT and next year hopefully the NCAA. Coach Hamilton is starting a tradition. We are going to get better and better every year. The NIT is just another step. We are going to be serious about things and believe in our tea. Tim, Nate and some of the other guys have started a tradition and we are trying to send them off well."

What can this tournament teach you guys about getting to the next level?

"It'll show how focused we can be as a team. We feel like we are making improvement. It's really about making a mark for next year. This is our start off for next year to continue growing as a team."

You looked a little nervous in the early against NC State but seemed to settle down in the second half.

"I was trying not make any mistakes and I was a little too tight. In the second half I think I loosened up a little bit and got more confident in what I was doing and what we were doing as a team. Unfortunately, we came on a little too late."

You're going to play in a hostile building tonight. Do you thing having a game like the last under your belt help you feel comfortable right from the start?

"Yeah, I feel like it'll help. Time will tell. We'll see what happens."

What do you need to work on to be a better player next year and compete with the ACC's big men?

"The only thing I see I need to do to be ready for next yeah is just condition. I feel like I can compete with anybody in the world when my condition is good and I'm not tired. Earlier this year I couldn't go that long and fight that long and I was in and out of games. I want that to change. Energy like Tim Pickett, that's what I need."

How are your ankles feeling? How sore are you with all the extra minutes you've been playing?

"The ankles really aren't an issue for me. I think about two weeks off after the season and then I'll be all right to start conditioning. I've been taking care of them."

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