Swann Talks About ACC Competition

Florida State is embarking on conference competition, and for many of its young players, now is the time they'll learn about what it means to play at the next level. Freshmen guard Isaiah Swann has dreamed about the opportunity to play with college basketball's elite, and over the next few weeks he'll have the chance.

Isaiah Swann grew up a jump shot away from an Atlantic Coast Conference hot spot.

A native of Germantown, Maryland, he tracked the Terrapins as coach Gary Williams directed players Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, and Lonny Baxter to the program's first national championship in 2002.

Swann was also watching the competition, and he liked what he saw.

"I've been wanting to play in the ACC since I was little," Swann said. "That's why I came (to Florida State). It's a dream come true and now that I'm here I have to take full advantage of it."

The Seminoles began full-time ACC play Saturday with a win over light-weight Virginia Tech, picked to finish 10th in the league. Clemson is next line, Jan. 12, followed by a trip to Miami on Jan. 15.

The Seminoles are sandwiched between the two teams in scoring offense, and both the Hurricanes and Tigers have held opponents under 64 points per game. Swann understands the importance of the next two games in building early momentum, and establishing wins in a difficult conference.

"We have to focus on Clemson and hopefully take them out," Swann said. "Then we got Miami, and hopefully we can do the same thing."

Coincidently, Swann got his first taste of ACC play on the road, in the hostile trenches of his childhood favorite - Maryland.

"I was a diehard Maryland fan," Swann said. "I can't explain what it was like to play there. Even though we didn't win, it was fun. We fought hard."

And they'll plenty more fighting on the horizon as Florida State proceeds down the gauntlet of top ten teams scheduled on the heels of the Hurricanes. Until then, playing time will be key in the development of the freshman.

With starting guard Todd Galloway confined to the bench with severe cramps in the second half against Virginia Tech, Swann took control of the point for the Seminoles.

He was shaky at times, stunning at others.

Swann committed a costly 10-second violation during a stretch when the Hokies were beginning to gain momentum, a sign of his inexperience. Later in the second half, though, he froze a pair of Tech defenders as he cut to the lane and nailed a dizzying lay-up.

In the end, his team found a way to win despite the occasional hiccup. And for Swann, it was valuable experience in a league where the learning curve can be brutal.

"The games that we played before this are nothing compared to (what's next)," said Swann.

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