Romero on the Rebound

The Florida State basketball team sorely needs a presence in the post. Diego Romero feels that he's the remedy.

The Seminoles are expecting big things from the junior college transfer this season, a campaign that will officially begin when practice cranks up in early October. FSU opens the season on Nov. 19 at Jacksonville.

Despite his 6-10 frame, Romero averaged just 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds last season as he battled tendonitis in his left knee.

"My rebounding has to get better," Romero said. "I have to be a good rebounding player for my size and I have to go after every ball that I see. I want to get to rebounds more than my opponent. I have to get my timing down and develop a better feeling for rebounding. That's one thing that I have to continue to work on. In talking to a lot of people and friends within the game, rebounding takes effort and I need to increase my effort on defense."

The knee injury is behind him – Romero has surgery on March 17 to repair a small tear in his patellar tendon.

The native or Argentina has been working with a rebounding machine at FSU's Basketball Training Center and continuing his rehab since then. That entailed some painful running over the summer while teammates competed in pickup games. The senior-to-be also used the opportunity to hone his jump shot, an above-average weapon he possesses for a player his size.

"I would just work on my shot on another court while they played," Romero said. "Everyone has been making an effort to work over the summer. It's a lot of hard work but nothing worth fighting for is easy."

The Seminoles – 12-19 a season ago – caught a whiff of success during a recent trip to Trinidad and Tobago. FSU went 4-0 against area teams for the jaunt. The trip also afforded FSU an extra week of practice under the watchful eyes of Leonard Hamilton before their departure.

Romero's best game was the 2004-05 opener against Texas South in which he tallied 18 points and grabbed nine boards. But one number trumps any goals Romero has for his rebounding or scoring stats.

"I'm looking for our team to win games," he said. "It doesn't matter if I score two points or if I score 20, as long as we win, then I'll be happy."

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