Coach Hamilton speaks about the Team

FSU Men's Basketball Head Coach Leonard Hamilton spoke with the media Friday evening about the upcoming season.

Opening Remarks:

"It seems this team is much further along than we have been. We have some experienced guys who understand the philosophies and the things we expect of them. By no means are we a finished product, but a huge part of our systems are in and we are retaining them a whole lot better. From that standpoint, we have more things in than we normally have and we execute them better than we had in the past. Last year was so much different because we had thought we had to change our system and we did twice because we were obviously short of certain parts and we made adjustments that we were not comfortable with and we ended up running a lot more sets and got the ball isolated to Al. This year we will be more of team that scores by committee. We will be less predictable and we will be more like the teams that are difficult to us to defend. We feel that we like this team, and it has the potential to really surprise people."

On the big men:

"I think that Ryan (Reid) has made tremendous progress. He's developing and growing. Uche is back now with a healed back injury. We feel that the strength of his game is the perimeter jump shooter, but now he'll be able to run the floor better, rebound better, and play defense better. Julian Vaughn, for a freshman has some unusual qualities, he has a 7'3 wing span and a chance to rebound in traffic and block shots. Solomon is slowed with a stress fracture that we will evaluate on Thursday and if he has improvement he will start working back with the team. He is a high octane type of youngster."

On the junior class improvements:

"I think Cassan has made some of the biggest improvement on our team at this point. He has come on really strong. He runs the floor really well and he has a knack to score. We try to encourage him to play to his strengths. All the youngsters have improved. I think all the players have progressed. I think they have all improved in all scenarios."

On Toney Douglas:

"We are encouraged by Tony. He is making strides to understand how to run a team, making decisions, and create for his teammates. These are things we have challenged him with and he has responded in a positive way."

On Swann:

" Isiah has picked up where he left off at the end of last season. He's shooting the ball well. He has savvy. He is cutting down on the turnovers, he's handling and passing."

On Al Thorton's influence:

"Al's attitude of being the last player to leave the gym and the first one in is an attitude I think all of our players will carry with them because he set the bar real high. Especially in trying to improve in their individual skills. We feel very confident that our players will benefit from being around a guy who has proved himself the way he did and is now accomplishing what he is doing at the next level."

On feeling the pressure of making the tourney:

"I've been part of this. I've been in this profession for many years. I know we are doing the right thing. I know our kids are getting better. I know we are making progress. I know our kids have the right attitudes, and I know that it is just a matter. I'm not trying to be conceited, but I just know that we are going to get this done."

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