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FSU's progress under Steve Robinson, though incremental and not reflected in
the record yet, nonetheless is there. A former assistant of Roy Williams,
he had two major tasks once he got to Tallahassee: 1) either win over or get rid
of Pat Kennedy's boneheads, and 2) get some talent in the pipeline.
Last year they had Karim Shabazz,who left the program to be close to his
ailing mother in New York, though Providence isn't exactly in Brooklyn. So
now he has the first prerequisite: his guys are in the system, and they're
buying into it.
And actually the front line isn't bad. Ron Hale has made a name for
himself, of course, but Damous Anderson can play a bit, and the rookie Rodney
Tucker isn't bad, either. And they have brought in a transfer big man, David
Anderson, who can block some shots. So the frontcourt matchups are pretty
The backcourt is probably a bit spottier with Delvon Arrington at the point,
who has definitely had his moments, and Adrian Crawford is competent if not
great, at big guard.
Next season is when FSU is likely to begin making noise under Steve Robinson:
they'll have had Anderson in the system for a year, and he'll be a junior.
They'll have a junior point guard in Arrington. Rodney Tucker will be
indoctrinated, and they'll bring in, finally, Tony Bobbitt, who was supposed to
be there this year but had some academic shortcomings and who is off to Hargrave
to get up to speed, and Fayetteville's Michael Joyner, a superb athlete and
student. That's a competent level of athleticism.
Steve Robinson has come in for a lot of criticism for recruiting, but on one
level that's not entirely fair. From what we hear, he is an absolute
stickler for the rules - the guy follows them to the letter. Most people follow
the rules about contact and obviously about inducements and the like, but
Robinson is rigidly honest, from what we hear. If he is coming up
short on the recruiting trail, and he has a career crisis because he's
honest, well, at least the man's priorities are straight. It's also worth
mentioning that it's not that difficult to be absolutely honest at Duke or UNC
or, for that matter, Maryland (with a million recruits within an hours drive),
but FSU is still, and will be for a long time, a football school. So he's
up against it in two ways. We admire his honesty and his intelligence and his
coaching a great deal, and we look forward to seeing what he can do with Pointer
and Bobbit. And it's worth remembering that he was actually in it for Jared
Jeffries. You'll remember that Tommy Amaker was in it for Al Harrington,
and said that just being one of the finalists gave him immense
credibility. Same for Robinson.
Coming up next we see the 'Noles of FSU.Â It would be easy
to say this should be an easy game, but there are a few factors to consider: a)
it's an ACC game, b) they knocked off Vandy, who has turned out to be an
excellent team, and c) they are in second place.Â A win over Duke would of
course put them in sole possession of first, and don't think they aren't after
it, and d) Ron Hale has become a certifiable pain in the butt.
We'll have more links and more on the game between today and