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ACC Preview # 8 - FSU

50 David Anderson 6-11 250 Jr
10 Delvon Arrington 5-11 170 Jr
5 Adrian Crawford 6-5 205 Sr
30 Monte Cummings 6-4 180 Jr
4 Antwuan Dixon 6-5 200 Jr
34 Nigel Dixon 6-10 350 So
1 Michael Joiner 6-7 215 Fr
12 Ryan Lowery 6-2 180 Fr
33 Mike Mathews 6-10 230 So
11 Rodney Tucker 6-7 230 So
20 Andrew Wilson 6-6 205 Fr

Uva
| NCSU
| Wake
Forest
| Maryland
| UNC | Duke
| Clemson

When we started thinkng about the conference this year, our immediate
sentiment was that hoops pretty much would end at the NC border,. because
Clemson, FSU, and Tech were sure going to suck.

We've expressed a lot of respect for Steve Robinson during his time in
Gainesville (we're just checking to make sure you're awake!), but any coach will
tell you that winning time has to occur. Not that most people in Tallahassee
care about basketball (see, that was the followup), but a few do, including AD
Dave Hart, and so Robinson has to win eventually or be replaced.

One of his big problems, we understand from friends, is that he is unusually
honest.  Most coaches bend rules in the way that boys bend rules in school,
in small, everyday ways that usually conform with common sense, not something
the NCAA always does.  Apparently not Robinson, who we understand is a
stickler for the rules. This hasn't affected his gift for coaching - one reason
why his teams always start well in the ACC and then fade is because while he has
less talented teams they are usually better prepared at the beginning of the
season. They wear down after that, but FSU is good for a second or third 
or fourth place run into January and maybe February. 

We were fully prepared, and may still be, for a dreary season from the
Sunshine capital of the ACC.  However, there seems to be some optimism at
FSU.  According to the ACC Handbook, Robinson brought in big guys last year
and this year worked on quickness on the perimeter. Is it enough? We'll see. But
there is at least an argument for the 'Noles.

They have one glaring problem immediately as Rodney Tucker has been accused
of rape and is therefore not playing at this point and obviously if he is found
guilty his career is over.  He is a fairly talented player, so it's a
blow.  David Anderson had moments last season up front, and is big enough
to make a difference at 6-11 and 250.  Nigel Dixon is the alternative. 
An instant ACC legend in the vein of Brian Magid (freak 3 point shooter), Muggsy
Bogues and Monte Towe (midgets), Charles Shackleford (general freakishness not
to mention being the only amphibian to ever earn a D-1 scholarship), and a
former Maryland player who bore an unfortunate resemblance to Bozo The Clown (it
didn't help that his hair was receding and being the 70s, it was longish) as
guys who were either highly unusual physically or with an unusual and particular
gift, as in the case of Magid. One of the great moments of last season was
seeing Sanders and Dixon go at it.  Casey couldn't budge Dixon, of course,
and Dixon couldn't begin to move like Sanders.

Non Conference Schedule
Florida
Ohio State/Great Alaskan
Great Alaska Shootout
Great Alaska Shootout
Minnesota (Big 10/ACC Ch)
Furman
South Florida
Vanderbilt
Cleveland State
Binghamton
Morgan State
UNC-A

It's pretty obvious that underneath the Big Macs and ice cream that a very
powerful player could be sculpted, maybe a bigger Tractor Traylor.  He has
no stamina, and can't jump, but he has some ability and could become a pretty
good player if he gets serious.  Maybe he has for all we know.  Not
only that, he's a friendly, gregarious sort of a guy, comfortable with himself,
a Falstaff in pup tent, and Duke fans seemed to take to him in a big way.

Since Rodney Tucker's future is uncertain, the 'Noles may have to lean
heavily on 6-10 soph Mike Mathews, who sat out last season for academic
reasons. 

In the backcourt, Delvon Arrington is quick but erratic. He had to carry a
lot of the load last year after Adrian Crawford packed it in with bad
knees.  That could change if Crawford can spell him somewhat.  Antwaun
Dixon is also a good athlete and a guy who can get better. It's a good group to
start with. Robinson told the Handbook that "it's their team." 
Freshman Ryan Lowery may also provide some legitimate help at point.

FSU is also adding in Michael Joiner, who Duke thought about for a good bit,
and Monte Cummings, who was a hotshot JUCO.   Andrew Wilson is
supposed to be a good shooter and a tough kid, and that never hurts anyone.

Losing Tucker does, though, and having only 5 or 6 returnees, depending on
Tucker's does too, but FSU has clearly, and finally, upgraded the talent on the
court, and it's a young team with only two seniors. J.D. Bracy, who has a
reputation as a gunner, albeit a talented gunner, is sitting out this season,
and next season Anthony Richardson will show up.  Suddenly that's a pretty
solid outfit.  We're actually pretty happy about it. The ACC is always best
when it's brutally competitive, and that traditionally propels teams far in the
tournament.  FSU may do better than expected, and if the talent is as much
better as they think it is, they could make a bit of noise this season. 
And next season could be very promising.

Whatever else happens, we'll know early if they are markedly improved:
first up is Florida, then a trip to Alaska, then the Gophers, who are still
very well coached.  There are four patsies on the schedule, but Vandy
should be very tough. Kevin Stallings is a very fine coach, and if we remember
correctly, both guys worked for Roy Williams at Kansas, so there are no
secrets there.