FSU basketball enter season with unfamiliar cloud: Inexperience

Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 11:05 PM EDT
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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports

October 31, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Inexperience isn't a word synonymous with Florida State men's basketball, but even head coach Leonard Hamilton would admit there's more fresh faces than usual this season.

"Not only do we have six new guys we're trying to integrate into our system, we have the normal injuries a lot of people go through this time of year that kind of keep you from being totally on top of your game so we're still a work in progress, there's no doubt about that," he said. "I think this team has potential to develop into a pretty good basketball team but we've still got a lot more work we need to do."

Work that goes double for FSU's upperclassmen, like junior guard M.J. Walker, to help the newcomers along while continuing to grow his own game.

"That comes with watching a lot of film, not just game film but practice film, so just trying to get better, make the right reads and by watching film you see it in the game and you see the plays in your head, the mistakes you're making and the better decision you can make," Walker explained.

And there's certainly no easing into the campaign; the Noles' first month includes trips to Pitt, Florida and Indiana in what Hamilton has called the toughest schedule the garnet and gold have ever faced.

But players say they're excited for the challenge.

"That's kinda what we live for, I want to compete, I want to have fun most often," said redshirt sophomore forward Raiquan Gray. "I'm with a good team and a good group and I know they've got my back so we're all excited to play against somebody else that's not ourselves so we're all excited."

The Noles get one more tuneup before the regular season begins as FSU hosts Columbus State at 6 p.m. before opening the year with an ACC game at Pitt next Wednesday.

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