Noles looking to recapture magic 25 years in the making

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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
March 28, 2019

ANAHEIM, CA. (WCTV) -- A walk around the Honda Center will show you that a lot can happen in 25 years: It’s enough time to grow old, enough time to achieve greatness, enough time to create legends, enough time to come back to what you know, enough time to rediscover who you are, and what you can do.

It’s been exactly that long, a quarter century since Charlie Ward, Sam Cassell, Bobby Sura and a stellar supporting cast sent Florida State to back-to-back sweet sixteens.

Two campaigns in 1992 and 1993 that happened before anyone on the current Florida State roster was born.

A lot can happen in 25 years. It’s enough time for people to forget what you’re capable of.

“When i first committed here, I did an interview and said I thought we should compete for a national championship every year and the guy that was interviewing me laughed at me," said FSU guard Wyatt Wilkes. "I meant it. I still mean it.”

It’s been a long road back for the Seminoles of Florida State, one that’s seen plenty of success but never quite like this. A culture that head coach Leonard Hamilton has been building since day one.

“I have all the confidence in the world that we’ll succeed and we’ll create an atmosphere where our guys will work hard and develop into the type of program I’m sure all of us would be proud of,” he said.

A program to be proud of, built on a culture of unity, one that says even when separated, the Seminoles are 18 strong. Never alone.

“It’s just a testament to our program, our culture," said forward Mfiondu Kabengele. "Guys have gotten better every summer, coaches have done a great job developing talent; just the overall culture and dynamic of this program has gotten better as the years have gone on.”

This week, many experts across the country have started to write pieces and say things like "FSU has arrived" but that’s just the thing: They were already here.

Ask Louisville.

Ask Virginia Tech.

Ask Virginia.

The Seminoles aren’t late to the party, they just got sick of waiting for your invitation.

“If people aren’t recognizing what Florida State has done at this point, they’re probably not paying close enough attention and certainly if Leonard can keep building on this now, that’s something that people will have to pay attention to,” said CBS Sports reporter and analyst Dana Jacobson.

So, Florida State remains ready to seize their golden chance on the golden coast, and even though there may be angels in the outfield next door, the Seminoles aren’t asking for a miracle.

They’re expecting to take what’s theirs.

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