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2021 storylines: What we’re looking forward to in FSU athletics

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The New Year is a time of reflection, on what happened over the past year and looking forward to what’s ahead. It’s fair if you won’t have fond memories of 2020, although we did find 10 bright spots with Florida State athletics over the year.

What’s to come in 2021? Perhaps the best aspect in our lives is the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine, which clears the path for life to return to the way it once was. Work, travel and play will eventually resume without masks. And for FSU athletics we could be in store for a busy, fun year.

FSU men’s basketball

Before the calendar turns to February, there will be home games with North Carolina, Miami and Clemson, among others. There’s a February home game with Virginia, too. While FSU’s game vs. Duke on Saturday was postponed, it’s possible the teams will find a makeup date. And this spring we will have an NCAA Tournament.

FSU women’s basketball

One of the best stories of 2020 is how the women’s basketball team has responded to Sue Semrau’s decision to step away from the team and help care for her mom. Semrau preached about the importance of family and longtime assistant Brooke Wyckoff has the Seminoles on a 4-1 start after a win at Virginia Tech. Among the games to watch in January are matchups against top-25 teams Louisville and NC State.

FSU baseball 

The ACC has approved a 50-game schedule, including 36 ACC games over 12 weekends. While the schedule hasn’t been set, FSU’s roster is loaded with talent due to the condensed MLB draft last summer. This could be the Seminoles’ deepest pitching staff in years — there are 25 on the roster, a mix of arms with experience as well as newcomers like Carson Montgomery. And among position players to return are Matheu Nelson, Nico Baldor, Robby Martin, Reese Albert, Elijah Cabell and Tyler Martin.

A busy spring sports season

FSU has 20 teams and it’s possible all of them will be on the court or field this spring. The FSU soccer team, which went perfect in the fall season and won an ACC title, will have a chance to play in an NCAA tournament. And the volleyball team, which was held to just four matches, will also have a spring season with an NCAA tournament. Even cross country is planning some meets. What we were missing from mid-March until football began in the fall of 2020, the calendar will instead be crowded with games, matches and meets across campus. And, yes, even Top Golf is coming to Doak Campbell Stadium in February.

Spring football, opener vs. ND

The football calendar is rarely quiet. We’ll move from the transfer portal to signing day in February to offseason strength and conditioning to spring practice in March. And then a spring game in April, with the debut of transfer quarterback McKenzie Milton and some of the early enrollees. If you’re planning even further ahead, FSU is scheduled to open the 2021 season against Notre Dame in Tallahassee on Sept. 5 (a Sunday on Labor Day weekend) and then play host to Jacksonville State.

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