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Hamilton: You’ve got to be flexible and patient

If there was a motto to 2020, it was to stay positive and be willing to adapt. Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said the team has done that for the last nine months, and it is being tested even more in the first few days of 2021 as the Seminoles have seen two games postponed.

“We just got to maintain flexibility during these times,” Hamilton said Monday afternoon. “It’s a moving target. Nothing’s really exact, you’ve got to be flexible and patient and understand that these are different types of times that we operating in.”

FSU (5-2, 1-1 ACC) was set to play Duke on Saturday and travel to Syracuse on Wednesday. Those games were both postponed, beginning with the FSU-Duke game announcement coming late Friday night. The postponement follows a positive test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing with the FSU program, the school and the ACC said in a statement.

The Seminoles’ next game could be at Pittsburgh on Saturday at 2 p.m. Due to student privacy laws, it’s not clear which players, coaches or support staff have tested positive or are in isolation.

“Try to keep your kids as safe as possible,” Hamilton said. “Try to keep everybody in their own little unique bubble. And move on from there and just try to make the decisions with the information that you have at that particular time. I was disappointed, but I definitely understood. And just preparing ourselves for what comes next.”

Hamilton admitted this has been a challenging time for the team as it transitions new players into expanded roles. he said the “conditioning levels are a lot different” because of limitations in the offseason and since the season has begun.

“This is a different year for all of us,” Hamilton said. “And we just want to try to get through the year without having anything, any negative stuff happening. And hopefully, we’re doing that.”

Hamilton, who is 72 but has youthful energy and could pass for someone a decade younger, was asked if he had concerns about traveling during the pandemic. While most high-level Division I teams charter planes, including the FSU men’s team, there are uncertainties about who you may come into contact with on the roads, in hotels and in arenas.

“There’s no doubt that it should concern everybody,” Hamilton said. “It’s been documented that all the people in our age group are challenged more by it. But I’ve gotten into my bubble, my routine. And I feel good about what I’m doing. … My concern only motivates me to continue to keep trying to be as focused and diligent as possible to see to it that we can avoid any negative issues.”

Earlier on the Zoom with ACC coaches, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim estimated his team had missed 25-30 practices. The Orange have not played since Dec. 19, with games against Notre Dame and Wake Forest postponed. Boeheim said he is hopeful teams can get 20 games played.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said a member of his family tested positive, which forced him and his wife to remain in quarantine. The Blue Devils have not played since Dec. 16 but return to the court to face Boston College on Wednesday.

Also on Monday, the NCAA announced the entire tournament would take place in Indiana. Games will be played in arenas in Indianapolis, Bloomington and West Lafayette.

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