In small groups, FSU basketball returns to court

The Florida State men’s basketball team is allowed by the NCAA to have four hours with players each week. Coaches are making the most of that time.

FSU players and coaches are working out in groups of five or six for one-hour sessions since Saturday.

“With as much time as we have had off, it’s been a big benefit to do it in small groups because you can give some attention to the newer guys,” FSU assistant coach Stan Jones told the Osceola on Monday afternoon.

Coaches have focused on skills that translate to what the Seminoles are doing on offense and then blend those fundamentals with concepts that fit within FSU’s offense, Jones said. The small groups will include a blend of veterans as well as newcomers, encouraging leaders to reinforce the teaching from coaches.

“We like to pair them up because one of the things that’s part of our team-building is having peer leadership and having guys using their voice in practice to give to others. That’s a big part of our team,” Jones said. “You need to listen to your teammates and now you can help others. By being a good follower you become a leader.”

Players have been mostly limited in their offseason activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. With many gymnasiums and playgrounds closed across the country, the Seminoles were mostly limited to running, doing ball-handling drills on their own or lifting weights.

But now the window is open to play on the court. It’s not a full game or even full court, let alone a full roster, but does give the coaches a chance to work with the Seminoles in the coming weeks.

“There’s nothing like practicing and training with your team that gets you to an ACC level as far as timing and conditioning,” Jones said.

The workouts give the Seminoles some structure in the coming weeks. What happens after that is difficult to project. Jones said FSU coaches have dates filled in and agreements with opponents for the non-conference schedule, but it remains to be seen if the 2020-21 season begins on time or is delayed.

“I don’t feel real comfortable that we’re going to be able to start on a regular season but we might,” Jones said.

FSU and the rest of the ACC schools have not released schedules for fall sports or winter sports like men’s and women’s basketball. ACC presidents and chancellors are meeting on Wednesday, and it’s expected one of the main topics will be whether schools can begin games as scheduled on Sept. 1 or if plans will be pushed back.

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