MONTREAL, Canada – For many reasons, it’s great to be a Florida State basketball player.
College basketball teams get the chance to travel and play international games once every four years. The Seminoles have certainly taken advantage of their opportunities to prepare for the seasons to come during head coach Leonard Hamilton’s 21-year tenure.
Since Hamilton started his career at Florida State in 2002, the Seminoles have traveled to Spain, Greece, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Over the next 10 days, the Seminoles will spend time competing and learning about the culture of our northern neighbors in Canada.
The Seminoles left Tallahassee on August 2 for a 10-day trip to Canada where they will play two scrimmages and three games against top Canadian college teams. The trip also includes guided tours of the beautiful and historic city of Montreal and an amphibious tour of Ottawa – a city known for its scenic waterways and the Chaudière Falls. The Chaudière Falls are a set of cascades and cascades in the center of the metropolitan city, which is the capital of Canada.
“This trip really comes at a good time for us,” Hamilton said. “We have so many new guys that we rely on to be part of our rotation for us to be successful. We have guys coming back who are in their second year… so we probably have one of the most inexperienced teams we’ve had here. But I really like this team.
“We are quite talented; we just need to find a way to accelerate our ability to come together and fully understand what we’re doing in our system. We put on more stuff this summer than the past few years because we have so many new guys.
Hamilton and his team have already taught the concepts of Florida State’s zonal press and offense, as well as its zonal defense, to the team which includes nine players who will dress in garnet and gold for the first time on this trip.
Sophomore Jalen Warley, who enjoyed nearly 20 minutes of playing time every game as a rookie, understands how this trip will help the Seminoles when the season kicks off in November at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
“I’m really excited because we’ve been preparing all summer to be ready for this,” Warley said. “This trip is going to be a great learning experience for us. With such a young team, there are going to be a lot of moments of growth. I’m excited to get there and play against other people, not just our team.
Florida State is coming off an injury-plagued season in 2022 where four of its five starters were lost to season-ending injuries, and several other frontline contributors missed numerous games throughout. of the season. The Seminoles held the No. 1 spot in the ACC standings with a 6-2 record after eight games at the end of January (with two wins over Miami and a win over Duke), and finished with a 10-10 conference record.
To illustrate how well the Seminoles were playing long before injuries decimated their roster, Miami advanced to the Elite Eight and Duke advanced to the Final Four of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Warley is excited about the continued maturation of Florida State’s highly touted group of newcomers, which includes five true freshmen as well as transfer graduates Jaylan Gainey (Brown University) and Darin Green, Jr. ( UCF). Gainey comes to Florida State as the all-time leader in Ivy League history with a .699 career field goal percentage. Green finished his career ranked 10the in AAC history with 208 career 3-point field goals.
“They learn very quickly,” Warley said. “We’re in the gym most days and I can just see the footsteps of guys acclimating to our system. We have so many talented guys from high school learning to play in our system. I see them improving every day.
After scrimmages against uOttawa, Carleton University and McGill University, the Seminoles will next play games against Ottawa, Carleton and McGill to close out the trip.
“There’s no doubt this is one of the biggest trips we’ve taken any time we’ve done international trips because we have so many new guys,” Hamilton said. “We are talented; we love this team. We think we have the potential to surprise a lot of people. For us to come together, we need time to practice. This is why this trip could be one of the most important trips internationally.
“We need this trip. We have to find out who we were. We play a system where we depend on creating for each other, sharing the ball and sharing playing time. You can’t do well if you don’t really know the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates. It’s really important to us. »