TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Adversity is no stranger to the Florida State men’s basketball team.
The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champions saw their opportunity to bring home a national championship erased by a global pandemic.
They’ve put all of that behind them to set their sights on finishing what they started in the new season.
From day one, the thought in the back of everyone’s mind was how many more blows will be dealt to this Seminole program.
FSU is by far not the only college basketball program in the nation to have endured the challenges of playing in a COVID-19 season.
As head coach Leonard Hamilton and his guys find themselves sidelined yet again, they’ve learned countless lessons from navigating this uncharted course through uncertainty. And it’s made all the difference.
“We try to operate in a preventive posture and give our kids all the information that we can possibly give them. So that when we do have these moments we are able to deal with them a lot better," said Hamilton in Monday afternoon's ACC coaches media call. "We try not to wait until the issue comes up, we talk about these things. So I feel pretty confident that our guys will handle this in a mature way.”
Aside from their physical toughness both on and off the court, Hamilton and his staff have had to introduce a multitude of ways to sharpen the team’s mental toughness.
“Just about every day that I can, I say about 75-80 percent of the time we’re bringing up articles, teaching points and making them aware of the good, the different and the ugly of what’s going on as a relation to it," Hamilton adds. "In hopes that we’re prepared mentally and emotionally to handle any of the adversities that we’re dealing with.”
Florida State’s upcoming game Saturday against Pittsburgh is still set to be played. Tip-off for that contest is at 2 p.m. at Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh.