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Transcript of Leonard Hamilton's teleconference

  • Chris Nee

    Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton

    MIKE FINN: We welcome Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton. We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.

    COACH HAMILTON: We played two games last week. Very fortunate to beat a very good Clemson team at the buzzer. Then we ran into a red hot Duke team that played very, very well, shot the ball extremely well, better than any team we played against in the last five or six years.

    We were not very successful, and we're preparing very well for Georgia Tech. Keep our post‑season tournament hopes alive.

    MIKE FINN: Questions for coach.

    Q. I thought I heard something in postgame where you suggested that Terrance Shannon might be out for a while, maybe the rest of the season. What is his prognosis?

    COACH HAMILTON: Terrance's situation is one where we feel very confident that he will be able to fully recover from his injury. He is doing very, very well. However, they are proceeding with caution.

    I think he can lift weights. He can maybe shoot free throws. He can ride the bicycle. But they're not letting him do any physical activity to where he's having any up‑and‑down running and jumping.

    They're going to give him a battery of tests over a period of time to see where he is. They sent some of his records to one of the specialists in LosAngeles that's evaluating him to make sure everybody agrees with the diagnosis and the therapy we're giving him.

    He has to completely satisfy a battery of tests, I don't quite understand what they are, before they are able to determine exactly what his prognosis is.
    So right now it's undetermined. We're not real sure. The good news is it won't be anything he can't recover from. It's a moving target as to if and when we'll know he'll be at the point where he can regain any type of physical activity. That's the information I have from the doctor.

    Q. When I look at other teams in the ACC that lost key players, there's an immediate struggle. Miami lost two games after losing Reggie, then figured out how to play without him. Duke lost two of their first three. Obviously figured out how to play without them. Is there a period of adjustment without Terrance and what are you trying to do as long as he's out?

    COACH HAMILTON: Well, those teams have some semblance of consistency with their veterans that are returning. We haven't had that. Michael is the only senior on the team. Miller has been hurt in and out of practice. Okaro is having a solid year. That's kind of who we are.

    We have a lot of other issues that doesn't necessarily pertain to us having Shannon unavailable. We are challenged by a lot more different things than the absence of Shannon. We can't replace his energy, his toughness, his energy, his rebounding. He gives us something that it's hard to replace.
    But I'm not real sure. Our inconsistencies have a lot to do with us having to adjust to the absence of not having Terrance.

    Q. You have three young seven‑footers without a lot of experience but with a lot of size. Can you evaluate how they're coming along, what they can give you down the stretch.

    COACH HAMILTON: I'm really pleased our three big guys and the progress they're making.

    Boris Bojanovsky is extremely skilled. He just needs to gain probably 35 or 40 pounds. I think his future is very bright.

    Michael Ojo is the least experienced player we have. He's only played 10 or 12 high school games in his life. It's a process he's going through. He defends very well. He's very knowledgeable. He understands the system. He sets great screens. He's probably our best rebounder on the team. The game is slowing down a little bit for him. He's not quite as anxious as he was earlier. He's challenged by having a difficult time transferring how well he's done in practice to games. But I see signs that he's coming around.

    Turpin has begun to be more aggressive, learn a little bit more how to play at this level.

    I don't think by any means have they come close to reaching their potential. But I think they will be a nice battery of guys to use back in there as they gain experience, probably like the rest of our team.

    I like the potential they have. I think they'll be good players in the ACC as they go through their career.

    Q. It's got to be particularly tough going to Georgia Tech. The width of some of the players, Robert Carter, Daniel Miller. Can you talk about some of the problems they present.

    COACH HAMILTON: Those types of big, strong, physical, wide‑bodied teams have been a little more challenging for us. Okaro is a tall, slender kid. Turpin needs 15 more pounds. Boris a tall, slender youngster. Those teams that are physical like that have given us more of a challenge than some of the more athletic, slender teams. But that's life at this level.

    We'll adjust. It's going to be a challenge. They're playing very well. They're a little more in sync than we are. That's been something that's been a little disappointing with this team. I don't think we've been close to executing like we've done in the past.

    I thought in the past we've executed very well, played extremely unselfish, made the extra pass and allowed our system to create offense for us.
    We're a little more athletic and probably a little more able to create off the dribble, but we have not been able to establish a consistent system and then play out of the system. We've been challenged a lot more than some of the teams we've had in the past.

    Q. Leonard, it seems like maybe Bookert and Aaron Thomas with the minutes they had gained a bit in their experience. How do you see the development of the young kids?

    COACH HAMILTON: Obviously Bookert has been slowed by the infamous moped accident that he had that kept him from doing any type of practice, the way he lost the top skin on his knee, the pieces of gravel. He's had scar tissue in there that's very painful.

    When he's loose, he's showing signs of being fairly productive. He might be shooting close to 50% from three. He makes good decisions with the ball.
    Aaron has adjusted. We think he's more confident in his ability offensively and defensively. I really feel good that those two guys are coming along very well.

    I think the makeup of our team sometimes have been somewhat challenging with us not all being on the same page at the same time. The future, like I feel about with our big guys, I like what they bring from a talent standpoint. Their attitudes are great. They're giving us tremendous effort. As they move through their careers, I expect great things from them.

    Q. Do you anticipate, based on the showings, some of these youngsters playing more minutes?

    COACH HAMILTON: Basically they're all playing the same number of minutes. They're all playing about 19, 20 minutes per game. We play them in relation to how the game is going at that particular time. But I do expect them to continue to keep playing well and getting more minutes.

    Basically Bookert and Brandon have been splitting time at the point guard. That could change. But I don't know whether it will change drastically. We have to continue to see how they continue to play.

    Normally you continue to go with the guys that are playing the best. They're showing signs of contributing more so their minutes might continue more.

    MIKE FINN: Thank you, coach. We'll talk to you next Monday.

    FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

    Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.