It’s certainly not an unfamiliar experience for Leonard Hamilton and his Florida State Seminoles.
The FSU head coach, in the middle of the second lengthy pause his basketball team has endured this season due to COVID-19, said he’s not all that concerned about his players’ mental focus heading into Saturday’s home game against Wake Forest.
He trusts that mindset will be there. Because it was the last time, and because there’s no reason it shouldn’t be this time around.
“I know you might find this hard to believe, but we’re not even paying any attention or worrying about this pause,” Hamilton said. “You know, it’s just a break.”
A break that is officially over on Tuesday when the No. 17 Seminoles (10-3 overall, 6-2 in the ACC) return to practice for the first time since their loss to Georgia Tech on Jan. 30.
Just like with their last break/pause, by the time they take the court against Wake Forest, they will have gone two weeks in between games.
“Physically, I’m not sure we’re going to be any better or any worse,” Hamilton said. “So, this pause shouldn’t have anything to do with anything. Now, we’re going to get to the gym. We’ve got three days (of practice). We’ve got to turn it up a notch. We’ve got to balance out making sure we’ve gotten back in good condition, hopefully we can get some shots up where we can get our hand-eye coordination back.
“But mentally, I’m not going to get caught up in worrying about anything other than preparing for the game, staying focused and let’s go take care of business.”
FSU stormed back after the last pause by winning five straight games in mostly dominating fashion.
Hamilton said that if the players aren’t quite in peak physical condition coming out of this break, that’s understandable.
“We have a deep bench,” Hamilton said. “So if somebody gets tired, we’re going to keep people fresh in the game.”
The Florida State head coach also gave an update on starting wing Anthony Polite. He said he had recently talked to the 6-foot-6 redshirt junior, who had missed the last three games with a shoulder injury, and he said he is doing, “pretty good.”
Hamilton is hoping he’ll be back and ready to play on Saturday.
“(The training staff) told me it was a two- or three-week healing process we had to go through,” Hamilton said. “I think we’ve gone through that and he’ll be back 100 percent for our next set of games. That’s what I’m hopeful of, but officially I can’t give you an answer.”