November can mean a number of things to different people: Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and for sports fans, FSU basketball. The first official game of the season kicks off Monday, November 9th at 7 p.m. in the Donald Tucker Center against Southeastern University. This season, the Seminoles have a notably larger team and thus a larger rotation of players, bringing in five freshmen just this year. Senior guard Devon Bookert is entering his final season ranked fourth in school history with a career 3-point shooting average of .433, and is one of just seven players in Florida State history with a career free throw shooting percentage of better than .800 percent.
Courtesy: Devon Bookert
Bookert shared some insight on the team this year, mentioning the need to work on defense more than anything else “because that’s what FSU is known for.” He also noted that the players have picked up on this and are focusing on it more closely now in order to uphold the standard of previous years. In addition, Bookert also commented on the dynamic of the team, saying that he “doesn’t think we have just one leader,” as all players contribute leading positions at different times. On top of practicing with one another several times a week, the team also takes the initiative to spend time together outside of practice, paintballing and watching movies. Bookert stated that these activities “build chemistry on and off the court,” allowing the players to get closer to their teammates because “the closer you are, the easier it is to work together.”
Since this season will be his last, Bookert reflected upon his transformation over the past three years on the basketball team and what he has learned thus far. “I feel like I’ve improved as a player and as a person. I’ve gotten a lot stronger; I’m trying to get more explosive and play more athletically all around,” said Bookert. “Over time I have improved on my decision making and trying to be a team leader on the court. I think it’s the people who have been there the longest that are looked up to and can share their experience with the newer players. Older players have told me to stay clear of certain things. We have to stay focused.”
Sharing his expectations for his last season as a Seminole, Bookert looks forward to “just enjoying the whole experience and having fun along the way,” also mentioning that he wants to “either continue playing basketball or get a job coaching, scouting or as a broadcaster or analyst.” Listing North Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Virginia, Florida and Miami among some of our most notorious rivals, Bookert views every team to be a potential challenge because “seven or eight of the teams in our league can win a national championship, so it’s very competitive.” High competition makes for an exciting season, with over a dozen home games prior to the ACC tournament. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities and support our Seminoles in action on the court.
Check out the 2015-16 Men’s Basketball Schedule.