Bringing The Ball Up The Court With Toney Douglas
Junior guard talks exclusively to seminoles.com.
Aug. 21, 2007
Toney Douglas is an All-ACC candidate as one of the top guards in the conference who returns as the Seminoles' front man from the lead guard position for the second consecutive season. He enjoyed one of the top scoring and assist seasons of any recent Seminole point guard as he ranked second on the team in scoring (12.7 ppg) and assists (2.7 apg) in running the Seminoles' offense during the 2006-07 season for the first time. Douglas will play his second season as a starter for the Seminoles and his third as a collegian after starting at Auburn during his freshman season in 2004-05. He averaged 16.9 points and earned Freshman All-America Third-Team honors during the 2004-05 season.
How have you prepared yourself this summer for the upcoming season?
"I've been working on my conditioning -- staying in shape, working hard in the weight room and working on my skills on the court everyday. We worked hard as a team during the first two sessions of summer school. I'm at home in Atlanta right now and working out every day in anticipation of coming back to campus next week and rejoining my teammates on the court."
How will your experiences as the Seminoles' point guard last season prepare you for the upcoming 2007-08 season?
"The experiences I have gained last season and the year that I had to sit out after transferring will help me be a better player this season. Last year when I was at the point guard position I was growing and becoming a better player everyday. Now, having a whole good year under my belt I'm looking for terrific things this year for our team. I am going to be a team leader both on and off the court."
Do you feel that you are 100 percent recovered from your injury? Describe your rehabilitation process?
"Yes, I do feel that I am 100 percent recovered from my hand injury. I don't even think about my hand when I am on the court. The rehab process was a long and arduous. I had to get treated every day. Our trainer, Sam Lunt, did a great job and I really appreciate all of the work he did for me. I am completely comfortable playing and don't feel any after effects of the injury."
What is the most exciting thing for you about being a member of the Florida State basketball program?
"The most exciting thing for me about being a member of the Seminole basketball program is that I believe that we have the most experienced back court in the country. Along with Jason Rich and Isaiah Swann, we have played a lot of games and been in a lot of game situations. I feel that experience will really benefit us this season. I think we are capable of do great things as a team this season. I want to be one of the players who take this team to the NCAA Tournament this year. That's a goal we all have for this program and we know that is a goal we can achieve."
Describe the team chemistry that exists among you and your teammates entering the upcoming season?
Our team chemistry is one of the many things I am excited about this season. We trust each other and we all know we have each others' backs."
What has been you most memorable experience since joining the Florida State basketball team?
"The most memorable experience for me is when we went to Duke and won in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time in school history. The only people who thought we could win in Cameron were the members of our team. We came out with the victory and that is one that I am always going to remember. My greatest moment at Florida State, though, hasn't happened yet."
Have you prepared yourself to be a leader and how will your leadership capabilities help the team this season?
"Yes, I have prepared myself to be a leader for this team. I am going to make it one of my responsibilities to make sure everyone is on the right page on and off the court. Being a team leader is one of my objectives this season - one that I will continue throughout the season. Playing together as a team is going help us enjoy a successful year."
What basketball player do you think you should be compared to and why?
"I think my game compares positively to Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Baron Davis of the Golden State Warriors. I feel that I am quick like Parker and have court savvy and awareness like Davis."
How do you plan on making an impact for this team away from the court?
"I am going to be the best teammate I can be. I believe in my teammates and I am going to be very encouraging to keep my teammates up and on their toes at all times. I also trust our entire coaching staff and know that they are all going to work with us to make us better players, teammates and team players. Our coaching staff is one of the best in the country and we believe that they will teach us to be the best basketball players we can be. As we become the best we can be as players we will become the best team we can be and we will reach the goals that we have set for ourselves."
What are your personal goals for the 2007-08 season?
"My personal goals are to be a great teammate - the best teammate that I can possible be - and to be one of the top point guards in the nation. If I can accomplish both of those goals, I feel that I can help my teammates become better players and help us become a better team."
What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
"I really enjoy spending time with my teammates in the Basketball Training Facility and in our apartments. When we get together we spend a lot of time watching NBA and college games and movies. I also spend a lot of time talking to my brother, Harry, who is a wide receiver for the football team at the University of Louisville. Harry is a big part of my life."
How does last season's result motivate you for the upcoming year?
"I am very motivated and looking forward to the upcoming season after who well we played at the end of last season. But, the fact that we did not get selected to play in the NCAA Tournament motivates me more than anything that can be said or done by anybody. Reaching our goal of playing in the NCAA Tournament is the biggest motivator heading into the season."
What have you worked on and what do you feel you have improved on this summer?
"The aspect of my game that I have worked on the most has been learning more about my teammates and what their tendencies are. As the point guard for our team, I need to make sure all five players on the court and each of the players on our team are on the same page. We are a family. We have to be."
How do you feel the newcomers will impact the rotation this season?
"Our freshmen are going to be important to our success this season. The older players - guys like myself, Jason and Isaiah have to be there as leaders all of the time - on and off the court. We have to be leaders when things are going well and when things are not going well. Our young guys will be just fine because they have older teammates that will look out for them."