March 24, 2004
Tallahassee, FL.-- It was the perfect situation. His team trailed by two, with under ten seconds to play and he had a wide open look at the basket. But Florida State freshman Alexander Johnson's potential game tying bucket fell short and eventually so did the Seminoles.
"I just have to learn from it, that's what I am going to do. I'm going to learn from it because I know there are going to be plenty of times that I'm going to take big shots," Johnson said.
Much of Johnson's freshman season at FSU was indeed a learning experience. Although he was second on the team in scoring and tops in field goal percentage, Johnson found out quickly that there's more to basketball than scoring points and grabbing rebounds.
"The most important thing that I learned is that the only way you're going to win is if you buy into coaching. I mean the coach is always right. You think you know it, but you just got to buy in (to what they're saying)," Johnson explained.
A. J. also knows that his work in Tallahassee is far from done, but the foundation has been layed. Now it's just a matter of building on this year's success. "I think we can go as far as we want to. The coaching is there, we just got to buy in and listen to the coach."
And the expectations are there too. Not only for the Noles to succeed next year, but also for Johnson, the former Dougherty High standout, to lead the way.
"I expect him to really, really take his game to another level next year," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said.
"Yeah, I feel like I've got a lot of room for improvement. My conditioning, my mind for the game, my feel for the game and buying into coaching. I feel that if I get all those things right I think I can be a very special player on this team," Johnson said.
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