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Robinson tries new combination

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 6, 2002

Looking for a spark Saturday, men's basketball coach Steve Robinson shuffled his lineup and for the first time used center Trevor Harvey and power forward Mike Mathews together.

But the experiment proved inconclusive.

Harvey picked up two fouls in the opening 2:37, limiting the junior combination to a handful of minutes together in a 89-80 loss to Wake Forest.

"It could be a situation where we continue to look at that," Robinson said. "We have to look at trying to find the combination that's going to give us the best play."

Especially Thursday, when the Seminoles (10-10), losers of three in a row and four of five, visit top-ranked Duke (20-1). FSU handed Duke its loss Jan.6.

If Duke has a weakness, it's a lack of big bodies other than junior Carlos Boozer. In fact, the Blue Devils are second to last in the ACC in rebounding margin. Harvey and Mathews could give FSU an edge in that area.

"They do some things well together," Robinson said. "Maybe with more time together, they'll continue to progress a little bit. But it's not just those two guys. It's the other three guys around them also and how they adapt and adjust to Trevor and Mike playing in there together."

OMAHA PREVIEW?: The College World Series is a long way off, but this weekend's showdown between Stanford and FSU in Tallahassee might offer a preview. Stanford is No.1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, FSU No.2.

"Stanford undoubtedly is one of the top teams in the nation, having everybody back off of a team that played for the national championship last year," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "What I'd like to see is how we stack up against a team like that.

"We didn't get to the College World Series last year, but we know we're a much better club than we were last year. It's just unfortunate that we don't have (injured shortstop) Stephen Drew."

SCHEDULE BREAK: The women's basketball team, coming off its worst loss of the season, 93-63 at North Carolina on Monday, hosts Maryland on Thursday and Wake Forest on Saturday. The Terrapins (10-12) and Demon Deacons (10-11) are the only ACC teams with losing records.

The Seminoles (11-11) have lost four in a row and eight of nine, including at Maryland 62-50 and at Wake Forest 77-73.

NO SOFTNESS HERE: The softball team, 2-0 entering Tuesday's doubleheader at Mercer, faces a stern test in this weekend's Seminole Challenge.

FSU, ranked No.15 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, plays No.9 Washington, No.22 South Carolina, Florida Atlantic, which received votes in the poll, and Louisville.

MAKING A SPLASH: The women's swim and dive team re-emerged in the College Swim Coaches Association of America national poll at No.21. The women, who already have set a school record for victories with 13, host South Carolina on Saturday.

GIRL POWER: Women's Sportsfest 2002, a three-day event beginning Friday, brings together former FSU female athletes, coaches and supporters to celebrate their accomplishments and create goals for female athletes to come.

The event includes an event for 200 girls, eighth grade or younger, before the FSU-Wake women's basketball game Saturday.

- Brian Landman covers Florida State athletics. He can be reached at landman@ sptimes.com or at (813) 226-3347.

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