Freshman PG Luke Loucks came to Florida State with a reputation as a dazzling passer and ball-handler, a floor leader with uncanny vision and savvy.
What more could you want?
Well, how about a consistent perimeter jumper?
"That's the thing Coach (Leonard Hamilton) told me I needed to work on from the day I stepped foot on campus," said Loucks, the former Clearwater High star. "He said if I got my shot down, that would be a whole other threat to my game that would put more pressure on defenses, and that in turn would open up more passing lanes for me."
So, he put the other part of his game on display.
He hit the gym.
Before practice, after practice, even after hours, he worked on his form. Assistant coach Andy Enfield, a renowned "shot doctor," told Loucks that his guide hand was moving a bit, which affected the rotation, and that he was releasing the ball too low, which you can't do in college basketball without sending it into the bleachers.
"I got up as many shots as I could in the offseason and I think it's paying off," Loucks said.
He has hit 14 of 34 3-pointers, a team-best 41.2 percent. In the Seminoles' six ACC games, he has made 6 of 12 3s. Overall, he's averaging 4.4 points on 44.4 percent shooting from the field.
"He's worked very hard to improve in that area and he's done a great job," Hamilton said. "What has surprised me (about him) is that he seems to be a lot more aggressive offensively than we had expected, and he's made a lot of key buckets from the perimeter and he attacks the basket and uses either hand well around the basket and he still is one of our best passers."
Loucks has by far the best assist to turnover ratio (52:38) on the team.
Moving on: Although women's basketball coach Sue Semrau said her players were devastated after Monday night's 72-71 loss to No. 13 Maryland on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, they must look ahead and not back.
"It's not an easy one to shake off, by any stretch, but we have to," she said.
The Seminoles (18-5, 6-1), who received their highest AP ranking in history, No. 15, earlier Monday, are at Boston College (17-5, 5-2) tonight then at Miami on Sunday.
"It's about how we handle disappointment," Semrau said. "That's going to be a challenge; a great challenge for us."
The Seminoles lost to Washington in their second of three games at the Caribbean Classic in December but bounced back to play Connecticut close.
Bowden special: If you missed Under the Lights: A Season With Bobby Bowden on Monday night, Sun Sports will replay the hourlong behind-the-scenes special several times, including 1 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 10 p.m. Monday, 2 p.m. Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 8 p.m. March 2, noon March 8, 1 p.m. March and 9:30 p.m. March 28.
Remember the Bowden documentary?: In case you were wondering about the documentary on Bowden and his program that George Butler of Pumping Iron fame has been working on, it's still not done.
Butler, who last year in Tampa screened a cut of the film that chronicles a turbulent 2006 season, said he needs $1.3 million to complete it. That hasn't been an easy task given the economic downturn as well as FSU's recent struggles on the field.
"It's one of the most frustrating experiences of my life," he said. "I've raised a lot of money for the film (about $2 million; his crew shot more than 300 hours) and I think it's a really good film. … But I always get these things done and we will get this film done."
Brian Landman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3347.