Jan. 8, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) –
Florida State, which has won four of its last five games, travels to play at Clemson in its first ACC road game of the 2013-14 season on Thursday, January 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. The Seminoles have won four consecutive games against the Tigers and enter Thursday’s game looking to tie their longest ever winning streak (five) against the Tigers and tie the longest winning streak by either team in the series which dates to the 1951-52 season. Florida State won five consecutive games against the Tigers from January 19, 1994 through January 17, 1996 the only other time in the 62-game series that either team has won more than four consecutive games in games played between the two teams. The Seminoles have won at least three consecutive games three times and the Tigers have won at least three games twice during the series. Florida State’s current four-game winning streak is the second longest winning streak in the series between the two teams. The Seminoles defeated Clemson three times during the 2012-13 season – the only time in the series that either Florida State or Clemson won three games in one season since the two teams began playing in only the fifth season of collegiate basketball at Florida State. Following Thursday’s game against Clemson, Florida State plays host to Maryland on January 12 at 8:00 p.m. in the Terps final appearance in Tallahassee as a member of the ACC.
THURSDAY’S GAME MATCHES TWO OF THE TOP DEFENSIVE TEAMS IN THE ACC
Florida State and Clemson are tied for first in the ACC in team blocked shots (88 blocked shots each/6.8 bpg) and first (Clemson/.351) and second (Florida State/.369) in field goal percentage defense entering Thursday night’s game at Clemson. The Seminoles are third in the ACC in steals (99 steals/7.6 spg) and the Tigers are first in scoring defense (53.3 points allowed per game).
SEMINOLES RETURN TO TOP OF DEFENSIVE MOUNTAIN
Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Clemson ranked seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense (.369) and tied for eighth nationally in blocked shots per game (6.8 bpg). The Seminoles, Clemson and Green Bay are the only three teams in the nation ranked in the top 10 nationally in the field goal percentage and blocked shots categories.
FLORIDA STATE’S DEFENSIVE RANKINGS UNDER Leonard Hamilton
Florida State, the third winningest team in the ACC in the last nine seasons and the 2012 ACC Champions, have built a tradition of suffocating defense under head coach Leonard Hamilton. In four consecutive seasons in which the Seminoles played in the NCAA Tournament (2009-12), the Seminoles did not rank lower than ninth nationally in field goal percentage defense, not lower than 11th nationally in blocked shots and not lower than 67th in steals.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Clemson and gain its fifth consecutive win over the Tigers. The Seminoles won at home in the final meeting between the two teams in 2012 and won at Clemson, at home and in the ACC Tournament last season against the Tigers;
…Defeat Clemson and win its second consecutive game at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Seminoles opened ACC play with a 74-66 win at Clemson last season (January 5, 2013) and have won consecutive games at Littlejohn only once before in the history of the series (February 19, 1994 and January 18, 1995).
FLORIDA STATE’S RECENT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Florida State has held seven straight opponents under 39 percent shooting and enters Thursday’s game ranked seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense with a .369 mark for the season. The Seminoles have held 10 of its 13 opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field with only one team (Northeastern) shooting above 46 percent in a game (Seminoles won 62-60 in the third place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off). Florida State limited then No. 10 ranked VCU to a season-low .293 shooting mark from the field in its 85-67 win over the Rams in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
FLORIDA STATE’S DEFENSE NEEDS…
…One steal to reach 100 for the season. The Seminoles have earned at least 153 steals each year since steals became an official NCAA statistic for the 1977-78 season. The Seminoles have earned at least 201 steals in each of the last 11 seasons;
…12 blocks to reach 100 for the season. The Seminoles have blocked 54 shots in the last seven games (7.7 bpg) and have at least six blocked shots in six of the last seven games and nine of the last 13 games.
MORE ON FLORIDA STATE’S BLOCKED SHOTS
Florida State has blocked at least 10 shots twice (at UCF vs. UMass) and blocked its season high of 12 shots in its win over No. 20 UMass at the Orange Bowl Classic on Dec. 21. The Seminoles have blocked fewer than four shots only once this season – two in their win over Northeastern on November 21.
FORCING TURNOVERS A BAROMETER FOR THE SEMINOLES
Florida State forces an average of 18.3 turnovers and has forced in double figures in turnovers in each of its nine wins (165 turnovers forced / 18.3) and has forced 7.0 turnovers in each of their four losses. The Seminoles have forced fewer than 10 turnovers in each of their four losses.
WHITE IS FLORIDA STATE’S DOUBLE FIGURE SCORING LEADER
Senior Okaro White has scored in double figures in 10 of the Seminoles’ 13 games including eight of the Seminoles’ nine wins this season.