Jan. 3, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) –
Florida State, which is tied for the ACC lead in games played against nationally ranked teams with four, plays host to Virginia on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee as it begins its 22nd season of ACC Basketball. The Seminoles have two wins over nationally ranked teams with victories over then No. 10 VCU (85-67, November 21) and then No. 20 UMass (60-55, December 21). Florida State enters its game against Virginia having won a season-high tying four consecutive games – a steak that began on December 8 with a victory over Jacksonville State (77-53), continued with a win over the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off Charlotte on December 17 (106-62), a win over previously undefeated and No. 2 RPI ranked UMass and most recently upped its current winning streak to four with a win at home over Charleston Southern on December 30 (67-59). The Seminoles also won four consecutive games to open the season with two wins at home, one on the road (at UCF) and one in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (VCU). Following Saturday’s game against Virginia, the Seminoles travel to play at Clemson on January 9 (7:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to Maryland on January 12 (8:00 p.m.).
SEMINOLES’ SIGNATURE JUNKYARD DEFENSE HAS SEMINOLES AT 9-3
Florida State, which finished the regular season non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-3 record, is returning to its roots this season and is one of the most dominating defensive teams in the nation. Florida State is one of only four teams ranked nationally in the top 15 (Florida State, Clemson, Green Bay and Eastern Michigan) for both blocked shots (6.9 bpg) and field goal percentage defense (.373). Florida State ranked 221 of 345 with a .437 field goal percentage defense mark and was 26th nationally with a 5.1 blocked shots per game average in 2012-13.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Virginia and win its 11th consecutive game against the Cavaliers in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have won each game played in the Donald L. Tucker Center against Virginia since a 66-59 win over the Cavaliers on Feb. 20, 2002;
…Defeat Virginia and win its second consecutive ACC opener. The Seminoles won at Clemson (71-66) on January 5, 2013 to begin their 2012-13 ACC season;
…Defeat Virginia and win their ACC opener under 12th-year head coach Leonard Hamilton for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Seminoles opened their 2010 ACC schedule with a win at Georgia Tech, topped Clemson to open their 2011 ACC season and won at Clemson to begin their 2013 ACC slate;
…Defeat Virginia and gain their third consecutive win over a team from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Seminoles defeated Virginia on March 7, 2013 in Tallahassee (53-51) and topped then No. 10 VCU in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (85-67) earlier this season on November 21.
FLORIDA STATE’S MVP’S
Senior Ian Miller was named to the All-Tournament team at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and sophomore Aaron Thomas was named the Most Valuable Player of the Seminoles’ win over UMass at the Orange Bowl Classic
FLORIDA STATE’S DEFENSIVE RANKINGS UNDER Leonard Hamilton
Florida State, the third winningest team in the ACC in the last eight 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.
DEFENSIVE NOTES UNDER Leonard Hamilton…
… Florida State is the only team in the country to rank in the top 10 in the nation in field goal percentage defense in four of the last five seasons
…Florida State led the nation in field goal percentage defense in 2010 and 2011 and are one of only six teams to lead the nation’s in Hamilton’s favorite statistic (field goal percentage defense) in consecutive years in NCAA history;
… Florida State led the ACC in blocked shots and steals in 2012 – only the fourth team in history to lead the ACC in both blocked shots and steals in the same season;
… Florida State led the ACC in blocked shots in 2013 and has led the ACC in blocked shots in each of the last four seasons.
NOTING FLORIDA STATE’S RECENT LEADERS
…Sophomore Aaron Thomas has led the Seminoles in scoring in each of the last three games entering Saturday’s game against Virginia and is averaging 21.0 points scored per game. He has now led the Seminoles in scoring four times this season – in wins over Northeastern, Charlotte, UMass and Charleston Southern;
…Sophomore Devon Bookert led the Seminoles in rebounding in their game against Charleston Southern. It marked the third game during his career that he has led Florida State in rebounding. He led the team in rebounding with his career-high eight rebounds against North Carolina on March 3, 2013 and against Clemson in the ACC Tournament on March 14, 2013;
…Sophomore Boris Bojanovsky has led the Seminoles in blocked shots in five of the last six games and earned a career-high seven blocked shots in the Seminoles’ victory over No. 20 UMass on December 21 in the Orange Bowl Classic.