TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State, which finished second in the ACC and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2017, will play Oklahoma State in the 24th Annual MetroPCS Orange Bowl Classic on December 16 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Seminoles’ game against the Cowboys will be played as part of a doubleheader as Florida meets Clemson with game times for both games to be announced at a later date.
Florida State finished the 2017 season with a 26-9 overall record and a 12-6 mark in ACC play. The Seminoles’ 26 wins fell one short of tying the school record for wins in a season, while their 12 conference wins tied the school record for ACC wins in a single year. The Seminoles were ranked as high as No. 6 nationally and tied a school record with seven wins over nationally ranked teams during the 2017 season.
Florida State has won seven consecutive games in the Orange Bowl Classic, most recently with its 83-67 win over Manhattan in the 2016 Orange Bowl Classic. The Seminoles’ game against Oklahoma State marks the sixth consecutive season they have played in the Orange Bowl Classic with victories coming in each of those games. Florida State is 7-1 all-time in the Classic with its first game coming against UMass in 1999.
Florida State boasts a consensus top-12 recruiting class that will join junior Terance Mann, who shot 58 percent from the field a year ago and is the Seminoles’ leading returning scorer (8.4 ppg), rebounder (4.5 rpg) and assist man. Other top returners include CJ Walker, FSU’s sixth man of the year in 2016-17 and 7’4” Christ Koumadje, the tallest player in FSU history, who had four blocks in the NCAA Tournament game against Florida Gulf Coast. The Seminoles also welcome M.J. Walker to their roster for the 2017-18 season. Walker was a McDonald’s All-American as a prep star and is ranked among the top-25 high school players entering the collegiate ranks for the upcoming season.
Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, who is entering his 16th season in Tallahassee, served as the Cowboys’ head coach from 1986-90 before becoming the head coach at University of Miami. Hamilton is Florida State’s all-time winningest coach and the eighth-winningest coach in ACC history with 282 wins and a winning mark of 60 percent. Under Hamilton, the Seminoles are the third-winningest team in ACC play since the beginning of the 2005-06 season.
Hamilton will face Oklahoma State for the first time as a head coach at either Florida State (2003-Pr.) or Miami (1991-00).
Oklahoma State is making its second appearance in the Classic, having lost to Florida in 2015. The Cowboys return 53% of their scoring from the NCAA tournament team a year ago. They are expected to be led by Jeffrey Carroll, their leading rebounder and second leading scorer (17.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg), who was a second team All-Big 12 performer a year ago. The Cowboys will also welcome senior transfer Kendall Smith, a two-time All-Big West performer from Cal State Northridge (CSUN). Smith averaged 16.7 ppg and 4.8 apg a year ago at CSUN.