Oct. 26, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The Florida State basketball team begins its two-game exhibition season as it plays host to West Florida on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The game is free of charge and will be the first chance for Seminole fans to see the 2007-08 Seminoles.
SEMINOLES RIDE WAVE OF MOMENTUM INTO 2007-08 SEASON
Florida State, which averages more than 20 wins and has advanced to the postseason in the last two years, returns four starters and nine letterwinners for the 2007-08 season as it looks to continue a five-year upswing of success under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton into the 2007-08 season. The Seminoles will be led by a pair of veteran seniors – Jason Rich and Isaiah Swann – and an established junior – Toney Douglas – as they continue to establish the Florida State basketball team as one of the top programs in the nation.
DOUGLAS, RICH AND SWANN ARE HONORS CANDIDATES
All-ACC candidates Toney Douglas, Jason Rich and Isaiah Swann will anchor one of the ACC’s deepest backcourt units and compete for honors throughout the season. The Seminoles’ Dynamic Trio all averaged in double figure scoring and has started a combined 196 games during their careers.
SEMINOLES LOOKING TO SURPASS 20 WINS FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR
Florida State has won at least 20 games and averages 21.1 victories per season in the last two years. The Seminoles advanced to the second round of the NIT in 2006 with a 20-10 record and advanced to the quarter finals of the NIT in 2007 with a 22-13 record. The Seminoles enter the 2007-08 season looking to win 20 or more games in three consecutive seasons for only the second time in school history. The Seminoles advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a record of 21-11 in 1991; advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 1992 with a record of 22-10 and came within one win of the second Final Four appearance in school history with a 25-10 record during the 1992-93 season. The 25 wins during the 1993 season ranks as the second highest victory total in school history behind only the 27 wins by the Seminoles’ national finalist team in 1972.
SEMINOLES RETURN MANY WEAPONS FOR 2007-08 SEASON
Led by junior guard Toney Douglas’ 12.7 points per game scoring average and junior Uche Echefu’s 4.3 rebounds per game average, the Seminoles return 66 percent of their scoring total and more than 70 percent of their rebounding totals from last year’s team totals. All-ACC candidate Isaiah Swann is the Seminoles’ returning leader in three different categories – assists (3.1 apg), field goals made (143), 3-point field goals made (68) while fellow All-ACC candidates Toney Douglas (scoring and field goals made) and Jason Rich (free throws made and minutes played) led the team in two statistical categories.
Seminoles’ Arsenal Returns Stocked For 2007-08 Season
Category 2006-07 Return Return % Returning 06-07 Leader
Points Scored 2,607 1,736 .666 Toney Douglas, 12.7 ppg
Rebounds 1,104 774 .701 Uche Echefu, 4.3 rpg
Assists 433 368 .850 Isaiah Swann, 3.1 apg
Field Goals Made 936 625 .668 Toney Douglas, 143
Steals 276 213 .771 Isaiah Swann, 1.2 spg
3-Pt Field Goals Made 237 173 .730 Isaiah Swann, 68 3FGM
Free Throws Made 498 313 .629 Jason Rich, 70 FTM
Blocked Shots 116 68 .586 Uche Echefu. 20 blocks
Minutes 7,025 5,209 .741 Jason Rich, 29.9 mpg
STARTING ROTATION RETURNS WITH EXPERIENCE
Florida State returns four of its five starters from last season’s starting lineup to form what will be one of the ACC’s most experienced line-ups. The four returning starters – seniors Jason Rich and Isaiah Swann, and juniors Toney Douglas and Uche Echefu – have played in a combined 316 career games and started a combined 231 career games. Rich, the Seminoles’ leading returning scorer with a 10.3 points per game scoring average in 2007, has started 63 of the last 64 games in the last two seasons while fellow senior Isaiah Swann has been in the starting line-up in 63 of the last 65 games over the last two seasons. Douglas, who missed five games because of a broken hand during his sophomore season, has started 59 of 61 career games while Echefu was one of only two Seminoles (also Al Thornton) to start each of Florida State’s 35 games during the 2006-07 season.
Returning Starters By The Numbers Starter Career GS Career GP Toney Douglas 59 61 Jason Rich 74 95 Isaiah Swann 63 96 Uche Echefu 35 64 Totals 316 231
SEMINOLES RETURN THREE DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORERS
The Seminoles’ dynamic trio of Toney Douglas (12.7 ppg), Jason Rich (10.3 ppg) and Isaiah Swann (10.3 ppg) all return as double-figures scorers for the 2007-08 season. It marks the first time since the 1999-00 season that the Seminoles have at least three returning players who averaged in double figure scoring the year before. Florida State is one of only five teams in the ACC who has at last three double figure scorers returning to its roster this season. The Seminoles are one of only five teams in the ACC (Florida State, Clemson, Duke, NC State and North Carolina) among the ACC’s 12 teams with at least three returning double figure scorers.
FLORIDA STATE’S TEAM STREAKS…
…Florida State has made at least one 3-point field goal in 37 consecutive games entering the 2007-08 season. The last time the Seminoles did not make a shot from the bonusphere was on Jan. 4, 2005 at Clemson;
…Florida State has blocked at least one shot in 13 consecutive games entering the 2007-08 season. The last time the Seminoles did not block a shot was in a 96-79 victory over Maryland on Feb. 30, 2007;
…Florida State has not allowed an opponent to score 100 or more points in a game during the first five years of the Leonard Hamilton era. The last time a Seminole opponent reached the century mark was on Feb. 4, 2001 – a span of 195 games. The last team to score at least 100 points against Florida State was Duke in a 100-58 win over the Seminoles.