July 24, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With the start of men’s basketball practice less than three months away, noted college basketball analyst Dick Vitale has begun the madness in July with the release of his list of the pre-season top 40 teams in the nation. Vitale, who has been lending his expert analysis to the game on ESPN since 1979, has tabbed the Florida State men’s basketball team as the fifth best in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the 38th best in the nation.
Florida State is selected fifth in the ACC behind No. 1 North Carolina, No. 10 Duke, No. 13 Boston College and No. 24 Georgia Tech. The Seminoles finished fifth in the ACC with a 9-7 record during the 2005-06 season. It was the third highest finish in the ACC standings for the Seminoles since they joined the nation’s strongest conference in 1991.
Florida State will also rely on All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton who averaged 16.1 points and 6.9 rebounds as a junior last season. He earned All-ACC Second-Team and NABC All-District First-Team honors in leading the Seminoles to the second round of the NIT in 2006.
The Seminoles are scheduled to play eight of the teams in Vitale’s top 40 including North Carolina, No. 2 Florida, No. 6 Pittsburgh, Duke, No. 11 Wisconsin, Boston College, Georgia Tech and No. 40 Maryland.
Florida State, who defeated No. 1 ranked Duke during the 2005-06 season, returns three starters and nine letter winners for the 2006-07 season as it looks to continue building on the rock-solid foundation which has been put into place by Hamilton, Florida State’s fifth-year head coach . Led by Thornton, the Seminoles return more than 60 percent of their total scoring (.647 percent) and rebounding (.603 percent) from a season ago. Thornton is Florida State’s leading returning scorer, rebounder and leader in both field goals and free throws made as he enters the 2006-07 season as one of the nation’s top collegiate players.
Practice officially begins on Oct. 15 for the 2006-07 season.
Dick Vitale's Pre-Season Top 40 1. North Carolina 11. Wisconsin 21. Kentucky 31. Wichita State 2. Florida 12. Marquette 22. Gonzaga 32. Creighton 3. Kansas 13. Boston College 23. Texas A&M 33. California 4. Ohio State 14. Arizona 24. Georgia Tech 34. Texas Tech 5. UCLA 15. Connecticut 25. Xavier 35. Nevada 6. Pittsburgh 16. Villanova 26. Oklahoma St. 36. Arkansas 7. LSU 17. Memphis 27. Illinois 37. Michigan 8. Alabama 18. Tennessee 28. Washington 38. Florida State 9. Georgetown 19. Texas 29. S. Illinois 39. South Carolina 10. Duke 20. Louisville 30. San Diego St. 40. Maryland