November 20, 2009 - by
Florida State At Mercer

Nov. 20, 2009




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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won its first two games of the 2009-10 season by an average of 34.0 points per game, travels to play Mercer at the University Center in Macon, Ga., on Saturday November 21, at 4:30. The game marks the Seminoles’ first road game of the season after defeating both Jacksonville (87-61, Nov. 16) and Stetson (80-38, Nov. 18) at home to open head coach Leonard Hamilton’s eighth season in Tallahassee. Florida State had a 7-5 record in true road games and were 3-1 in non-conference road games during the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles’ game at Mercer is its first in Macon, Ga., since winning at Mercer, 66-65, on Jan. 31, 1977. Following Saturday’s game against Mercer, the Seminoles will travel to Gainesville to face Florida (Nov. 24, 7:00 p.m.) in their second of six consecutive games away from Tallahassee.

ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE ALABI OFF TO A STRONG START TO SEASON
All-America candidate Solomon Alabi, a candidate for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards as the nation’s top collegiate player, enters Saturday’s game against Mercer averaging 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots while shooting .600 from the field in the first two games of the season. He scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the Seminoles’ season-opening victory over Jacksonville. Alabi has blocked two shots in both of Florida State’s first two games and has blocked at least one shot in 23 consecutive games entering Saturday’s game at Mercer.

ALABI WITH MULTIPLE BLOCKED SHOTS
All-America candidate Solomon Alabi, a candidate for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards as the nation’s top collegiate player, has blocked multiple shots in 28 of his 47 career games including two each in the first two games of the 2009-10 season. He blocked his career-high of six shots in the Seminoles’ victory over Charleston Southern on Dec. 16, 2008. Alabi became only the seventh freshman in ACC history to lead the league in blocked shots with 73 during the 2008-09 season.

REID APPROACHING CENTURY MARK FOR CAREER GAMES PLAYED
Senior Ryan Reid, who has scored in double figures in both of the first two games of the season for the Seminoles, will play in his 98th career game on Saturday against Mercer. He is Florida State’s current leader in the games played category. Reid scored 13 points against Jacksonville and 11 against Stetson and is one of only three Seminoles (Reid and sophomores Deividas Dulkys and Xavier Gibson) in averaging 12.0 points per game in the first two games of the season.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Mercer and win its third consecutive game of the season. It would mark the fourth consecutive season that the Seminoles had opened the season with at least three consecutive victories;
…Defeat Mercer and win its 14th consecutive game played in the month of November. The Seminoles’ streak of consecutive November wins began on Nov. 20, 2007 against Georgia State;
…Defeat Mercer and win its sixth consecutive non-conference game away from Tallahassee. The Seminoles have victories over California and Cincinnati (in Las Vegas), at Jacksonville, at La Salle and at Florida in the last two seasons;
…Defeat Mercer and win its fifth straight game against a team from the state of Georgia. The Seminoles defeated Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Georgia Tech during the 2007-08 season and topped Georgia Tech (twice) and Georgia State during the 2008-09 season.

FLORIDA STATE’S TIES TO MACON
Located only about three hours from its campus in Tallahassee, the Florida State men’s basketball team has a couple of ties to the city of Macon, Ga. Freshman forward Terrence Shannon grew up in Forsyth, Ga., which is only about 25 miles from the Mercer University campus while assistant coach Corey Williams grew up in Macon and attended Northeast High School.

SEMINOLES SCORING POINTS
Florida State has scored 167 points in its first two games of the season and are averaging 83.5 points per game in the first two games of the season. The Seminoles scored 87 points in defeating Jacksonville (87-61) and totaled 80 in their victory over Stetson (80-38). It marks the first time since Jan. 5 and Jan. 12, 2008 that the Seminoles have scored at least 80 points in back-to-back games. The last time Florida State scored at least 80 points in three consecutive games was during January of 2007 when they scored 80 points against 82 points against Virginia Tech (82-73 win), 86 against Miami (86-67 win) and 82 at Boston College (85-82 loss). The Seminoles finished the 2006-07 season with a 22-13 record and advanced to the third round of the 2007 NIT.

SEMINOLES SCORING NOTES…
…Florida State has scored at least 80 points in its first two games of the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles didn’t scored 80 points or more until their fourth game of the 2008-09 season and only reached the 80 point plateau five times in 35 games during the season;
… Florida State had five players score in double figures in its victory over Jacksonville. It marked the first time since Jan. 12, 2007 against Clemson that at least five Seminoles had scored in double figures. It marked the fourth time in the last three seasons that at least five Seminoles had scored in double figures – with the feat coming against Jacksonville in the 2009-10 season opener and three times during the 2007-08 season;
…Four different Seminoles – All-America candidate Solomon Alabi (career-high tying 17 points), freshman Michael Snaer (14 points), sophomore Xavier Gibson (12 points) and sophomore Deividas Dulkys (11 points) all tied or set new career-high scoring marks in the victory over the Dolphins. Dulkys then set another new career-high mark with 13 points in the Seminoles’ victory over Stetson.

SEMINOLES DEPTH SHOWING EARLY IN THE SEASON
Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton has said that one of the strengths of this year’s Seminole team would be its quality depth. That depth has made itself known in the first two games with superior performances by the players coming off of the Seminoles’ bench. Florida State’s bench scored 36 of 87 points (41.3 percent) in the Seminoles’ victory over Jacksonville and totaled 27 of 80 points (33.8 percent) in their victory over Stetson. Led by Xavier Gibson’s 11 points off the Seminoles’ bench against Stetson, Florida State’s six reserves who earned playing time on Wednesday night nearly outscored the Hatters’ entire team (27-38).

NOTES ON FLORIDA STATE’S BENCH PLAY…
…Two different players (Xavier Gibson vs. both Jacksonville and Stetson and Michael Snaer against Stetson) have scored in double figures coming off the bench in the first two games of the season;
…Sophomore Luke Loucks led the Seminoles with a game-high four assists in Florida State’s victory over Stetson;
…Sophomore Xavier Gibson led Florida State with a career-high six blocked shots as a reserve in the Seminoles’ victory over Stetson;
…Florida State’s bench players shot 66.7 percent (12 of 18) in the Seminoles’ victory over Stetson and are shooting 52.3 percent (22 of 42) from the field in the first two games of the season. Sophomore Xavier Gibson is shooting a team-leading 75.0 percent (nine of 12) from the field after shooting a perfect 1.000 percent (five of five) from the field in the Seminoles’ season opening victory Jacksonville.

SEMINOLES’ UTILIZING TREMENDOUS HEIGHT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE
Led by sophomore Xavier Gibson’s eight blocked shots in the first two games of the season, Florida State has utilized its amazing height to its advantage in the early part of the season. The Seminoles have blocked 19 shots (9.5 bpg) to its opponents’ three blocked shots and have had three players block multiple shots in at least one of the Seminoles’ first two games of the season. Florida State ranked second in the ACC with a 5.8 blocked shots per game average during the 2008-09 season.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (9.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg; 10.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg in 4 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
F #42 Ryan Reid (12.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg; 9.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg in 5 games vs. Atlantic Sun Teams)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (12.5 ppg, 2.0 bpg; 10.0 ppg, 1.8 bpg in 5 games vs. Atlantic Sun Teams)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg; 6.8 ppg; 3.3 rpg in 4 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (6.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 6.5 ppg, 3.5 apg in 2 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 5.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg in 5 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
G #3 Luke Loucks (3.0 ppg, 3.5 apg; 4.0 ppg, 3.3 apg in 4 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 6.r ppg, 2.8 rpg in 4 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
G #21 Michael Snaer (9.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg; 9.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg in 2 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)
G #0 Pierre Jordan (1.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg; 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg in 4 games vs. Atlantic Sun teams)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR MERCER
F #25 Brian Mills (7.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg; 11 pts and 7 rebs vs. Bucknell, Nov. 13, 2009)
F #33 Daniel Emerson (13.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg; 16 pts and 8 rebs vs. Bryant, Nov. 14, 2009)
G #00 James Florence (20.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 33 pts and 13 rebounds vs. Bucknell, Nov. 13, 2009)
G #1 EJ Kusnyer (13.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 22 pts and 2 rebs vs. Bryant, Nov. 14, 2009)
G #12 Jeff Smith (13.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg; 16 pts and 1 ast vs. Bucknell, Nov. 13, 2009)

FLORIDA STATE VS. MERCER - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 14-8
Last Game: Nov. 27, 2002; at Florida State 83, Mercer 47
Last Florida State Win: Nov. 27, 2002; at Florida State 83, Mercer 47
Last Mercer Win: Jan. 30, 1954; at Mercer 70, Florida State 63
Last Florida State Win in Macon: Jan. 31, 1977; Florida State 66, at Mercer 65
Last Mercer Win in Macon:  Jan. 30, 1954; at Mercer 70, Florida State 63
Current Streak: Florida State has won 7
Leonard Hamilton vs. Mercer: 1-0 (1-0 at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. MERCER – THE LAST MEETING
Forward Michael Joiner scored 17 points as Florida State beat Mercer 83-47 on Nov. 27, 2002 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee to improve to 2-0 for the first time in five years. Joiner shot eight-of-nine from the field to lead all scorers. Guard Tim Pickett added 14 and Anthony Richardson collected 12 points and 6 rebounds for Florida State. Forward Aleem Muhammad led Mercer with 13 points, while guard Donny McLendon and forwards Scott Emerson and Wesley Duke each added eight points.

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