July 6, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
As the calendar turned to July and the number of days until the start of basketball practice for the 2003-04 season dipped below 100, the Florida State players and coaches continued their preparations for Leonard Hamilton’s second season in Tallahassee. As the coaching staff turned their attention to the summer evaluation period which begins this week, the players continued their work in the classroom, the weight room and on the court.
PICKETT AND THE HONOR OF ALL-ACC HONORS
Look for Tim Pickett to earn All-ACC honors for the second consecutive season. He enters the 2003-04 season looking to become the first player since Bob Sura in 1994 and 1995 to be named All-ACC second team or better in two consecutive seasons. Sura was an All-ACC first team selection in 1994 and an All-ACC second-team selection in 1995. Sura (in 1993, 1994 and 1995) and James Collins (1995, 1996 and 1997) are the only two players in school history to earn All-ACC honors three times during their Seminole careers. Sura, in 1994, is the only player in school history to earn All-ACC first-team honors since Florida State joined the nation’s best basketball conference for the 1991-92 season.
PICKETT AND THE ACC STEALS LEAD
Look for Tim Pickett to lead the Seminoles and the ACC in steals for the second consecutive season. He led the ACC with 82 steals during his first season as a Seminole and is looking to become the first Seminole in ACC history to lead the conference in steals multiple times. Charlie Ward led the ACC in steals in 1992 and Sam Cassell led the league in 1993. Pickett can also become only the sixth player in ACC history to lead the league in steals multiple times during his career. Steals became an official NCAA statistic during the 1977 season.
JOINER LOOKING UP AT 1,000 CAREER POINTS
Look for Michael Joiner to join the 1,000 career point club during his fourth and final season as a Seminole. He enters the 2003-04 season with 742 points and needs only 258 points to become the 35th member of Florida State’s 1,000-point club. The last player to reach the milestone was Delvon Arrington during the 2001-02 season.
JOINER ALSO AMONG SEMINOLES’ TOP 3-POINT SHOOTERS
Look for Michael Joiner to move onto Florida State’s all-time top 15 for 3-point shots made during his career. He enters the 2003-04 season with 70 3-pointers made for his career. Former Seminole sharpshooter Terrell Baker is 15th in school history with 76 made during his career while Sam Cassell stands 10th with 108. Joiner averages 23.3 made 3-point shots per season during his career. The all-time school record for 3-point shots made in a career by a Seminole player is 255 by James Collins who wore the garnet and gold from 1994-97.
WALESKOWSKI AMONG SEMINOLES TOP FREE THROW SHOOTERS
Look for Adam Waleskowski to keep his position in Florida State’s all-time top five for free throw shooting percentage. He enters the 2003-04 season ranked fourth in school history with a career .795 mark and has only missed nine free throws during his career. Waleskowski missed only three free throw attempts as a sophomore as he shot .769 from the line to rank among the Seminoles’ leaders as s sophomore. The all-time school record for career free throw shooting is .817 by Granville Arnold during the 1983, 1984 and 1985 seasons.
FLORIDA STATE AND THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Florida State enters the 2003-04 season with high hopes of quickly earning its first national ranking since the 1997-98 season. The Seminoles were ranked as high as 13th in the nation and were ranked over the course of eight consecutive weeks that season. Florida State had a 9-4 record as a ranked team and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a victory over Texas Christian.
FLORIDA STATE’S HIGHEST EVER NATIONAL RANKING
Florida State’s highest ever ranking of No. 2 in the nation came during the first three weeks of the 1972-73 season. Its ranking came on the heels of the Seminoles’ national championship game appearance against UCLA to close out the 1972 season. More recently, the Seminoles were ranked as high as No. 6 during the February of the 1992-93 season. Florida State advanced to within one game of the Final Four in 1993.
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS
Florida State enters the 2003-04 season looking to defeat at least one ranked team for the 13th consecutive season. The Seminoles defeated No. 5 Duke last season in the Civic Center. Florida State won its first game against the nation’s No. 1 ranked team as it defeated Duke, 77-76, Jan. 6, 2002 in the Civic Center.
LOOKING BACK AT THE 2002-03 SEASON ACCORDING TO THE NCAA STATISTICS
A look back at the 2002-03 season, Leonard Hamilton’s first at Florida State, certainly showed an improved Florida State men’s basketball team each time it took to the court. The Seminoles played better basketball, both individually and collectively, last season when compared to many of the seasons in recent memory. The statistical comparisons from the 2001-02 season to the 2002-03 season are simply astounding.
SEMINOLES IMPROVE DRAMATICALLY IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Of the 325 teams that played Division I basketball during the last two seasons, the Seminoles greatest statistical improvement came in the area of field goal percentage defense. The Seminoles finished the 2002-03 season under Hamilton ranked seventh in the nation as they held their opponents to a 39.1 shooting mark from the field. That was an improvement of 189 positions in the NCAA statistical rankings after finishing 196th in the nation during the 2001-02 season.
SEMINOLES LEAD ACC AND RANK AMIONG NATION’S BEST IN SCORING DEFENSE
The Seminoles improved by more than 150 positions nationally in the category of scoring defense. After allowing 74.0 points per game in 2001-02 the Seminoles allowed 66.6 points per game under Hamilton. Florida State’s overall improvement of 7.4 fewer points allowed per game allowed it to lead the ACC in scoring defense.
FLORIDA STATE AMOING THE NATION’S LEADERS IN STEALS
Tim Pickett, who finished tied for fifth in the nation in steals per game, helped the Seminoles finish 16th in the nation in team steals per game. With Pickett’s help, Florida State improved from the 118th ranked team in the nation during the 2001-02 season to the 16th ranked team in the nation during the 2002-03 season – an improvement of 102 positions.
FLORIDA STATE CUTS DOWN ON ITS TURNVOERS
Under Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles did a much better job of cutting down on their turnovers than in an season in recent memory. Florida State committed nearly two turnovers less in 2002-03 than it did in 2001-02 and improved nearly 100 positions from its national ranking of 247th before Hamilton arrived in Tallahassee.
THE MOST IMPORTANT CATEGORY – WON/LOSS PERCENTAGE
The most important improvement the Seminoles made was in the winning percentage category. The Seminoles won nearly 50 percent of their games under Hamilton after winning just35 percent of their games in the two years prior to Hamilton’s arrival.
A SYNOPSIS OF THE SEMINOLES IN THE NCAA STATISTICS
Overall, the Seminoles finished in the top 100 in four statistical categories in the NCAA rankings compiled following the 2002-03 season. The Seminoles were seventh in field goal percentage defense, 16th in steals per game, 46th in blocked shots per game and 91st in scoring defense during Leonard Hamilton’s first season. Comparatively, Florida State’s highest ranking during the 2001-02 season was 118th in the blocked shots per game category and it ranked 200 or lower in nine different categories.