January 6, 2006 - by
Florida State Opens Home Conference Schedule Against Virginia Tech Saturday At 7 P.M.

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Jan. 6, 2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won seven of its last eight games, plays host to Virginia Tech in its ACC home opener on Saturday Jan. 7, 2006 at 7 p.m. in the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee It marks the second consecutive season the Seminoles open their home conference schedule against the Hokies – Florida State defeated Virginia Tech, 77-70, in the Tucker Center to begin its 2004-05 conference schedule. The Seminoles have won two consecutive conference home openers with victories over Maryland to begin the 2003-04 conference schedule and Virginia Tech to open the 2004-05 conference schedule. Florida State is 3-3 in its last six conference home openers. Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech with a 6-0 record at home this season. The Seminoles have won seven consecutive games at home with six victories this season and a win over Virginia (March 6, 2005; 68-63) in their finial home game of the 2004-05 season. Florida State has a 41-15 record (.732 winning percentage) at home during the four-year tenure of Head Coach Leonard Hamilton in Tallahassee. Following Saturday night’s game against Virginia Tech, the Seminoles continue their ACC schedule on the road at Virginia (Jan. 11, 7:00 p.m.) and at Boston College (Jan. 14, 2:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to North Carolina (Jan. 22) in a nationally ranked game against the nationally ranked Tar Heels.

GALLOWAY LEADS ACC IN STEALS
Senior Todd Galloway enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech as the ACC leader in steals with a career-high 2.45 steals per game average. He has at least one steal in 10 consecutive games and earned four steals in the Seminoles’ ACC opener against Clemson. Galloway earned his career-high of six steals in the Seminoles’ victory over Stetson (Dec. 20) and has recorded at least two steals in eight of Florida State’s first 11 games. With 27 steals in the first 11 games of the season, he is approaching his single season career-high of 35 which he established in 31 games during the 2004-05 season. Galloway averages 1.5 steals in 42 career games as a starter.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Virginia Tech and gain its first ACC victory of the season. The Seminoles defeated the Hokies, 77-70, for their first conference win of the 2004-05 season on Jan. 8 in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Virginia Tech and win its ACC home opener for the third consecutive season. The Seminoles opened their 2003-04 home conference schedule with a victory over Maryland (Dec. 28, 2003; 79-75) and began their 2004-05 home conference schedule with a victory over Virginia Tech (Jan. 8, 2005; 77-70);
…Defeat Virginia Tech and win its seventh consecutive game against the Hokies. The Seminoles have not lost to the Hokies since Feb. 24, 1990 – when the two schools were members of the Metro Conference. Florida State is 11-4 against Virginia Tech in games played in Tallahassee dating back to the 1970 season;
…Defeat Virginia Tech and raise its record to 2-0 against Virginia Tech since the Hokies joined the ACC;
…Defeat Virginia Tech and win its third consecutive game against a Seth Greenberg coached team. The Seminoles defeated Greenberg’s Hokies during the 2004-05 season and his South Florida Bulls during the 2001-02 season.

FLORIDA STATE RECEIVES VOTES IN THIS WEEK’S ESPN/USA TODAY POLL
Florida State received four votes in this week’s ESPN/USA Today men’s basketball national coaches’ poll this week. The Seminoles are ranked as the nation’s 45th best team and are among seven ACC teams included in the poll. It marks the first time since the second week of January 2004 that the Seminoles have received votes in the national poll. Florida State most recently earned a national ranking of No. 25 during the week of Dec. 29, 2003. The Seminoles’ highest national ranking of No. 2 came in the Associated Press poll for three weeks at the beginning of the 1972-73 season.

A COMPLETE REVERSAL – SEMINOLES LEAD THE ACC IN TURNOVER MARGIN
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech ranked in the ACC’s top three in six different categories including first in turnover margin (+5.18) and first in rebounding defense (31 rpg). The Seminoles are ranked among the league leaders in turnover margin (first, +5.18), rebounding defense (first, 31 rpg), steals (tied for second, 11.0 spg), scoring margin (third, +18.7 ppg), field goal percentage (third, .501) and field goal percentage defense (third, .388). The truly amazing story behind Florida State’s No. 1 league ranking in turnover margin is that the Seminoles’ ranked 11th out of 11 teams in the same category last season. The Seminoles turnover margin is the best it has been during the Leonard Hamilton’s four-year tenure in Tallahassee. Florida State is the only team in the ACC who is forcing more than 20 turnovers per game and has forced 20 or more turnovers in 10 of its first 11 games of the season. The Seminoles’ forced a season-high 28 turnovers in its victories over both Purdue in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Nov. 29; 28 forced turnovers led to 41 Florida State points) and a season-low 13 turnovers against Bowling Green in the Coors Classic (Dec. 17). Florida State has committed more turnovers than their opponent against only Florida (Nov. 25) and Bowling Green.

SEMINOLES CONTINUE TO SHOOT WELL FROM THE FIELD
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech ranked third in the ACC and as just one of three teams in the league which is shooting 50 percent or better from the field for the season. The Seminoles are shooting 5.01 from the field and have shot 45 percent or better from the field in six consecutive and nine of 11 games this season. Florida State shot a season-best .603 percent from the field in its victory over Purdue in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and have not shot less than 45 percent since shooting .448 from the field in its 85-62 victory over Louisiana Monroe (Dec. 2, 85-62). The Seminoles’ lowest shooting percentage of the season, .412, came in their season opening victory over Jacksonville (Nov. 19, 78-48). Florida State is shooting .492 and averaging 41.9 points in the first half of its first 11 games and shooting .510 and averaging 38.5 points in the second half of its 11 games this season. Florida State has not shot better than 50 percent for a complete season since the 1988-89 season when it shot .505 percent when it advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

FLORIDA STATE SCORING POINTS
Florida State is averaging 80.4 points and has outscored its opponents by 206 total points in its first 11 games of the season. The Seminoles have scored 80 or more points five times and been held to less than 70 points only twice in the first 11 games of the season. Florida State has not averaged 80 or more points scored in a game since averaging 86.3 points during the 1992-93 season when they advanced to within one game of the NCAA Tournament Final Four.

SEMINOLES’ STEAL TOTAL HAS INCREASED DRAMATICALLY THIS SEASON
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech in a tie for second place it the ACC with an 11.0 steals per game average. The Seminoles have recorded at least seven steals in all 11 of their games this season. The Seminoles have recorded 11 or more steals six times and earned a season-high of 17 steals in their victory over Stetson (Dec. 20). Florida State is averaging more than four steals more per game this season (11.0 spg) than it did in ranking 10th in the ACC a season ago (6.97 spg). The Seminoles’ starting lineup (Al Thornton, Alexander Johnson, Jason Rich, Todd Galloway and Isaiah Swann) have combined for more steals (88) than their opponents (69) through the first 11 games of the season. Additionally, the Seminoles’ starting five have more steals (88) than both the Wake Forest (71) and Virginia (64) team totals.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE...
F	#12	Al Thornton (14.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg; 7 pts and 2 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
F	#32	Alexander Johnson (10.8 ppg, 5.2 ppg; 6 pts and 4 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
G	#3	Isaiah Swann (7.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 7 pts and 2 stls vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
G	#4	Todd Galloway (8.1 ppg, 3.5 apg; 8 pts and 4 asts vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
G	#21	Jason Rich (10.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg; 0 pts and 2 asts vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G	#20	Andrew Wilson (6.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 10 pts and 4 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
F	#25	Diego Romero (5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg; 1 pt and 1 reb vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05)
G	#10	Ralph Mims (4.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/.05)
G	#11	Jerel Allen (4.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg; First career game vs. Virginia Tech)
F	#15	Casaan Breeden (4.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg; First career game vs. Virginia Tech)
F	#41	Uche Echefu (3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg; First career game vs. Virginia Tech)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR VIRGINIA TECH
F	#13	Deron Washington (12.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg; 3 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/8/05)
F	#33	Coleman Collins (18.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg; 16 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/8/05)
G	#1	Zabian Dowdell (14.7 ppg, 3.0 apg; 18 pts and 2 asts vs. Florida State, 1/8/05)
G	#22	Jamon Gordon (10.2 ppg, 5.2 apg; 9 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/8/05)
G	#24	Markus Sailes (5.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg; First career game vs. Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA TECH --  A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 20-15
Last Game: Jan. 8, 2005; Florida State 77, Virginia Tech 70
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 8, 2005; Florida State 77, Virginia Tech 70
Last Virginia Tech Win: Feb. 24, 2990; Virginia Tech 84, Florida State 74
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: Jan. 8, 2005; Florida State 77, Virginia Tech 70
Last Virginia Tech Win In Tallahassee: Feb. 24, 2990; Virginia Tech 84, Florida State 74
Florida State vs. Virginia Tech, Current Streak: Florida State has won 6
Leonard Hamilton vs. Virginia Tech: 2-0 (1-0 at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA TECH – THE LAST GAME
Adam Waleskowski sparked a 15-2 run late in the game and Von Wafer finished with 21 points as Florida State beat Virginia Tech 77-70 on Jan. 8, 2005 in Tallahassee. Waleskowski’s 3-pointer tied the game at 64-64 with 5:30 left and a pair of free throws by Andrew Wilson with 1:12 remaining gave the Seminoles a 76-66 lead. During the run, Waleskowski also sank four straight free throws, made a steal and grabbed a key rebound that led directly to another score. Waleskowski finished with 13 points and a team-high six rebounds while Andrew Wilson was in double figures for the only time during the 2004-05 season with 10 points. Zabian Dowdell led the Hokies with 18 points, Coleman Collins added 16 and Carlos Dixon 15. Florida State made 10 field goals from 3-point distance in the first half to build a 45-38 lead. Wafer scored a dozen straight points in less than two minutes late in the first half to wipe out Virginia Tech’s 26-24 lead. Virginia Tech took a 48-47 lead five minutes into the second half on a Dixon lay-up and then took the lead again, 62-61, on Deron Washington’s tip-in with 6:38 left.

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