Feb. 24, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won four of its last five overall games, travels to play at Virginia Tech Saturday Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles and Hokies meet for the second time this season after Florida State took a 74-68 victory over Virginia Tech in Tallahassee (Jan. 7). Florida State enters Saturday’s game with 17 victories this season – five more than they earned during the 2004-05 season (12-19) and only two less than they earned during the 2003-04 season (19-14) when they advanced to the second round of the NIT. The Seminoles also enter their game against the Hokies with seven ACC victories – the most they have had since winning 12 conference games during the 1992-93 season and only the third time since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season that they have won more than six conference games in a single season. The Seminoles are 2-4 in ACC road games this season with victories at Virginia (Jan. 11, 87-82 overtime) and at Wake Forest (Jan. 24, 75-68). Following Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech, the Seminoles play host to No. 1 ranked Duke in their final home game of the 2005-06 season.
ALL ACC CANDIDATE Al Thornton EARNS ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
Junior All-ACC candidate Al Thornton has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 6 First-Team. Thornton, who has developed into one of the nation’s top players, enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech averaging a career-high 16.5 points and a career-high 6.8 rebounds per game. He is joined on the All-District Team by Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite of Miami, Jermareo Davidson of Alabama and Taureen Green of Florida. Thornton is one of eight ACC players who earned All-District First Team honors. He his joined by J.J. Redick and Sheldon Williams of Duke (District 5), Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina (District 5), Sean Singletary of Virginia (District 5) and Justin Gray of Wake Forest (District 5).
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Virginia Tech and win its 18th game of the season – that total would be six more wins than it earned last season and the most since the Tim-Pickett led Seminoles won 19 games in advancing to the second round of the NIT during the 203-04 season;
…Defeat Virginia Tech and earn its eighth ACC victory of the season thus ensuring the Seminoles at least a .500 record in ACC play. The Seminoles have finished .500 or better in the ACC only twice since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season (11-5 in 1991-92 and 12-4 in 1992-93);
…Defeat Virginia Tech and win its third consecutive ACC game for the first time since January of the 1994-95 season. The Seminoles defeated NC State (107-79, Jan. 15 in Tallahassee), Clemson (67-66, Jan. 18 in Clemson, S.C) and Duke (78-75, Jan. 21 in Tallahassee);
…Defeat Virginia Tech and gain its third ACC road victory of the season. The Seminoles have won on the road at both Virginia (Jan. 11) and Wake Forest (Jan. 24) so far this season. The last time the Seminoles won three or more ACC road games in the same season was during the 1992-93 season when they won at Clemson, at Wake Forest, at NC State and at Georgia Tech;
…Defeat Virginia Tech and win its eighth consecutive game against the Hokies. The Seminoles have not lost to the Hokies since Feb. 24, 1990 when both teams were members of the Metro Conference.
A NOTE ON THE SEMINOLES’ ROAD WINS IN THE ACC
With victories on the road at both Virginia (Jan. 11, 87-82 in overtime) and at Wake Forest (Jan. 24, 75-68), Florida State has won more ACC road games this season than they did last season (one). The Seminoles most recently won two conference games on the road during the 2000-01 season (at Maryland and at Clemson) and won three conference road games during the 1995-96 season.
A VICTORY OVER VIRGINIA TECH WOULD…
…Give the Seminoles a season series sweep of Virginia Tech after the Seminoles defeated the Hokies in the first game of the season between the two teams (Jan. 7, 74-68);
…The Seminoles swept the most recent season series with the Hokies the last time the two teams were a member of the Metro Conference during the 1990-91 season. The Seminoles won in Blacksburg (Jan. 26, 1991, 71-60), in Tallahassee (Feb. 23, 1991; 91-79) and in the Metro Conference Tournament in Roanoke, Va. (March 8, 1991, 91-71);
…Give the Seminoles a second ACC series sweep of the season with both coming against teams from the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Seminoles swept Virginia as they won in Charlottesville (Jan. 11, 87-82 overtime) and in Tallahassee (Feb, 18, 76-62);
…Give the Seminoles a second ACC series sweep in the same season for the first time since the 1997-98 season when the Seminoles swept both NC State and Virginia.
FLORIDA STATE HAS…
…Won 17 games this season and enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech looking to win its 18th game of the season. The Seminoles have won more than 17 games only once on the last seven seasons (19-14 during the 2003-04 season);
…Averaged 15.9 wins per game in 59 years of basketball at the varsity level at Florida State. The Seminoles have a 925-693 record (15.7 wins per season) and have already surpassed their average wins per season mark with 17 victories.
FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech ranked sixth in the ACC with a .702 free throw shooting percentage. The Seminoles have shot better than .700 percent in five of their last seven games including a season-high .909 mark (10-of-11) against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium (Feb. 4). Florida State’s starting five (Jason Rich, Al Thornton, Alexander Johnson, Isaiah Swann and Todd Galloway) are shooting a combined .708 from the line with three starters and .700 or better. Florida State shot .800 from the line (28-of-35) in its victory over Virginia Tech (Jan. 7) in Tallahassee.
FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE – NOTE TWO
Florida State has made 407 free throws and is shooting .702 from the free throw line through the first 24 games of the season. The Seminoles have made nearly as many free throws (407/16.95 FTM/Game) this season as they did during the entire 2004-05 season (416/13.4 FTM/Game) in 46 fewer attempts. Florida State has attempted 580 free throws (25.2 FTA/Game) this season as compared to 626 free throw attempts last season (20.19 FTA/Game). The Seminoles ranked ninth in the ACC with a .665 free throw shooting percentage.
FLORIDA STATE FINDING ITS RANGE FROM THE BONUSPHERE
Junior All-ACC candidate Al Thornton was a perfect two-of-two from the 3-point line and the Seminoles made seven of 17 shots from beyond the arc in their victory over Maryland (Feb. 22). The Seminoles have made 39 3-point field goals in the last six games and enter Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech ranked fourth in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage. Florida State was held without a 3-point shot in its victory over Clemson (Feb. 1) – the first time since Jan. 10, 1998 (a span of 254 games) that the Seminoles had failed to make a shot from the bonusphere. Since the 3-point shot was officially added to the NCAA record book for the 1986-87 season, there have been only three games when Florida State failed to make a 3-point shot. Including the 2006 Clemson and the 1998 Duke game, the Seminoles were also held without a 3-point shot made by Southern University on Dec. 6, 1991. On defense, the Seminoles have held their opponent without a 3-point shot 10 times – most recently against Tulane on Jan. 3, 1991.
FLORIDA STATE IN THE STEALS COLUMN
Florida State has earned more steals through the first 24 games of the 2005-06 season (229, 9.50 spg) than they earned during the entire 2004-05 season (216, 6.96 spg). Leading the way in the steals column is the Seminoles’ starting five (Thornton, Johnson, Swann, Galloway and Rich) which have combined for more steals (168) than Florida State’s 23 opponents (160 steals).
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE... F #12 Al Thornton (16.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg; 21 pts and 12 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/7/06) F #32 Alexander Johnson (12.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg; 10 pts and 6 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/7/06) G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.5 ppg, 3.0 apg; 8 pts and 3 asts vs. Virginia Tech, 1/7/06) G #4 Todd Galloway (7.7 ppg, 3.4 apg; pts and 4 asts vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05) G #21 Jason Rich (10.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 9 pts and 2 rebs vs. Virginia Tech, 1/7/06) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #20 Andrew Wilson (6.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg; 14 pts and 1 reb vs. Virginia Tech, 1/7/06) F #25 Diego Romero (4.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 1 pt and 1 reb vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05) G #10 Ralph Mims (3.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg; 8 pts and 2 asts vs. Virginia Tech, 1/7/06) G #11 Jerel Allen (3.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg; 2 pts and 0 stls vs. Virginia Tech, 1/8/05) F #15 Casaan Breeden (3.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg; First career game vs. Virginia Tech) F #41 Uche Echefu (2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg; First career game vs. Virginia Tech)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR VIRGINIA TECH F #13 Deron Washington (10.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg; 3 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/8/05) F #40 A.D. Vassallo (7.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/7/06) C #33 Coleman Collins (15.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg; 16 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/8/05) G #1 Zabian Dowdell (15.2 ppg, 3.3 apg; 18 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/7/06) G #22 Jamon Gordon (11.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg; 9 pts and 6 asts vs. Florida State, 1/7/06)
FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA TECH- A SERIES HISTORY The Series: Florida State leads, 21-15 Last Game: Jan. 7, 2006; Florida State 74, Virginia Tech 68 Last Florida State Win: Jan. 7, 2006; Florida State 74, Virginia Tech 68 Last Virginia Tech Win: Feb. 24, 1990; Virginia Tech 84, Florida State 74 Last Florida State Win In Blacksburg: Jan. 4, 2003; Florida State 76, Virginia Tech 69 Last Virginia Tech Win In Blacksburg: Jan. 30, 1988; Virginia Tech 88, Florida State 87 Florida State vs. Virginia Tech, Current Streak: Florida State has won 7 Leonard Hamilton vs. Virginia Tech: 4-0 (3-0 at Florida State)
FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA TECH – THE LAST GAME
Al Thornton scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season Saturday as Florida State defeated Virginia Tech 74-68 in its Atlantic Coast Conference home opener.
The Seminoles (10-2, 1-1 ACC) led by as many as 13 points in the second half at 55-42 with 10:28 left, but needed six straight free throws in the final 35 seconds to escape with the win. Virginia Tech closed to within 70-68 with 25.5 seconds left on a dunk by Coleman Collins, but Ralph Mims and Andrew Wilson each hit a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to seal the Florida State win. Andrew Wilson scored 14 points off the bench and Alexander Johnson added 10 for the Seminoles. Wynton Witherspoon scored 19 points to lead Virginia Tech. Zabian Dowdell added 18 and Collins had 15. Both teams shot well from the free throw line where Florida State made 28 of 38 tries and Virginia Tech hit on 23 of 27. Florida State led 34-26 at halftime, leading by as many as 14 points before the break. The Seminoles had a 32-21 rebounding advantage.