December 17, 2008 - by
Florida State Plays Host To Charleston Southern Thursday At 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 17, 2008




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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won 10 of its first 11 games for only the third time in school history, plays host to Charleston Southern on Thursday, December 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles enter the game looking for their fourth consecutive win and their 11th of the season. After winning their first seven games of the season the Seminoles are looking for their fourth consecutive win against Charleston Southern. With its victory over Tennessee Tech on Thursday night the Seminoles’ reached the 10-win plateau on the earliest date in school history (Dec. 16). The Seminoles’ game against Charleston Southern is their second of the season against a team from the Big South Conference after an 82-70 victory over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 22) in the first round of the Global Sports Classic. The Seminoles won the championship of the Global Sports Classic with victories over Coastal, Western Illinois (Nov. 24, 67-55), Cincinnati (Nov. 28, 58-47) and Cal (Nov. 29, 80-77). Florida State is one of six ACC teams to have won early season tournament championships. Following Thursday night’s game against Charleston Southern the Seminoles play host to No. 3/3 Pittsburgh on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The Panthers’ appearance in Tallahassee marks the eighth consecutive season that at least one top five ranked team will visit the Seminoles in the Donald L. Tucker Center.

FLORIDA STATE TOP EARLY SEASON STARTS
Having already tied the school record for best 11-game start to a season in school history, Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Charleston Southern looking to tie the school record for best 12-game start to a season in school history. The Seminoles’ 1988-89 and 2003-04 teams also won 12 of their first 13 games of the season. Florida State improved to 18-1 before losing their second game of the season in 1988-89 and was 12-1 before losing their second game and falling to 12-2.

Seminoles' Best Starts
Season     11-Game Start   12-Game Start        13-Game Start
1988-89    10-1            11-1                 12-1
2003-04    10-1            11-1                 12-1
2008-09    10-1            Thursday vs. CS      Sunday vs. No. 3/3 Pitt

SINGLETON NAMED ACC MEN’S BASKETBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Freshman sensation Chris Singleton, who scored 11 points and pulled down three rebounds in Florida State’s victory over Georgia State on Saturday, was named the ACC Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week as selected by a blue ribbon voting panel and released by the ACC. It marked the first time Singleton has earned the honor in his career and made him the first Seminole player to earn the award since Von Wafer during the 2003-04 season. Singleton scored 11 points (seven in the second half) as Florida State upped its record to 9-1. He has now scored in double figures in five of the first 10 games of his career. He is the team leader in offensive rebounds (24), defensive rebounds (54) and total rebounds (78) while ranking second in scoring with a 9.8 points per game average. Singleton is ranked third among freshmen in the ACC in rebounding and fifth in scoring. Singleton (Dunwoody, Ga.) made four of five shots from the field and blocked one shot in the road win. The Seminoles have now won three true road games and two neutral site games to go along with an undefeated 4-0 record at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Charleston Southern and improve its record to 11-1 for only the third time in school history. The Seminoles’ 1988-89 and 2003-04 teams also won 11 of their first 12 games;
…Defeat Charleston Southern and win its fourth consecutive home game against a team from the state of South Carolina. The Seminoles have defeated one team from the Palmetto State this season (Coastal Carolina) and were 2-0 against teams from the state during the 2007-08 season (Clemson and the College of Charleston);
…Defeat Charleston Southern and win its second game of the season against a team from the Big South Conference. The Seminoles defeated Coastal Carolina (Nov. 22, 82-70) earlier this season at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center;
…Defeat Charleston Southern and win its eighth consecutive game against a team from the Big South. The Seminoles are undefeated against UNC Asheville (3-0), Coastal Carolina (2-0), Radford (1-0) and High Point (1-0);
…Defeat Charleston Southern and win its 18th consecutive home game during the month of December – a streak that began with a victory over South Alabama on Dec. 16, 2004;
…Defeat Charleston Southern and wins its 38th consecutive regular season non-conference home game – the Seminoles have won all of their non-conference regular season home games since Dec. 16, 2004.

FLORIDA STATE’S TIES WITH CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
Florida State plays host to Charleston Southern on Dec. 18, 2007 at the Donald L. Tucker Center to mark the first time since the 1983-84 season that the Seminoles will play the Buccaneers. The Seminoles lead the all-time series by a 4-0 margin in a series that dates back to the 1975-76 season. One of the Buccaneers’ top players – Giedrius Knysas – played on the same high school team at Montverde Academy with current Seminoles center Solomon Alabi.

FLORIDA STATE REACHING BLOCKED SHOTS HEIGHTS
Florida State has blocked nearly three times as many shots (65) as its opponents (22) through the first 11 games of the season. The Seminoles’ top swatter – Solomon Alabi – has nearly as many blocked shots by himself (19) as the Seminoles’ first 11 opponents do combined (21). The Seminoles blocked five shots in their victory over Tennessee Tech which marked the eighth time in the first 11 games of the season that the Seminoles have blocked at least five shots in a game.

FLORIDA STATE IN THE TAKING MOOD
Florida State earned 10 steals in its victory over Tennessee Tech to raise its season total to 87 steals (7.9 steals per game) through the first 11 games of the season. It marked the fourth time in 11 games this season that the Seminoles have reached double figures in steals with their season high of 15 coming in their victory over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 22).

FLORIDA STATE SHOOTING WELL FROM THE FIELD
Florida State is shooting .506 from the field in its last two games after shooting a season-high .553 from the field in its victory over Georgia State on Saturday. The Seminoles’ 21 of 38 shooting performance from the field (.553) marked the first time they have shot better than 50 percent from the field this season. Florida State is shooting a combined .506 from the field in the last two games after shooting .421 in the first nine games of the season – an improvement of nearly 10 percentage points. The Seminoles’ defeated Georgia State as it shot .553 and took a season-low 38 shots.

SEMINOLES HEATING UP FROM THE BONUSPHERE
Florida State has made 14 shots from the bonusphere and is shooting .519 from the 3-point line in its last two games. The Seminoles have made seven shots from long range in both of their last two games – victories over Georgia State and Tennessee Tech. The Seminoles have now made at least seven 3-point shots in four different games (victories over Coastal Carolina, California, Georgia State and Tennessee Tech).

SEMINOLES CONTINUE TO LIMIT THEIR OPPONENTS FROM THE FIELD
Florida State limited Tennessee Tech to .350 shooting from the field in its victory over the Golden Eagles on Thursday. It marked the third consecutive game and the sixth time in the last seven games that the Seminoles defense had held their opponent under 40 percent shooting from the field. Only Northwestern – in the Seminoles only loss of the season – has shot better than 40 percent (.411) since Nov. 24. Florida State’s last seven opponents are shooting .371 (140-of-377) from the field. Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Charleston Southern ranked fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage defense with a mark of .376.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (9.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg; 10.8 ppg and 6.6 rpg in 5 victories at home in 2008-09)
F #42 Ryan Reid (8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg; 9.2 ppg and 4.0 rpg in five victories at home in 2008-09)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (7.1 ppg, 1.7 bpg; 9.6 ppg and 1.0 bpg in five victories at home in 2008-09)
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg; 3.8 ppg and 2.8 rpg in five victories at home in 2008-09)
G #23 Toney Douglas (18.8 ppg, 2.1 spg; 18.6 ppg and 2.4 spg in five victories at home in 2008-09)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Luke Loucks (4.3 ppg, 2.5 apg; 5.0 ppg and 2.8 apg in five victories at home in 2008-09)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg; 1.4 ppg and 2.2 rpg in five victories at home in 2008-09)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (2.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg; 2.8 ppg and 1.0 rpg in four games at home in 2008-09)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (4.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg; 7 pts and 4 asts in only home game of 2008-09 season)
G #21 Brian Hoff (0.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg; 0.0 pts and 0.5 rebounds in two home game in 2008-09)
F #41 Uche Echefu (8.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 8.2 ppg and 4.6 rpg in five victories at home in 2008-09)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
F #1 Kelvin Martin (10.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg; Buccaneer leader with 42 free throw attempts)
F #34 Omar Carter (16.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg; Buccaneer leader with 5.3 defensive rebounds per game avg.
C #33 Billy Blackmon (4.7ppg, 4.9 rpg; Buccaneer leader with .613 field goal shooting percentage)
G #5 Jamarco Warren (21.6 ppg, 2.2 apg; Buccaneer leader with 21.6 ppg scoring average)
G #23 Tovi Bailey (6.8 ppg, 3.5 apg; Buccaneer runner-up with 3.5 assists per game average)

FLORIDA STATE VS. CHARLESTON SOUTHERN- A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 4-0
Last Game: Jan. 18, 1984; Florida State 92, Charleston Southern 75
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 18, 1984; Florida State 92, Charleston Southern 75
Last Charleston Southern Win: None
Last Florida State Win in Tallahassee: Jan. 18, 1984; Florida State 92, Charleston Southern 75
Last Charleston Southern Win in Tallahassee: None
Current Streak: Florida State has won 4
Leonard Hamilton vs. Charleston Southern: First Meeting

FLORIDA STATE VS. CHARLESTON SOUTHERN – THE LAST GAME
Alton Lee Gipson led Florida State with a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Seminoles to a 92-75 victory over then Baptist College on Jan. 18, 1984 at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center. Gipson scored 18 second-half points to break open a close game at halftime. The Seminoles led 39-37 after the first 20 minutes of play. Also in double figures for the Seminoles were Randy Allen (18), Vince Martello (14) and Dean Shaffer (13). Jose Lara scored a game high 28 points and was one of two players in double figures for Baptist. Anthony Woods led Baptists with seven rebounds. After Baptist tied the game at 39 with the first basket of the second half, Florida State went on a 14-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half to take a commanding 53-43 lead. The Seminoles led by no less than eight points and led by as many as 20 in gaining the victory. Florida State outrebounded Baptist (40-37), had more steals (12-2), blocked more shots (4-0) and made more free throws (18) than Baptist attempted (seven) in earning the victory.

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