January 8, 2009 - by
Florida State Plays Host To Duke Saturday At 2:00 P.M.

Jan. 8, 2009




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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has defeated 12 ranked teams under head coach Leonard Hamilton, plays host to No. 2/2 Duke in the Seminoles ACC opener on Saturday Jan. 10, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Duke having won two of its last three games against the Blue Devils in the last three seasons. The Seminoles defeated No. 1/1 Duke (March 1, 2006, 79-74) in Tallahassee during the 2005-06 season and stopped the No. 8/8 Blue Devils (Feb. 4, 2007, 68-67) in Durham during the 2007-08 season. The Seminoles are 1-1 against ranked teams at home this season with a victory over No. 21/23 Florida (Dec. 7, 57-55) and a loss to current No. 1/1 Pittsburgh (Dec. 21, 56-48) and have defeated at least one ranked team in 19 consecutive seasons. The Seminoles held Pittsburgh to its lowest offensive output of the season and the margin of victory for the Panthers in that game was their smallest of their non-conference season and second-smallest of the season through their first 14 games. Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Duke with 13 wins and an 867 winning percentage. The Seminoles’ 13 victories tied the school record for non-conference wins and set a school record for the earliest date 13 wins had been achieved by the basketball team at Florida State. Following Saturday’s game against No. 2/2 Duke, the Seminoles travel to NC State (Jan. 13, 7:00 p.m.) before playing host to Maryland (Jan. 17, 12 Noon) as their first eight ACC games are split evenly between home (four) and road (four games).

ALL-ACC CANDIDATE TONEY DOUGLES AMONG ACC LEADERS
Senior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas leads the ACC in 20+ point scoring games with eight, is second in steals (30), third in scoring (18.4 pg), tied for fourth in steals per game (2.0 spg), fifth in 3-point field goals per game (2.1) and second in minutes played (35.2 mpg). With his career-high 18.4 points per game average, Douglas is one of only five players to rank in the ACC’s top-10 in scoring in each of the last two seasons. He finished his junior season ranked ninth in the ACC with a 15.4 points per game and has increased his scoring average by 3.0 points per game. In addition, his 30 steals this season give him 120 in the last two years (49 games) and a 2.5 steals per game average since the start of the 2007-08 season.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat No. 2/2 Duke and gain a victory over a top-10 ranked Blue Devil team for the third time in the last four seasons. The Seminoles defeated No. 1/1 Duke on March 6, 2006 and No. 8/8 Duke on Feb. 4, 2007;
…Defeat No. 2/2 Duke and earn a victory over a top-10 ranked Duke team for the second time in the last three games. Florida State defeated No. 1 ranked Duke on March 1, 2006, did not play Duke at home during the 2006-07 season and fell to the No. 7 ranked Blue Devils on Jan. 16, 2008;
…Defeat No. 2/2 Duke and defeat a second ranked team this season after defeating No. 21/23 Florida earlier this season. It would mark the second time in the last three seasons that the Seminoles had defeated multiple ranked teams in the same season;
…Defeat No. 2/2 Duke and gain its fifth win over a top-five ranked team under head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles have two wins over the nation’s No. 1 ranked team (Duke on Feb. 2, 2003 and March 6, 2006), a victory over the nation’s No. 3 ranked team (Wake Forest on Jan. 18, 2005) and a win over the nation’s No. 4 ranked team (Florida on Dec. 3, 2006) in the last six seasons.

FLORIDA STATE VS. RANKED TEAMS
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against No. 2/2 Duke with 12 wins over nationally ranked opponents during the first seven years of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Included in those 12 wins by Hamilton-coached teams are victories over No. 1 ranked Duke (79-74, March 1, 2006), No. 3 ranked Wake Forest (91-83 in overtime, Jan. 18, 2005), No. 4 ranked Florida (70-66, Dec. 3, 2006) and a victory over the No. 5 ranked Blue Devils during the 2002-03 season (75-70, Feb. 2, 2003). The Seminoles defeated No. 21 Florida 57-55 on Dec. 3 – earlier this season in the Donald L. Tucker Center.

HAMILTON AGAINST RANKED TEAMS
Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton has 31 career victories against ranked teams including nine against top-10 ranked teams at the time of the game. He gained two victories over ranked teams as the head coach at Oklahoma State, 17 as the head coach at Miami and 12 as the Seminoles’ head coach.

COUNTING UP HAMILTON’S VICTORIES
Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton enters Saturday’s game against No. 2/2 Duke with 319 career victories with 31 (nearly 10 percent) coming against ranked teams. In his first six plus years as the Seminoles’ head coach, he was won 119 games with 12 (more than 10 percent) coming against ranked teams.

HAMILTON RANKED 24TH IN ACC HISTORY IN COACHING VICTORIES
Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, who has led Florida State to 119 victories in his first six plus seasons in Tallahassee, ranks 24th in ACC history with 119 overall victories. The Seminoles’ victory over Wake Forest in the 2008 ACC Tournament moved him into the 25th spot and made him Florida State’s winningest coach since the Seminoles joined the ACC for the 1992 season. A victory over Duke would move Hamilton into a tie for 23rd place with former Virginia head coach Bill Gibson.

FLORIDA STATE AT HOME IN THE LAST FOUR SEASONS
Florida State is 52-12 (.813 winning percentage) at the Donald L. Tucker Center in the last four seasons. The Seminoles are 15-9 (.625 winning percentage) in ACC games at the Donald L. Tucker Center and 37-3 (.941 winning percentage) in non-ACC games at home in the last four seasons. The Seminoles have wins over 10 of the 11 ACC opponents that have come to the Tucker Center including Duke (when they were ranked No. 1 on March 1, 2006), Clemson and Virginia Tech (when they were ranked in the nation’s top 20 during the 2006-07) season and Florida (when they were ranked No. 4 in 2006-07 and this season).

IN THE ACC UNDER Leonard Hamilton
Florida State finished the 2007-08 season with a 7-9 record in ACC play to mark the third consecutive season they have won at least seven games in ACC play for the first time in school history.

FLORIDA STATE’S DEFENSIVE DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Florida State’s defense has imposed its will on its opponents lately as it has recorded two double-doubles (blocked shots at steals) in its last five games. The Seminoles earned 12 blocked shots and 12 steals in its victory over Charleston Southern (Dec. 18) and totaled 10 blocked shots and 13 steals in its victory over Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Jan. 3).

FLORIDA STATE’S BLOCKABILITY
Florida State, which leads the ACC with 101 blocked shots, has blocked more than three times the amount of blocked shots by its opponents. The Seminoles have blocked 101 shots as compared to 33 by its opponents. With 101 blocked shots, the Seminoles have blocked more than twice as many shots as NC State (48). Center Solomon Alabi has blocked nearly as many shots by himself (31) than the Seminoles’ first 15 opponents have combined for (33).

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (9.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg; First career game vs. Duke)
F #42 Ryan Reid (7.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 6 pts and 4 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 16, 2008)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (6.9 ppg, 2.1 bpg; First career game vs. Duke)
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (4.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 0 pts and 1 reb vs. Duke, Jan. 16, 2008)
G #23 Toney Douglas (18.4 ppg, 2.0 spg; 15 pts and 2 stls vs. Duke, Feb. 4, 2007)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Luke Loucks (4.3 ppg, 2.6 apg; First career game vs. Duke)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (2.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg; First career game vs. Duke)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (3.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg; First career game vs. Duke)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg; First career game vs. Duke)
G #21 Brian Hoff (0.9 ppg, 0.3 rpg; First career game vs. Duke)
F #41 Uche Echefu (7.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 12 pts and 6 rebs vs. Duke, Feb. 4, 2007)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR DUKE
F #12 Kyle Singler (16.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg; 10 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 16, 2008)
F #15 Gerald Henderson (12.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg; 11 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 16, 2008)
C #55 Brian Zoubek (7.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg; 3 pts and 1 reb vs. Florida State, Feb. 4, 2007)
G #2 Nolan Smith (10.6 ppg, 2.3 apg; 4 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 16, 2008)
G #30 Jon Scheyer (14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg; 21 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 16, 2008)


FLORIDA STATE VS. DUKE - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Duke leads, 26-6
Last Game: Jan. 16, 2008; Duke 70, at Florida State 57
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 4, 2007; Florida State 68, at Duke 67
Last Duke Win: Jan. 16, 2008; Duke 70, at Florida State 57
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: March 1, 2006; at Florida State 79, Duke 76
Last Duke Win In Tallahassee: Jan. 16, 2008; Duke 79, at Florida State 57
Current Streak: Duke has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. Duke: 3-5 (all at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. DUKE – THE LAST GAME
Jon Scheyer scored 21 points and four teammates combined to make eight straight free throws in the final 1:34 to beat Florida State 70-57 and snap a two-game losing streak to the Seminoles. Florida State took its only lead of the second half at 55-54 on Jason Rich’s layup with 3:45 left before Duke put the game away with a closing 16-2 run. Kyle Singler’s 3-pointer put the Blue Devils ahead for good with 3:30 to play. Duke nearly blew a 17-point lead it built in the first half on a 16-0 run led by Scheyer, who had 10 points on a variety of shots in a span of just 1:35. The Blue Devils led 34-22 at halftime before Rich, who had all 18 of his points in the second half, keyed the comeback by Florida State. Toney Douglas added 13 points for Florida State while Uche Echefu scored six points and added seven rebounds. Gerald Henderson added 11 points and Singler had 10 for Duke. Henderson’s eight rebounds helped the Blue Devils to a 44-32 advantage on the boards.

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