December 31, 2004 - by

Florida State Plays Host To Florida Sunday At 1 P.M.

Dec. 31, 2004

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won three consecutive home games, plays host to Florida in its second consecutive game against a team from the Southeastern Conference Sunday at 1 p.m. The Seminoles’ game against the Gators marks the 27th consecutive season the two teams have met in the sport of basketball – each year since a 68-61 Florida State win in Jacksonville on Dec. 9, 1978. The Seminoles’ series against the Gators is the second longest continuous series in school history (it began Dec. 29, 1951). Only Florida State’s all-time series against Stetson (which began Jan. 13, 1948) has run longer and only its series against Jacksonville (61 games against the Dolphins and 55 games against the Gators) has been played more frequently. Florida State’s game against Florida is its third against a team from SEC this season. The Seminoles defeated Ole Miss (69-64, Dec. 4) and played LSU in the Sugar Bowl Classic (50-67, Dec. 30). It marks the first time since the 1998-99 season when Florida State played Florida, Auburn and Mississippi State that the Seminoles have played three teams from the SEC in the same season. Following Sunday’s game against Florida, the Seminoles play 10 consecutive games against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference – the nation’s toughest and highest rated conference in college basketball – before stepping out of conference for the final time during the regular season and traveling to play at Massachusetts (Feb. 15). The Seminoles’ next two games are at home against Virginia Tech (Jan. 8, 7:00 p.m.) and Clemson (Jan. 12, 7:00 p.m.) with the meeting against the Hokes coming as a conference match-up for the first time.

FLORIDA STATE HAS WON ITS LAST THREE HOME GAMES
Florida State has won its last three home games as it has outscored its opponents by 28.3 points per game, outrebounded it three opponents by an average of 10 rebounds, shot .522 from the field, held its opponents to .361 shooting from the field, averaged more than seven 3-point field goals made per game and 18 assists per game.

FLORIDA STATE HOSTS FLORIDA AS CALENDAR TURNS TO 2005
Florida State plays host to Florida Sunday in its first game of the 2005 calendar year. The Seminoles have won six of their last nine games when the game is played as the first game of a calendar year. Among the biggest New Year victories in the last 10 years was a 66-64 victory over Wake Forest on Jan. 4, 2000.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Florida and win its first game against the Gators since Dec. 14, 1997;
…Defeat Florida and win its fourth consecutive home game. The Seminoles have defeated South Alabama (83-52, Dec. 16), Jacksonville (Dec. 21, 101-57) and Stetson (Dec. 23, 71-61) in their last three games at the Donald L. Tucker Center;
…Gain its second victory of the season against a team from the SEC. The Seminoles defeated Ole Miss (69-64, Dec. 4) and last defeated two SEC teams in the same season during the 1990-91 season when they defeated both Auburn and South Carolina.

SEMINOLES ARE TOUGH AT HOME UNDER HAMILTON
Florida State is 31-10 overall (.756 winning percentage) at home under Leonard Hamilton and has won 20 of its last 25 (.800) games in Tallahassee in the last two seasons. The Seminoles have defeated one top-five ranked team (No. 5 Duke, Feb, 2, 2003, 75-70), two top-10 ranked teams (No. 7 North Carolina, Jan. 22, 2004, 90-81 in overtime and No. 7 Wake Forest, Jan. 25, 2004, 75-70) and two more top-25 ranked teams (Georgia Tech, Feb. 3, 2004, 81-65 and No. 24 Maryland, Dec. 28, 2003, 79-75) during the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. The last time the Seminoles defeated the Gators in Tallahassee (Dec. 3, 1988), the Gators were ranked No. 19 in the nation.

FLORIDA STATE HAS WON ITS LAST THREE HOME GAMES
Led by Adam Waleskowski’s 15.3 points per game scoring average, Florida State has won its last three home games by an average of 28.3 points per game. The Seminoles have defeated South Alabama (Dec. 16, 83-52), Jacksonville (Dec. 21, 101-57) and Stetson (Dec. 23, 71-61) in their last thee home games to raise their record to 5-2 in the Donald L. Tucker Center this season. Waleskowski leads five Seminoles in double figure scoring in the last three home games with Von Wafer (14.0 ppg), Alexander Johnson (13.0), Anthony Richardson (13.0) and Al Thornton (12.0) all averaging in double figure scoring during the streak. Florida State came within one point (and one shot by Tim Pickett at the buzzer) of defeating Florida the last time the Seminoles and the Gators met in Tallahassee. Florida escaped with a one-point, 58-57 victory, when Tim Pickett’s last second shot bounced off the back of the iron as the Seminoles nearly won at home.

Seminoles Playing Well at Home
Category Last 3 Games Season Difference

Points/Game 85.5 72.8 +12.7
FG Pct. .522% .477% +0.45%
3FGM/Game 7.3 5.8 +1.5
3FG% .373% .354% +.019%
Rebounds/Game 39.0 36.0 +3.0
A:TO Ratio 1.1:1 0.8:1 +0.3:1
DF Scorers 5 1 +4

SEMINOLES’ DEFENSE SHIFTING INTO GEAR
Florida State’s defense has allowed only one opponent, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, to shoot above 40 percent from the field and enters Sunday’s game against Florida limiting its opponents to .395 shooting from the field. The Seminoles have held six of their first 13 opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field and held South Alabama to a .293 shooting percentage. Florida State limited Maryland, who is shooting better than .470 from the field for the season, to a season-low .400 shooting in taking the Terps to overtime in College Park on Dec. 19. Florida State has limited Florida to a .428 shooting percentage (71-of-166) from the field in the last three years.

SEMINOLES FROM THE 3-POINT LINE
Florida State is averaging 5.8 3-point field goal made per game and has made at least 3 shots from lone range in all 13 games this season. The Seminoles have made at least one 3-point field goals in all 75 games of the Leonard Hamilton era and have made at least one shot from the bonusphere in 209 consecutive games entering Sunday’s game against Florida. The last time the Seminoles failed to make a 3-point shot was against Duke on Jan. 10, 1998. Florida State has made 19 3-point shots for a 6.3 3-point field goals made per game average against Florida in the last three years.

SEMINOLES GOING TO THE GLASS
After pulling down a season-high 56 rebounds against Maryland (Dec. 19), Florida State has continued to rebound well in its recent games. The Seminoles outrebounded Jacksonville by three rebounds (36-33) and Stetson by four rebounds to mark the fourth consecutive team they had outrebounded. Florida State outrebounded South Alabama (Dec. 16) by a season-high 23 and bested Maryland by 12 in the ACC opener for both teams. Florida State is a combined +30 in the rebound category in its last five games after finishing its first eight games with a -17 mark and being outrebounded five times in its first eight games. Florida State and Florida are even (69-69) in rebounds in the last two games between the two teams despite the Gators’ rebound margin of +1.2 per game in 41 games during the last two seasons.

THE PLAY OF THE DAY
Florida State has appeared as one of ESPN’s top 10 Plays of the Day twice in the last three weeks. Freshman Isaiah Swann was recognized for his high-flying dunk against South Alabama on Dec. 16 as the fifth most exciting play of the day. Junior Antonio Griffin was then recognized as the third most exciting play for his alley-oop dunk from a Todd Galloway pass against Stetson on Dec. 23.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #20 Andrew Wilson (3.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg; 11 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida, 12/6/02)
F #25 Diego Romero (6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg; First career game vs. Florida)
F #32 Alexander Johnson (8.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg; 10 pts and 1 reb vs. Florida, 1/3/04)
G #4 Todd Galloway (5.6 ppg, 2.4 apg; 2 rebs and 2 assts vs. Florida, 12/6/02)
G #22 Von Wafer (10.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 8 pts and 1 asts vs. Florida, 1/3/04)
AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Isaiah Swann (6.4 ppg, 2.8 apg; First career game vs. Florida)
G #10 Ralph Mims (4.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg; First career game vs. Florida)
F #12 Al Thornton (7.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg; 2 pts and 1 reb vs. Florida, 1/3/04)
G #21 Jason Rich (7.0 ppg, 1.4 apg; First career game vs. Florida)
F #51 Adam Waleskowski (9.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg; 4 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida, 12/6/02)
F #54 Anthony Richardson (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg; 8 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida, 1/3/04)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA
F #2 Corey Brewer (6.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg; First career game against Florida State)
F #24 David Lee (13.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg; 18 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/3/04)
C #42 Al Horford (6.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg; First career game against Florida State)
G #1 Anthony Roberson (14.9 ppg, 2.9 apg; 28 pts and 2 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/3/04)
G #44 Matt Walsh (16.0 ppg. 3.1 rpg; 11 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/3/04)

FLORIDA STATE VS. FLORIDA – A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida leads the series, 37-18
Last Game: Jan. 3, 2004; Florida 87, Florida State 73
Last Florida State Win: Dec. 14, 1997; Florida State 83, Florida 81
Last Florida Win: Jan. 3, 2004; Florida 87, Florida State 73
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: Dec. 3, 1988; Florida State 104, Florida 86
Last Florida Win In New Tallahassee: Dec. 6, 2002; Florida 58, Florida State 57
Florida State vs. Florida, Current Streak: Florida has won 6
Leonard Hamilton vs. Florida: 0-3

FLORIDA STATE VS. FLORIDA – THE LAST FOUR GAMES
Jan. 3, 2004 Dec. 6, 2002 Nov. 16, 2001 Nov. 17, 2000
at Florida 87 Florida 58 at Florida 67 Florida 85
Florida State 73 at Florida State 57 Florida State 48 at Florida State 70

FLORIDA STATE VS. FLORIDA – THE LAST MEETING
Anthony Roberson scored a career-high 28 points and No. 14 Florida defeated No. 25 Florida State in a 87-73 victory. Roberson made seven 3-pointers to help the Gators win their fourth straight. Tim Pickett scored a season-high 25 points for the Seminoles. The teams played back and forth for most of the first 30 minutes. Only when Adrian Moss made an 8-footer did the Gators go ahead 60-50 for their first double-digit lead of the game. Moss’ basket was part of a 21-8 Florida run. Roberson had 20 points by halftime. He reached the 20-point mark at the buzzer this time, taking a feed from Matt Walsh and hitting a 3 from the corner for a 39-33 lead. David Lee had 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Florida. Although the Seminoles fell short, they showed their 10-0 start to the season wasn’t a fluke. Pickett was tenacious, and the front line of Michael Joiner (seven points, five rebounds) and Anthony Richardson (eight points, five rebounds) banged around effectively with the lighter Gators.

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