November 13, 2006 - by

Florida State Plays Host To Illinois State In Colonial Classic

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Nov. 13, 2006

TALLAHASSE, Fla. –
Florida State, which defeated McNeese State (85-65) in the first round of the Colonial Classic Sunday night in Tallahassee, plays host to Illinois State in the second round of the event at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles and SMU were winners on the first night of the three-day, six-team tournament which concludes Tuesday. Following Monday’s game against Illinois State, the Seminoles play host to SMU in the final game of the Tallahassee portion of the event Tuesday at 7:30. Florida State then completes play in the event as they travel to play at Pittsburgh Nov. 24. The Panthers are hosting an identical three-day, six-team tournament in Pittsburgh Nov. 17-19. Following their participation in the Tallahassee portion of the Colonial Classic, the Seminoles play host to New Orleans on Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday Nov. 12                     Monday Nov. 13             Tuesday Nov. 14
Illinois St. (55) vs. SMU (57)     McNeese St. vs. SMU        Illinois St. vs. McNeese St.
McNeese St. (65) vs. Fla St. (85)  Illinois St. vs. Fla. St.  SMU vs. Fla. St.

THORNTON SPARKS SEMINOLES IN VICTORY OVER MCNEESE STATE
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton scored a team-high 17 points to lead Florida State to its’ season opening 85-65 victory over McNeese State in the first round of the Colonial Classic in Tallahassee. It marked the 26th time in the last 31 games (.839 percent) that Thornton has scored in double figures and the 15th time in the last 31 games (.484) that he has led the Seminoles in scoring. Thornton came within three rebounds of his 11th career double-double as he finished the game with 17 points and seven rebounds.

VISIT Al Thornton IN CYBERSPACE AT althornton12.com
See Florida State’s All-America candidate Al Thornton in cyberspace at althornton12.com which was launched Nov. 10 in conjunction with the beginning of men’s basketball practice for the 2006-07 season. The exciting new web page contains many exciting features on Thornton including his fact-packed biography, the many magazine and newspaper features he has appeared in, a colorful and exciting photo gallery and a mailbag section in which fans from around the world can ask the talented forward questions and return to see the answers on the site.

MIMS MOVES INTO FOURTH ON SEMINOLES FREE THROW SHOOTING LIST
Buoyed by his perfect two-of two performance from the free throw line against McNeese State in the first game of the Colonial Classic, junior guard Ralph Mims has moved into fourth place in school history with his .8137 career free throw shooting percentage. He moves past Jerry Shirley (.8131)

Seminoles At 80 Percent Or Above From The Free Throw Line
1.   Ken Leakey            1964-66    75-91       .8241
2.   Granville Arnold      1983-85    161-197     .8172
3.   Tim Pickett           2003-04    140-172     .8139
4.   Ralph Mims            2005-06    83-102      .8137
5.   Jerry Shirley         1963-65    161-198     .8131

STELLAR NOTES FROM THE SEMINOLES’ VICTORY OVER MCNEESE STATE
…Florida State shot .667 from the field (20-of-30) in the second half of its victory over McNeese State. After shooting only .400 percent from the field in the first half, the Seminoles made eight more field goals (20-12) in the same amount of attempts (30-30) in the second half as compared to the first half;
…Florida State shot .857 from the free throw line in the second half as it made its first six free throw attempts of the half before missing with 1:24 remaining in the second half. The Seminoles shot .762 from the line for the game;
…Florida State finished its victory over McNeese State with 13 assists and only 12 turnovers. It marked only the eighth time in the last two seasons (32 games) that the Seminoles had finished a game with more assists than turnovers. The Seminoles had 21 assists and only 16 turnovers in their exhibition game victory over Nova Southeastern on Nov. 7;
…Florida State has now won five consecutive season openers – each season opener during the Leonard Hamilton era;
… All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton led the Seminoles in rebounds with seven against McNeese State. It marked the 14th time in the last 32 games (last two season) that Thornton has led the team in rebounding.

FLORIDA STATE AT HOME UNDER HAMILTON
Florida State is 31-5 (.861 winning percentage) in non-conference home games under Leonard Hamilton during his now five-year career as the Seminoles’ head coach. The Seminoles enter Monday night’s game against Illinois State having won 10 consecutive regular season non-conference home games – a steak that began with an 83-52 victory over South Alabama on Dec. 16, 2004. The Seminoles were 14-3 at home (.824 winning percentage) during the 2005-06 season with one of its victories coming against No. 1 ranked Duke (79-74, March 1, 2006).

SEMINOLES TURN UP THE HEAT ON MCNEESE STATE
Florida State’s defense, a Leonard Hamilton trademark, limited McNeese State to .407 shooting from the field, .235 shooting from the 3-point line and forced 17 turnovers in the Seminoles’ victory over the Cowboys. The Seminoles limited McNeese to a .323 mark from the field and 10 field goals in the second half of their victory on Sunday. The defensive field goal percentage hopefully began a return to normalcy for a Hamilton-coached team. While the head coach at Miami, his final four teams ranked nationally in field goal percentage defense including his 1997-98 team that ranked No. 1in the nation in the field goal defense category.

ECHEFU SCORES HIS CAREER HIGH IN HIS FIRST START
Sophomore Uche Echefu scored his career-high of 14 points as he made the first start of his career against McNeese State. The talented post player made five field goals and was perfect from both the bonusphere (two-of-two) and the free throw line. In a span of 52 seconds early in the second half, Echefu made two 3-point shots to help the Seminoles push a four-point (43-39) lead to a 10-point lead (49-39) with 15:25 left in the game. Echefu established career-highs for points scored (14), field goals made (five), field goals attempted (seven) and 3-pooint field goals made (two) while tying his career-high for minutes played (20).

DOUGLAS NEARLY PERFECT FROM THE FIELD IN HIS SEMINOLE DEBUT
Sophomore guard Toney Douglas was nearly perfect form the field (six-of-seven) in scoring 12 points as he made his Seminole debut against McNeese. He was one of four Seminoles in double-figure scoring (also Thornton, Echefu and Jason Rich) as he scored eight of his 12 points in the second half of the game. Douglas was a perfect four-of-four from the field in the second half of the Seminoles’ victory over McNeese State. Douglas now averaged 13.5 points per game in season openers after scoring 15 in the first game of his career against Temple (while at Auburn) to begin the 2004-05 season. Douglas has now scored in double figures in four consecutive and 24 of 32 (.750 percent) career games.

DEBUTING SEMINOLES
Sophomore guard Toney Douglas (12 points and three assists) and freshman forward Ryan Reid (four points and one rebound) made their debuts for Florida State against McNeese State. The pair was nearly perfect from the floor (a combined eight of nine, .889) and played a combined total of 35 minutes.

SWANN CONTINUES TO LEAD SEMINOLES IN STEALS
Florida State junior Isaiah Swann earned two steals in the Seminoles’ season-opening victory over McNeese State to lead team. He now has 73 career steals in 62 career games – an average of 1.17 steals per game for his career.

LORIDA STATE WHEN MIMS HITS FROM THE 3-POINT LINE
Seminole junior guard Ralph Mims tied his career-high with two made 3-point field goals against McNeese State. Florida State was 5-0 during the 2005-06 season and is 8-2 during his career when Mims hits a 3-point shot.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATEM
F	#12	Al Thornton (16.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg in 05-06; Earned All-ACC 2nd Team Honors as junior)
F	#41     Uche Echefu (2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg; in 05-06; Played in 29 of 30 games as an FSU freshman)
G	#3	Isaiah Swann (8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg in 05-06; Has played in 61 consec. Gms. entering 06-07)
G	#23	Toney Douglas (16.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg in 04-05; Transfer from Auburn and sat out 05-06)
G	#25	Jason Rich (10.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg in 05-06; Second leading returning scorer for FSU)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G	#10	Ralph Mims (3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg in 05-06; Team leader in free throw pct. in last two seasons)
G	#11	Jerel Allen (3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg in 05-06; Played in all 30 FSU games as a transfer in 06-07)
F	#15	Casaan Breeden (2.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg; Played in 22 of 30 games as an FSU freshman on 05-06)
F	#42	Ryan Reid (4 pts and 1 reb in FSU debut against McNeese State, 11-12-06)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR ILLINOIS STATE
F	#4	Anthony Slack (9.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg; Colonial Classic High 12 rebounds vs. SMU, 11-12-06)
F	#50	Greg Dilligard (4.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg; Perfect tow-of-two from the field vs. SMU, 11-12-06)
G	#1	Roberto Fortes (6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg; Third leading rebounder against SMU, 11-12-06)
G	#5	Boo Richardson (10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg; Second leading scorer vs. SUM, 11-12-06)
G	#10	Dominitrix Johnson (15.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg; Team leader with 15 points vs. SMU, 11-12-06)

FLORIDA STATE VS. ILLINOIS STATE - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 2-1
Last Game: Feb. 12, 1976; Florida State 109, ISU 81
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 12, 1976; Florida State 109, ISU 81
Last Illinois State Win: Feb. 2, 1976; ISU 82, Florida State 80
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: Feb. 12, 1976; Florida State 109, ISU 81
Last Illinois State Win In Tallahassee: None
Current Streak vs. Illinois State: Florida State has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. Illinois State: First Meeting

FLORIDA STATE RECENTLY VS. THE MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE
Florida State plays host to Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Conference to in the second round of the Colonial Classic. It marks the second time in the last four seasons (all under Leonard Hamilton) the Seminoles will play a team from the MVC. The Seminoles defeated Wichita State in the first round of the 2004 NIT (March 17, 2004; 91-84 in 2OT) to advance to the second round of the event.

FLORIDA STATE VS. THE MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE
Florida State is 11-6 (.647 winning percentage) all-time against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Seminoles’ last game against a team from the MVC came as a victory over Wichita State on March 17, 2004. The Seminoles also have victories over Evansville (March 18, 1993), Illinois State (Dec. 3, 1974 and Feb. 12, 1976), Southern Illinois (Jan. 27, 1973) and Western Kentucky (six victories). Entering Monday’s game against Illinois State, the Seminoles have won three straight against MVC teams with their 2004 win over Wichita State, a 1993 victory over Evansville and a 1976 victory over Illinois State.

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