December 7, 2002 - by
Florida State Plays Host To Miami In Men’s Basketball Sunday

Dec. 7, 2002


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State plays host to the Miami Hurricanes in its fifth of eight consecutive home games to begin the 2002-03 season. The Seminoles play their first eight games of the season at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center marking the longest homestand in school history. Leonard Hamilton, in his first season as Florida State’s head coach, faces Miami for the first time as an opposing head coach after spending 10 years (1991-2000) as the Hurricanes’ head men’s basketball coach. Following Sunday’s game against Miami, the Seminoles begin their semester exam period and see action next against Birmingham Southern Dec. 15 at the Civic Center.


LEONARD HAMILTON AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
First-year Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton had a 144-147 record (.495 winning percentage) as the head coach at the University of Miami from 1991-2000. Hamilton engineered one of the great success stories in college basketball when he took over the Hurricanes program prior to the 1990-91 season. Miami did not have a men’s basketball team from 1971-85 and had just two winning season in five years before Hamilton arrived from Oklahoma State. While the head coach at Miami, Hamilton guided the Hurricanes to six winning seasons (in 10 years), three NCAA Tournament births and two NIT births. Hamilton earned National Coach of the Year and Big East Coach of the Year honors twice and led the Hurricanes to consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1965 and for only the fifth time in school history. In addition to Hamilton spending 10 seasons at Miami, Seminole associated head coach Stan Jones and assistant coaches Mike Jaskulski and Tony Sheals have also spent part of their coaching careers at Miami.


WHEN FACING TEAMS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Florida State faces Miami Sunday in its second battle of intra-state schools in as many games. Florida State fell to Florida, 58-57, Friday night and play host to Miami Sunday. It marks the third time since the 1994-95 season the Seminoles have face teams from the state of Florida in consecutive games. It also marks only the second time in school history the Seminoles face Florida and Miami on consecutive days. The Seminoles split with the Hurricanes (71-66 win, Dec. 20, 1954) and the Gators (79-82 loss, Dec. 27, 1954) on their way to a 22-4 overall record and an appearance in the national NAIA Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.


LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Win its 14th consecutive home game against the University of Miami. The Seminoles are 20-3 in Tallahassee against the Hurricanes and have not lost at home since Jan. 16, 1960;
…Win its fourth consecutive game against Miami in games played in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center. The building opened in 1981 and the Seminoles are 3-0 against the Hurricanes in the building;
…Allow Leonard Hamilton to defeat one of the teams he has coached at during his career for the first time. He was an assistant coach at Austin Peay (but has never faced them as a head coach) and Kentucky (he is 0-2 as a head coach against the Wildcats) and a head coach at Oklahoma State (has never faced the Cowboys as a head coach), Miami (He faces Miami for the first time as a head coach Sunday) and has never faced Florida State as a head coach. Hamilton, did though, help Kentucky defeat Florida State three times as an assistant coach.


SEMINOLES LIMIT FLORIDA FROM THE FIELD
Florida State limited No. 8 Florida to 34.5 percent shooting from the field and 58 total points Friday night. The Seminoles held the Gators nearly 15 percentage points below their season field goal shooting percentage of .493 (entering the game) and held them to 21.5 points below their season average of 79.5 points per game.


Seminoles Defense Vs. Gators Offense
Category Gators Entering Game Gators vs. Seminoles Difference

Field Goal Pct. .493 .345 -.148
3-Point Field Goal Pct. .381 .333 -.048
Field Goals Made/Game 28.6 20 -8.6
Steals/Game 9.2 8 -1.2
Blocks/Game 5.5 2 -3.5


SEMINOLES CONTINUE TO SCORE IN THE PAINT
Florida State outscored Florida, 28-14, in the paint and has outscored three of its four opponents in the paint this season. The Seminoles are averaging 32.5 points per game in the paint and have outscored its opponents by an average of 13.0 points per game.


Seminoles In The Paint
Opponent FSU Opponent Difference

Savannah State 34 12 +26
Mercer 42 24 +18
Iowa 26 32 -6
Florida 28 14 +14
Totals 130/32.5 ppg 82/20.5 ppg 52/13.0ppg


HAMILTON WANTS TO KEEP OPPONENTS FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DOWN
Leonard Hamilton, Florida State’s first year head coach, led the University of Miami to a No. 1 national ranking in field goal percentage defense among all NCAA Division I teams during the 1997-98 season. The Hurricanes’ defense held its opponents to a .379 shooting mark from the field as Miami advanced to the NCAA Tournament with an 18-10 record. Hamilton’s Seminoles enters Sunday’s game against the Hurricanes allowing its opponents to shoot only .342 from the field. Only Iowa, which shot .455 from the field Dec. 2, has shot above 40 percent from the field against Florida State this season. Both Savannah State and Mercer were held below .300 percent shooting from the field.


Seminoles’ Opponents From The Field
Team FGM-A Pct. Notes

Savannah State 17-57 .298 Tigers shot .222 in 1st Half
Mercer 16-58 .276 Mercer held to 5 FG in 1st Half
Iowa 25-55 .455 Iowa made only 12 FG in 1st Half
Florida 20-58 .345 Gators shot .333 (8-29) in 1st Half
Totals 78-228 .342 FSU FG% Def. Was .441 last season (-.099)


SEMINOLES SHOWING IMPROVEMENT ALL OVER COURT
Through its first four games, Florida State has increased most of its statistics when compared to the 2001-02 season. The Seminoles’ increases across the board have helped the Seminoles race to a 3-1 record entering Sunday’s game against Miami.


SEMINOLES WITH POSITIVE ASSIST:TURNOVER RATIO
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Miami with a 1.2:1 assist:turnover ratio. The Seminoles ranke third in the ACC in assists per game (16.5) and third in turnover ratio (1.2). After finishing ninth in assists and seventh in turnover ratio last season, the Seminoles have worked hard to turn themselves around in these two categories. Florida State has not finished a season with a positive turnover ratio since the 1995-96 season.


SEMINOLES’ SURA IN ELITE CLASS
Bob Sura is the only player in Florida State history and one of only four players in ACC history to score at least 2,000 points and earn at least 200 career steals. Sura scored a school-record 2,130 points and had 209 steals. Only Christian Laettner of Duke, Juan Dixon of Maryland and Mark Price of Georgia Tech join Sura on that elite list.

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