Jan. 20, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has a 7-0 record at home this season, plays host to No. 23 North Carolina in a game nationally televised by Fox Sports on Sunday Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. The game is part of Fox Sports’ ACC Sunday Night Hoops package. The Seminoles have won eight straight games at the Donald L. Tucker Center – seven this season and their final home game of the 2004-05 season against Virginia. The Seminoles enter Sunday’s game having won nine of their last 11 games including two of their four ACC games this season. Florida State plays host to North Carolina in its second ACC home game of the season after splitting a pair of conference games on the road at Virginia (Jan. 11, 87-82 in overtime) and at Boston College (Jan. 14, 87-90). The Seminoles game against the Tar Heels is their first at home since they defeated Virginia Tech (Jan. 7, 74-68) and only their second since defeating Campbell (Dec. 22, 108-73) prior to the holiday break. Florida State is averaging 88.0 points scored and holds a margin of victory of +25.0 points per game in its seven victories at home this season. The Seminoles have scored at least 74 points in each of its seven home games and scored a season-high 108 in their victory over Campbell. Following Sunday’s game against North Carolina, the Seminoles travel to play at Wake Forest (Jan. 24, 7 p.m.) before returning home and playing host to Miami (Jan. 29, 4:30 p.m.).
THORNTON NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
All-ACC candidate Al Thornton, who averaged 29.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as the Seminoles split a pair of ACC road games is this week’s ACC Player of the Week. The junior scored a career-high 37 points, hitting on 15-of-18 from the floor, and pulled down six rebounds in Saturday’s 90-87 loss at 15th-ranked Boston College. Earlier in the week, the Perry, Ga., native had 22 points and nine rebounds in an 87-82 overtime win at Virginia, marking Florida State’s first win in Charlottesville since 1998. Thornton is averaging 16.9 points per game (including 23.0 in four ACC games) and 7.8 rebounds per game. It marks the first time during his career that he has earned ACC Player of the Week honors. Thornton’s 37 points on the road against the Eagles is tied for the 13th best single-game scoring effort in school history and while his 15 field goals (also a career-high) are tied for the 10th best single game effort in school history. His 37 points are the most scored by a Seminole player in a single game since Ron Hale scored 37 at Wake Forest on Jan. 4, 2000 and tied Hale’s school record for points scored in an ACC game by a Florida State player.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat North Carolina and gain its 12th victory of the season. The Seminoles won a total of 12 games during the 2004-05 season with their 12th victory of the season coming on March 6 against Virginia;
…Defeat North Carolina and earn a victory over a ranked team for the 15th consecutive season. The Seminoles have defeated at least one ranked team each year since the 1990-91season;
…Defeat North Carolina and beat a ranked team at home for the ninth time in the last five years in the Donald L. Tucker Center. Included on that victory list is a win over No. 7 North Carolina on Jan. 22, 2004 (90-81 in overtime).
FLORIDA STATE RECEIVES VOTES IN THIS WEEK’S ESPN/USA TODAY POLL
Florida State received one vote in this week’s ESPN/USA Today men’s basketball national coaches’ poll this week. The Seminoles are ranked as the nation’s 43rd best team and are among eight ACC teams included in the poll. It marks the third consecutive week the Seminoles have earned votes in the coaches’ poll – last week the Seminoles earned three votes. Florida State most recently earned a national ranking of No. 25 during the week of Dec. 29, 2003. The Seminoles’ highest national ranking of No. 2 came in the Associated Press poll for three weeks at the beginning of the 1972-73 season.
Florida State enters Sunday night’s game against North Carolina with eight wins over nationally ranked teams at home in Tallahassee in the last four years. Included in those eight victories is a win over No. 7 North Carolina (Jan. 22, 2004; 90-81 in overtime) and the first victory in school history over a No. 1 ranked team as the Seminoles beat Duke during the 2001-02 season (Jan. 6, 2002; 77-76).
SEMINOLES SCORCHING THE BASKET FROM THE FIELD
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against North Carolina ranked second in the ACC with a .506 field goal shooting percentage. The Seminoles have shot 50 percent or better in seven different games this season and have shot below 45 percent only once in their last nine games. Florida State shot .600 percent (30-of-50) from the floor in its victory over Virginia (Jan. 11, 87-82 in overtime) and shot a season-high .603 from the field (35-of-58) in their victory over Purdue in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge (Nov. 29, 97-57). The Seminoles have shot below 45 percent from the field only twice this season – in victories over Jacksonville (Nov. 19, .412, 78-48 victory) and Virginia Tech (Jan. 7, .429, 74-68 victory). The Seminoles are ranked second in the ACC with a .506 mark after ranking fourth in the ACC with a .452 mark during the 2004-05 season.
SEMINOLES FINDING THEIR STROKE FROM 3-POINT RANGE
Led by its starting five, Florida State is shooting .531 (17-of-32) from 3-point range in its last two games and are ranked fourth in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage with a .378 mark entering Sunday’s game against North Carolina. After making only one 3-point shot against Clemson, the Seminoles are averaging 7.0 3-point field goals made it their last three games. The Seminoles starting five (Al Thornton, Alexander Johnson, Isaiah Swann, Todd Galloway and Jason Rich) are shooting a combined .517 (15-of-29) from the bonusphere in the last two games. Florida State is ranked fourth in the ACC in 3-point field goal shooting percentage with a .378 mark and 6.5 3-point field goals made per game after ranking fifth in the ACC last year with a .359 and a 6.5 3-point field goals made average.
SEMINOLES FROM THE 3-POINT LINE
Florida State has made at least one 3-point field goal in 251 consecutive games. The last time the Seminoles finished a game without making a 3-point field goal was against Duke on Jan. 10, 1998. Florida State was 10-of-22 from the 3-point line against North Carolina on March 3, 2005. Isaiah Swann and Adam Waleskowski made three 3-point field goals each against the Tar Heels.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE... F #12 Al Thornton (16.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg; 19 pts and 6 rebs vs. North Carolina, 3/3/05) F #32 Alexander Johnson (10.8 ppg, 5.4 ppg; 15 pts and 5 rebs vs. North Carolina, 1/21/04) G #3 Isaiah Swann (9.0 ppg, 3.1 apg; 11 pts and 3 stls vs. North Carolina, 3/3/05) G #4 Todd Galloway (8.1 ppg, 3.6 apg; 7 pts and 6 asts vs. North Carolina, 3/3/05) G #21 Jason Rich (9.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 8 pts and 3 rebs vs. North Carolina, 3/3/05) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #20 Andrew Wilson (6.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg; 24 pts and 2 asts vs. North Carolina. 2/21/04) F #25 Diego Romero (5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 5 pts and 3 rebs vs. North Carolina, 2/6/05) G #10 Ralph Mims (4.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg; 2 pts and 1 asts vs. North Carolina, 3/3/05) G #11 Jerel Allen (3.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg; First career game vs. North Carolina) F #15 Casaan Breeden (3.9 ppg, 21.8 rpg; First career game vs. North Carolina) F #41 Uche Echefu (2.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg; First career game vs. North Carolina)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR NORTH CAROLINA F #3 Rayshawn Terry (13.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. Florida State, 3/3/05) F #34 David Noel (12.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg; 11 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, 2/21/04) F/G #50 Tyler Hansbrough (17.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg; First career game vs. Florida State) G #1 Marcus Ginyard (7.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg; First career game vs. Florida State) G #4 Bobby Frasor (7.5 ppg, 4.8 apg; First career game vs. Florida State)
FLORIDA STATE VS. NORTH CAROLINA -- A SERIES HISTORY The Series: North Carolina leads, 33-8 Last Game: March 3, 2005; North Carolina 91, Florida State 76 Last Florida State Win: Jan. 22, 2004; Florida State 90, Florida State 81 Last North Carolina Win: March 3, 2005; North Carolina 91, Florida State 76 Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: Jan. 22, 2004; Florida State 90, Florida State 81 Last North Carolina Win In Tallahassee: Feb. 6, 2005; North Carolina 81, Florida State 60 Florida State vs. North Carolina, Current Streak: North Carolina has won 3 Leonard Hamilton vs. North Carolina: 1-6
FLORIDA STATE VS. NORTH CAROLINA – THE LAST GAME
Sean May scored a career-high 32 points and had 12 rebounds to help No. 2 North Carolina beat Florida State 91-76, on March 3, 2005 in Chapel Hill. Freshman Marvin Williams added 17 points and Raymond Felton had 15 for the Tar Heels. Al Thornton scored 19 points to lead the Seminoles. North Carolina had all kinds of trouble early with the pesky Seminoles, who seemingly could not miss in the first half and led 54-52 with about 13 minutes to play. But the Tar Heels played better defensively in the second half, going ahead to stay on a 3-pointer from Melvin Scott and gradually building a double-digit margin. May was key in that effort, going 13-for-15 and finishing with his seventh straight double-double. That included hitting all 10 of his shots in the second half, and scoring 12 points in a decisive run that put the Tar Heels ahead 81-68 with about four minutes left. Florida State certainly surprised the Tar Heels in the first half, shooting 60 percent and hitting eight 3-pointers to lead 44-41 at the break. Adam Waleskowski and Thornton led that effort, combining for 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting.