January 21, 2004 - by
Florida State Plays Host To North Carolina Thursday At 7 P.M.

Jan. 21, 2004

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Florida State, which has defeated one top-10 team in the Tallahassee Leon County Center in both of the last two years, plays host to No. 7 North Carolina. The Seminoles most recently defeated No. 5 Duke (75-70, Feb. 2, 2003) and were 1-0 at home at top-10 ranked teams last season. Thursday’s game against the Tar Heels marks the first time since Jan. 20, 2001 the Seminoles will host a top-10 ranked Tar Heel team in Tallahassee. Florida State is 9-1 at home this season and has won ten of their last 11 games played in the Civic Center. The Seminoles defeated Virginia in its final home game of the 2002-03 and won their first nine games of the 2003-04 season before falling to NC State (53-58, Jan. 11). Among Florida State’s nine victories at home to open the season came against No. 24 Maryland (79-75, Dec. 28) in the ACC season opener for both teams. Following tonight’s game against North Carolina, the Seminoles play host to No. 10 Wake Forest as the team plays top 10 opponents in consecutive games at home for the first time in school history.

Florida State enters Thursday’s game against North Carolina with 18 wins against top 10 teams during the history of the program. Since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season, the Seminoles have defeated 10 top-10 ranked teams with nine wins coming against conference teams and one coming against a No. 5 ranked Arizona team Dec. 23, 1997. The Seminoles’ victory over the Wildcats propelled them into the NCAA Tournament in 1998 – the last appearance by the program in the event.

Senior All-America candidate Tim Pickett, who averaged 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists against North Carolina last season, enters Thursday’s game against the Tar Heels averaging 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. He has made at least one 3-point shot in 17 consecutive games and has gone only three games during his 46-game Seminole career without making a shot from beyond the 3-point line. Pickett pulled down a season-high and near career-high 11 rebounds against Virginia Jan. 18.

…Defeat a top-10 ranked team for the third consecutive season and the 19th time in school history. The Seminoles have defeated a pair of top-10 ranked Duke teams in both of the last two years. The Seminoles defeated No. 1 ranked Duke (77-76, Jan. 6, 2002) and No. 5 ranked Duke (75-70, Feb. 2, 2003) in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center;
…Defeat North Carolina at home for the second time in the last three years. The Seminoles defeated the Tar Heels (81-71, Jan. 16, 2002) in the Civic Center;
…Defeat a ranked team for the second time this season. The Seminoles defeated No. 24 Maryland (79-75, Dec. 28) in the Civic Center;
…Defeat at least two ranked teams in the same season for the second time in the last three years (also with victories over No. 1 Duke and No. 22 ranked Virginia during the 2001-02 season) and for the sixth time since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season. The Seminoles defeated a school-record seven ranked teams on their way to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament during the 1992-93 season.

Florida State, which was ranked No. 25 in the Dec. 29, 2003 ESPN/USA Today poll, have defeated 26 nationally ranked teams a total of 55 times during the history of the program. The ranked team the Seminoles have defeated the most is North Carolina. Florida State has defeated a ranked North Carolina six times – including five times since joining the ACC. The Seminoles also defeated No. 2 ranked North Carolina, 79-75, to advance to the 1972 NCAA National Championship game. The Seminoles, one of five current ACC teams to play in the NCAA National Championship game, fell to UCLA (at UCLA), 81-76, in the championship game.

Florida State is ranked third in the ACC in field goal percentage defense and is limiting their opponents to .381 shooting from the field. The Seminoles have held 10 of their 17 opponents under 40 percent shooting and held two opponents (South Carolina State, .231 and Fairleigh Dickinson, .295) under 30 percent shooting from the field. Head Coach Leonard Hamilton has often said that the field goal shooting percentage defense statistic is his favorite on the statistic sheet and it shows. The Seminoles ranked second in the ACC last season with a .391 field goal percentage defense mark. Prior to his arrival at Florida State to lead the Seminoles’ basketball team, his University of Miami teams ranked among the nation’s leaders in his final four years including a No. 1 national ranking in the statistic during the 1997-98 season.

Florida State has outrebounded two of its four ACC opponents and enters Thursday night’s game against North Carolina ranked fourth in the ACC with a +4.4 rebounding margin. The Seminoles held the rebounding advantage over both Virginia and NC State and trailed Maryland by only three rebounds. The Terps lead the ACC in rebound margin with a +6.2 rebound margin. The Seminoles ranked eighth in the ACC with a -2.3 rebound margin and have improved on that statistic by +6.7 rebounds per game.

Florida State enters Thursday’s game against North Carolina shooting an ACC leading .394 from the 3-point line. The Seminoles are looking to shoot above 40 percent from the 3-point line for only the third time in school history and for the first time since the 1987-88 season. Led by junior All-ACC candidate Nate Johnson’s perfect six-of-six performance form the 3-point line against Stetson, the Seminoles made a school record 17 shots from the bonusphere in defeating the Hatters.

Led by two steals each by Todd Galloway and All-ACC freshman team candidate Von Wafer, Florida State recorded seven steals against Virginia The team earned a season-high 18 steals in its victory over Nicholls State (Nov. 26) and had 14 in its victory over Maryland (Dec. 28). The Seminoles’ 18 steals against Nicholls State is tied for the third highest single game total by an ACC team this season. Florida State has more steals during the last 46 games (421 — all games under Leonard Hamilton) than it had in the previous two years and 59 games (408 combined in 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons)

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