December 14, 2004 - by

Florida State Plays Host To South Alabama Thursday At 7 P.M.

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Dec. 14, 2004

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State plays host to the South Alabama Jaguars in its second consecutive home game and second consecutive game against a team from the Sun Belt Conference. The Seminoles’ game against the Jaguars is their fifth home game of the season and first of four games in the next eight days. Following Thursday’s game against South Alabama, the Seminoles begin Atlantic Coast Conference play as they travel to play Maryland (Dec. 19, 6:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to both Jacksonville (Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m.) and Stetson (Dec. 23, 5:30 p.m.) before taking time off for the holiday season. Florida State enters Thursday’s game against South Alabama having won two of their last three games with victories on the road over Minnesota of the Big Ten (Nov. 30, 70-69) and Ole Miss of the Southeastern Conference (Dec. 4, 69-64).

CONTRIBUTIONS COMING FROM ENTIRE ROSTER FOR SEMINOLES
Florida State has received significant contributions from just about every player on its 13-man roster through the first eight games of the season. The Seminoles have had six different leading scorers (Sophomore Alexander Johnson has been the leading scorer a team-leading four times), four different leading rebounders (Johnson has led the team in rebounding four times), four different leaders in assists (Isaiah Swann has led the team four times), seven different leaders in steals (four different players have either led or been tied for the team lead twice) and nine different players lead the team or tied for the team lead in blocked shots (Diego Romero, Al Thornton and Adam Waleskowski have led the team a team-leading three times). Entering Thursday night’s game against South Alabama, 11 players are averaging 14 or minutes per game while four players (Von Wafer, Diego Romero, Todd Galloway and Andrew Wilson) are playing an average of 20 minutes or more per game and nine players are averaging 6.0 points or more per game. Led by Wafer and Johnson, who have scored in double figures a team-leading three times in the first eight games of the season, a total of ten different Seminoles have scored in double figures at least once so far this season. A total of 10 Seminoles scored in double figures during the 2003-04 season. In addition, seven different players have started at least one game this season with four (Romero, Johnson, Galloway and Wilson) having started each of the Seminoles’ first eight games of the season.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Win its fifth game of the season with a victory over South Alabama;
…Win its third consecutive game and ninth in 11 meetings against South Alabama;
…Defeat a team from the state of Alabama for the first time since defeating Birmingham-Southern, 56-47, on Dec. 15, 2003 here in Tallahassee;
…Win its third consecutive game against teams from the state of Alabama. The Seminoles defeated Birmingham Southern during both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
…Win its 19th regular season non-conference home game under Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles are 18-3 (.857 winning percentage) in games against non-ACC teams during the regular season in the last thee years.

SEMINOLES ON THE DEFENSIVE UNDER Leonard Hamilton
Florida State is ranked among the top teams in the ACC in scoring defense as it is allowing 66.9 points per game through its first eight games of the season. A stingy scoring defense is nothing new under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton for the Seminoles as they ranked first in the ACC in scoring defense during the 2002-03 season (66.6 points allowed per game) second in the ACC in scoring defense during the 2003-04 season (65.1 points allowed per game). The Seminoles have allowed 65.9 points per game during the first 70 games of the Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Florida State has held 46 of its 70 opponents to 70 points or less (66 percent) under Hamilton. Entering Thursday night’s game against South Alabama, the Seminoles have held three consecutive opponents and seven of eight opponents to 70 points or less so far this season. The only team to score more than 70 points against Florida State was TCU who totaled 71.

Seminoles’ Tough Scoring Defense
Season Games Points Allowed PPG Notes

2004-05 8 535 66.9 Only 1 opponent in eight above 70 points
2003-04 33 2,148 65.1 Ranked second in the ACC
2002-03 29 1,930 66.6 Ranked first in the ACC
Totals 70 4,613 65.9 ACC top scoring defense in last 3 years

SEMINOLES ALSO PUT LID ON THE BASKET UNDER HAMILTON
Florida State is ranked sixth in the ACC in field goal percentage defense with a .404 mark through the first eight games of the season. The Seminoles limited Florida International to a near-season low .364 mark from the field Sunday. Florida State began the season as the limited Texas Southern to a .353 field goal shooting mark in the Seminoles’ season-opening victory over the Tigers (71-62, Nov. 19). Head Coach Leonard Hamilton has historically fielded defensive minded teams who annually rank among the top teams nationally in field goal percentage defense. Florida State was ranked 21st nationally in field goal percentage defense in 2002-03 and were ranked seventh nationally during the 2003-04 season. During the first 70 games of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee, the Seminoles are limiting their opponents to a cumulative .397 percent shooting mark from the field.

Seminoles Making It Tough To Score
Season Games FG Pct. Defense Notes

2004-05 8 .404 (182-451) Held 4 of first 8 opponents under 40 percent
2003-04 33 .401 (739-1,844) Ranked 7th nationally; second in the ACC
2002-03 29 .391 (650-1,662) Ranked 21st nationally; second in the ACC
Totals 70 .397 (1,571-3,957) Top FG% Def. team in ACC in last 3 years

NOTING FLORIDA STATE ON THE DEFENSIVE END OF THE COURT…
…Florida State has held its last three opponents (Minnesota, Ole Miss and Florida International) below 70 points and to a combined .400 percent (66-165) field goal shooting percentage;
…Florida State limited Minnesota (26-59, .441) and Ole Miss (24-62, .387) to a combined shooting percentage of .413 on their own home courts in winning two games on the road last week;
…Florida State limited Florida International to 16 field goals Sunday in Tallahassee. It was the fewest field goals the Seminoles’ defense had allowed through the first eight games of the season and fewest since surrendering 12 against South Carolina State on Nov. 28, 2003 in an 81-46 victory over the Bulldogs;
…Florida State’s defense allowed only four 3-point field goals against Florida International – the fewest long range shots the Seminoles have allowed through the first eight games of the season. Florida State entered the game surrendering 8.7 3-point field goals per game;
…Florida State is averaging 4.3 blocks per game and has recorded more blocks in seven of its first eight games of the season;
…Florida State has earned more steals than its opponents in five of its first eight games of the season and averages 8.8 steals per game. The Seminoles have been beaten only once (by Texas Southern in the season opener) in the steals column through the first eight games of the season;
…Florida State held Florida International to 24 points in the first half Sunday to tie the Seminoles’ season mark for fewest points allowed in the first 20 minutes. The Seminoles also held Shawnee State to 24 points (88-65 win, Nov. 24).

A DEFENSIVE BARMOETER FOR FLORIDA STATE
Florida State is averaging 5.3 blocks per game in its four wins and only 3.3 blocks per game in its four losses. The Seminoles blocked six shots in their victory over Ole Miss (Dec. 4, 69-64) and a season high seven against TCU (70-71, Nov. 28).

FLORIDA STATE ENJOYS BEING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Florida State is 9-2 (.818 winning percentage) in non-conference home games during the month of December under Head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles were a perfect during the 2003-04 season and are 1-1 this season. During the month of December at home under Hamilton, the Seminoles have defeated a pair of Big Ten teams (Iowa on Dec. 2, 2002 and Northwestern on Dec. 1, 2003), an SEC team (Ole Miss on Dec. 3, 2003) and a former Big East team (Miami on Dec. 8, 2002).

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #25 Diego Romero (7.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 18 pts and 9 rebs vs. Texas Southern, 11/19/04)
F #32 Alexander Johnson (7.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg; 11 pts and 5 rebs vs. FIU, 12/12/04)
G #4 Todd Galloway (7.0 ppg, 2.3 apg; 10 pts and 3 asts vs. Minnesota, 11/30/04)
G #20 Andrew Wilson (3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg; 6 pts and 2 asts vs. Minnesota, 11/30/04)
G #22 Von Wafer (10.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg; 19 pts and 4 asts vs. Minnesota, 11/30/04)
AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Isaiah Swann (6.6 ppg, 3.0 apg; 10 pts and 6 asts vs. Kent State, 11/17/04)
G #10 Ralph Mims (5.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 17 pts and 7 rebs vs. Texas Southern, 11/19/04)
F #12 Al Thornton (7.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg; 12 pts and 4 rebs vs. Minnesota, 11/30/04)
G #21 Jason Rich (6.0 ppg, 1.4 apg; 12 pts and 1 stl vs. Ole Miss, 12/4/04)
F #51 Adam Waleskowski (6.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 10 pts and 3 asts vs. Shawnee State, 11/24/04)
F #54 Anthony Richardson (6.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg; 10 pts and 2 stls vs. FIU, 12/12/04)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR SOUTH ALABAMA
F #35 Richard Law (7.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 7 pts and 4 rebs vs. Ark.-Mont, 12/12/04)
C #42 Jacque Pate (2.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg; 4 pts and 5 rebs vs. Mississippi St., 12/2/04)
G #4 Jeffrey Collins (9.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg; 10 pts and 5 rebs vs. Alabama State, 11/30/04)
G #14 Stephen Cowherd (7.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 21 pts and 5 rebs vs. Ark-Mont, 12/12/04)
G #21 Mario Jointer (17.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg; 33 pts and 6 rebs vs. Loyola Marymount, 12/7/04)

FLORIDA STATE VS. SOUTH ALABAMA – A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 8-2
Last Game: Jan. 2, 1990; Florida State 78, USA 75
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 2, 1990; Florida State 78, USA 75
Last USA Win: Feb. 6, 1979; USA 78, Florida State 61
Last Florida State Win In Tallahassee: Dec. 14, 1988; Florida State 87, USA 82
Last USA Win In Tallahassee: Feb. 2, 1978; USA 58, Florida State 56
Florida State vs. USA, Current Streak: Florida State has won 2
Leonard Hamilton vs. USA: First Meeting

FLORIDA STATE VS. SOUTH ALABAMA – THE LAST MEETING
Tharon Mayes and Irving Thomas scored 24 points each as the Florida State defeated South Alabama, 78-75, Jan. 2, 1990 in Mobile, Alabama. The Seminoles’ margin of victory (three points) was one of eight games decided by three or fewer points during the 1989-90 season. Florida State was 5-3 in three-point games during the season. Michael Polite, scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds with Chuck Graham (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Seminoles. South Alabama led 38-36 at halftime but were outscored, 42-37, in the second half by the athletic Seminoles. Florida State shot 60 percent from the field for the game while holding South Alabama to 49.2 percent shooting from the field. Both teams made six shots from 3-point range.

ON THIS DATE IN FLORIDA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY – DEC 16, 1967
Florida State scored 130 points in a 130-100 victory over Louisiana State second round of the Milwaukee Classic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 130 points represents the most points the Seminoles have scored on a neutral site and the fourth most points scored in a single game in school history. The 230 combined points by both teams is the most scored in a single game in school history.

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