February 13, 2008 - by

Florida State Plays Host To Wake Forest On Thursday At 9:00

Feb. 13, 2008




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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which defeated Miami on the road in its last game on Feb. 6, plays host to Wake Forest on Feb. 14 at 9:00 p.m. in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles earned their second ACC road victory of the season as they defeated the Hurricanes (62-55) in Coral Gables for the third consecutive season before taking a break of eight days from their schedule. Florida State’s game against Wake Forest is their second of the season against the Deacons on the ACC’s unbalanced schedule. The Seminoles will play Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, NC State and twice this season while playing Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech only once this season. The Seminoles will complete their regular season series against Wake Forest on Feb. 14 before playing either Maryland or Boston College. The Seminoles have won three consecutive home games against Wake Forest including a victory over the then No. 3 ranked Demon Deacons during the 2004-05 season (Jan. 18, 2005, 91-83 in overtime). Following their game against Wake Forest, the Seminoles will travel to play at Maryland (Feb. 16, 3:00 pm.) before returning home for their second two-game conference homestand of the season which will see them play host to Clemson (Feb. 19, 7:00 p.m.) and Boston College (Feb. 23, 12 Noon).

FLORIDA STATE TO HONOR SAM CASSELL IN HALFTIME CEREMONY
Sam Cassell, who led the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 1993 and the Sweet 16 in 1992, will have his No. 10 jersey honored in a ceremony during halftime of Thursday night’s game against Wake Forest. With Cassell at the helm, Florida State finished with an 11-5 record in ACC play in 1992 and as 12-4 record in conference play in 1993. Both seasons the Seminoles finished in second place in the league standings and in both seasons the Seminoles advanced deep into the NCAA Tournament. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers alongside Seminole All-American Al Thornton.

DOUGLAS RUNNING AWAY WITH ACC STEALS LEAD
Toney Douglas, Florida State’s Chief Thief, enters Thursday’s game against Wake Forest ranked sixth in the nation and first in the ACC in steals with a career-high 68 and a career-high 2.83 steals per game average. Douglas leads Cliff Hammonds of Clemson and Jeff Teague of Wake Forest by 18 steals and averages nearly more than .06 steals per game more than Jeff Allen of Virginia Tech. Douglas has 21 steals in his last five games (4.2 spg) and has fewer than three steals only three times in the last 10 games. Douglas averages a league-best 3.33 steals per game in ACC games only – he has 30 steals in nine conference games with multiple steals coming in seven of the Seminoles first nine conference games of the season.

SEMINOLES STAND AS NATION’S FREE THROW SHOOTING LEADER
Florida State enters Thursday night’s game as the nation’s leader in free throw shooting percentage with a .787 mark. The Seminoles LEAD THE NATION AND THE ACC from the free throw line after finishing in ninth place nationally last season with a school record .758 mark from the line. The Seminoles are currently on a school record free throw percentage pace.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its fourth consecutive home game against the Demon Deacons. The Seminoles are 10-5 at home against Wake Forest since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season. Florida State’s senior class is undefeated, 2-0, at home against Wake Forest with wins during the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons – the teams did not meet in Tallahassee – and the Seminoles defeated the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem in the only meeting between the teams during the 2005-06 season;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win it first ACC game of the season against an ACC team from the state of North Carolina;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its second consecutive ACC game for the first time this season and for the sixth time in the last two seasons;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its 11th home game of the season. The Seminoles have won at least 11 home games in four of Leonard Hamilton’s first five seasons as Florida State’s head coach.

SEMINOLES REMAIN TOP RANKED FREE THROW SHOOTING TEAM IN NATION
Florida State, which has shot better than 70 percent from the line in each of its last nine games, is the TOP RATED FREE THROW SHOOTING TEAM IN THE NATION AND THE ACC for the sixth consecutive week. The Seminoles have shot at least 70 percent from the free throw line in each of their games since Jan. 5 when a .938 performance (30-of-32) from the line in a victory over La Salle put the Seminoles in first place in the nation.

Seminoles Lead The Nation In Free Throw Percentage (Through games of Feb. 10, 2008)
Rank    School            FTM   FTA   FT Pct.   Record
1.      Florida State     374   475   .787      14-10
2.      IUPUI             365   466   .783      19-5
3.      Utah State        389   497   .783      18-6
4.      Cornell           278   356   .781      14-5
5.      UC Santa Barbara  317   406   .781      17-6

CONFERENCE SUCCESS AT THE DONALD L. TUCKER CENTER
Florida State has won 12 ACC game at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center in the last three season and has earned three straight home victories against Wake Forest. The Seminoles won six ACC games at home during the 2005-06 season and five conference games at home during the 2006-07 season.

FLORIDA STATE GETS DEFENSIVE ITS LAST TIME OUT
Florida State held Miami to .309 shooting from the field, .350 shooting from the 3-point line and to 55 points in the Seminoles’ 62-55 victory over the Hurricanes at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables on Feb. 6. The victory was the Seminoles’ second ACC win on the road this season (they opened their conference schedule with a 66-64 victory over Georgia Tech on Dec. 30) and was the fewest points allowed in an ACC game since a 78-52 victory over NC State in Tallahassee last season (Feb. 24, 2007). The .309 field goal shooting percentage allowed by the Seminoles’ defense was their best effort this season. The Seminoles held the Hurricanes to 17 field goals – tying the fewest allowed by the Seminoles’ defense this season.

SEMINOLES WITH FIVE DOUBLE FIGURE SCORERS
Senior guard Toney Douglas leads the Seminoles with a 14.8 points per game scoring average – he is one of five Seminoles who enter Thursday’s game against Wake Forest who is averaging in double figure scoring. The Seminoles are looking to complete the season with five double-figure scorers for the first time since the 1993-94 season when All-American Bob Sura led Florida State with a career-high 21.2 points per game scoring average. Florida State and Clemson are the only two teams in the ACC to have at least five players currently averaging in double figure scoring.

FLORIDA STATE RANKS SECOND IN ACC IN STEALS
Florida State, with two players in the top eight in the league statistics in steals, is ranked second in the ACC in steals with 217 and a 9.04 steals per game average. The Seminoles have earned at least six steals in each of their last 11 games and have exactly 100 steals since earning seven steals against Providence (Dec. 22). The Seminoles earned 14 steals against North Carolina (Feb. 3), 12 steals against both Georgia Tech (Dec. 30) and Duke (Jan. 16) and 11 against Virginia (Jan. 23). Senior guard Toney Douglas – the ACC’s Chief Thief – is the ACC leader in steals with a single-season career-high 68 steals and a single-season career-high 2.83 steals per game. Senior guard Ralph Mims has a single-season career-high 42 steals and a single-season career-high 1.75 steals per game average.

SEMINOLES SEND BACK SIX SHOTS AGAINST MIAMI
Led by a career-high three blocked shots by freshman Julian Vaughn, the Seminoles blocked their ACC season-high of six blocked shots in their 62-55 victory over Miami. The six-blocked shots by the Seminoles were the most by a Florida State team in an ACC game since blocking eight in a 98-90 overtime victory over Miami on March 3, 2007. Florida State enters Thursday’s game against Wake Forest with 96 blocked shots for a 4.0 blocked shots per game average. The Seminoles ranked ninth in the ACC during the 2006-07 season with 116 blocked shots in 35 games for a 3.1 blocked shots per game average.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #41 Uche Echefu (11.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg; 13 pts and 11 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 20, 2008)
F #42 Ryan Reid (5.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 2 pts and 7 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 20, 2008)
G #10 Ralph Mims (10.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg; 17 pts and 2 stls vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 20, 2008)
G #23 Toney Douglas (14.8 ppg, 2.8 spg; 15 pts and 3 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 27, 2007)
G #25 Jason Rich (13.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 11 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, March 12, 2005)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Isaiah Swann (11.8 ppg, 2.9 apg; 12 pts and 2 stls vs. Wake Forest, March 9, 2006)
F #2 Jordan Demercy (1.2 ppg, 1.0 rpg; 0 pts and 1 ast vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 20, 2008)
F #21 Julian Vaughn (2.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg; 0 points and 2 blks vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 20, 2008)
F #33 Matt Zitani (1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg; First career game against Wake Forest)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR WAKE FOREST
F #23 James Johnson (14.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg; 26 pts and 9 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 20, 2008)
F/C #13 Chas McFarland (7.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg; 9 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 20, 2008)
G #0 Jeff Teague (12.0 ppg. 2.6 apg; 12 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 20, 2008)
G #4 Harvey Hale (9.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg; 8 pts and 1 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 20, 2008)
G #10 Ishmael Smith (9.0 ppg, 4.6 apg; 7 pts and 9 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 27, 2007)

FLORIDA STATE VS. WAKE FOREST - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Wake Forest leads, 21-15
Last Game: Jan. 20, 2008; Wake Forest 74, Florida State 57
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 27, 2007; Florida State 74, Wake Forest 66
Last Wake Forest Win: Jan. 20, 2008; Wake Forest 74, Florida State 57
Last Florida State Win in Tallahassee: Jan. 27, 2007; Florida State 74, Wake Forest 66
Last Wake Forest Win in Tallahassee: Feb. 26, 2003; Wake Forest 60, Florida State 56
Current Streak: Wake Forest has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. Wake Forest: 4-8 / 3-2 in Tallahassee

FLORIDA STATE VS. WAKE FOREST – THE LAST MEETING
James Johnson scored 21 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and Wake Forest remained unbeaten at home with a 74-57 win over Florida State on January 20, 2008 in Winston-Salem. Johnson, a freshman, overcame early foul trouble by dominating the second half. He spearheaded a 13-0 run to put the Demon Deacons ahead to stay, then hit a 3-pointer and had a steal and dunk to put Wake Forest ahead 68-55 with 4:48 left. Jeff Teague added 12 points and Harvey Hale scored 10 for Wake Forest, which recovered from road losses to Boston College and Maryland to win its ACC-best 15th straight home game dating to last season. Ralph Mims had 17 points, Uche Echefu scored all 13 of his points in the first half and Toney Douglas came off the bench to score 10 on 4-of-13 shooting for Florida State. Johnson went to the bench after picking up two fouls in the first five minutes and Florida State immediately went on a 7-0 run. Echefu dominated early, including a 3-pointer that put the Seminoles ahead 23-14. The Demon Deacons, despite shooting 37 percent in the first half, rallied to tie the game before Florida State settled for a 31-28 halftime lead. After the Seminoles scored the first point of the second half, Johnson had a putback and a 3-pointer to put Wake Forest ahead for good. Johnson’s best basket of the day was a coast-to-coast drive that included a head fake in the lane before a thunderous one-handed dunk made it 61-50. Florida State’s Isaiah Swann went over 1,000 points in his career with a driving layup on the next possession, before Johnson’s 3-pointer and dunk put it away.

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