Jan. 26, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won two consecutive ACC homes games, plays host to Wake Forest on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in its fourth ACC home game of the 2006-07 season. The Seminoles defeated No. 23 Virginia Tech (Jan. 17, 82-73) and Miami (Jan. 20, 86-67) in consecutive home games last week and enter Saturday’s game against Wake Forest with an 11-1 record (.917 winning percentage) at home this season. The Seminoles led the entire game against Virginia Tech and led for all but 3:23 in their victory over Miami. Florida State’s 11-1 record at home includes two ACC wins and a victory over the nation’s current No. 1 team (Florida, Dec. 3, 70-66). The Seminoles have won two of their three ACC homes games last season and won six of their eight ACC home games during the 2005-06 season for a two-year record of 8-3 (.727 winning percentage) in conference play at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Florida State’s game on Saturday is its first at home against Wake Forest since defeating the No. 3 ranked Demon Deacons, 91-83 in overtime on Jan. 18, 2005. The Seminoles have a two-game winning steal against Wake Forest at home with victories during both the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Because of the unbalanced ACC schedule, the Seminoles and Demon Deacons did not meet in Tallahassee during the 2006-07 season. Following Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, the Seminoles close out the month of January as they play host to Maryland (Jan. 30, 8:00 p.m.) before traveling to play at Duke (Feb. 4, 2:00 p.m.) and at Clemson (Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.).
THORNTON AT THE TOP OF ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE LIST
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton, one of the top candidates for ACC Player of the Year candidates at the approaching half-way point of the conference season has compiled quite an impressive list of statistics so far this season. He is ranked fourth in free throw percentage (career-high .850 percent), sixth in scoring (career-high 17.9 ppg), fifth in field goal percentage (career-high .549 percent), eighth in offensive rebounds (career-high 2.8 orb/pg), tenth in blocked shots (career-high 1.3 bpg) and 14th in rebounds (6.3 rpg). He is the ONLY player in the ACC to rank in the league’s top 10 in scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and blocked shots.
THORNTON IN ACC PLAY
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton is second in the ACC in conference game only scoring with a 22.0 points per game average and has scored at least 20 points in four of the Seminoles’ six conference games this season.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Wake Forest and earn its third consecutive regular season victory at home against the Demon Deacons. It would mark the first time since the 1997, 1998 and 1999 seasons that Florida State had defeated Wake Forest in three consecutive games in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its 15th game of the season. The Seminoles did not earn their 15th victory of the 2005-07 season until Feb. 12 with a 73-063 victory over Massachusetts in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win their 12th home game of the season. The Seminoles won 14 home games during the 2005-06 season and have a 25-4 record (.862 winning percentage) in the Donald L. Tucker Center in the last two seasons.
FLORIDA STATE LEADS ACC, RANKS NO. 2 IN NATION IN FREE THROW SHOOTING
Florida State, which has shot .873 percent (62-of-71) in its last three games from the free throw line, is ranked FIRST in the ACC and SECOND in the nation in free throw shooting percentage. The Seminoles are nearly five percentage points ahead of their closest competition in the ACC race and are less than one percentage point behind Gonzaga in the race for the national lead. Florida State finished the 2005-06 season ranked sixth in the ACC with a .704 free throw percentage and have increased the success rate by eight percentage points this season as compared to last season.
SEMINOLES ENJOYING A BLOCK PARTY
Florida State has blocked as many shots in 20 games this season (72 / 3.6 bpg) as they did in 30 games during the 2005-06 season (72 / 2.4 bpg). The Seminoles are currently ranked eighth in the league in blocked shots as compared to ranked 12th during the 2005-06 season with 72 blocks for the entire season.
SEMINOLES HOLD TURNOVER TO A SEASON LOW AGAINST BOSTON COLLEGE
Florida State, which enters Saturday’s game against Wake Forest averaging 14.9 turnovers per game through the first 20 games of its season, has committed a total of 15 turnovers in its last two games. The Seminoles committed eight in its victory over Miami (Jan. 20, 86-67) and committed a season-low seven against Boston College (Jan. 23, 82-85). Florida State has committed fewer turnovers in its last two games (15) than it had in nine of its 20 games this season. The Seminoles committed a season-high 27 turnovers in its victory over Illinois State (Nov. 13) and 21 against Clemson (Jan. 3, 66-68).
FLORIDA STATE HEATING UP FROM 3-POINT LINE
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Wake Forest ranked fifth in the ACC with an average of 6.4 3-point field goals made per game and seventh in the league statistics with a .363 success rate from the bonusphere. The Seminoles made a season-high 13 long range shots in their victory over Miami (13-of-23, .565) and made eight more against Boston College (eight-of-17, .471).
SEMINOLES SHARING THE BALL WITH EACH OTHER
Florida State has earned a positive assist:turnover ratio in each of its last two and three of its last five games. The Seminoles have been especially strong with the basketball in the last two games and have earned a 1.6:1 (38 assists vs. 24 turnovers) ratio in their games against Miami (21 assists and only 8 turnovers) and Boston College (17 assists and only seven turnovers). Florida State has earned a positive A:TO ratio in seven of its 20 games this season.
…Florida State is 13-0 when leading at the half this season and are one of only five ACC teams which has won each of its games when it has led at the intermission. The Seminoles led both No. 23 Virginia Tech (39-23) and Miami (47-28) at halftime of both of its ACC wins;
…Florida State has shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line in 17 of its 20 games this season, 80 percent or better from the line in seven different games and 90 percent or better twice. The Seminoles’ two 90 percent performances from the free throw line have come in ACC play and have elevated the Seminoles’ free throw shooting percentage in conference games only to .835 percent. The Seminoles shot .725 percent from the line in 16 ACC games during the 2005-06 season.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (17.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg; 26 pts and 10 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 18, 2005) F #41 Uche Echefu (7.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg; 2 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 24, 2006 G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.6 ppg, 3.5 apg; 12 pts and 2 stls vs. Wake Forest, March 9, 2006) G #23 Toney Douglas (13.5 ppg, 2.8 apg; First career game vs. Wake Forest) G #25 Jason Rich (10.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 11 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, March 12, 2005) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (5.2 ppg, 2.5 apg; 2 pts and 3 asts vs. Wake Forest, March 9, 2006) G #11 Jerel Allen (5.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg; 11 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 26, 2006) F #15 Casaan Breeden (3.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. Wake Forest, March 9, 2006) F #42 Ryan Reid (3.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR WAKE FOREST F #23 Kevin Swinton (3.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 5 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, March 9, 2006) F #34 Michael Drum (8.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 10 pts and 1 stl vs. Florida State, March 9, 2006) C #55 Kyle Visser (17.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg; 6 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 12, 2005) G #10 Ishmael Smith (9.2 ppg, 3.1 apg; First career game against Florida State) G #42 L.D. Williams (7.4 pg, 3.9 rpg; First career game against Florida State)
FLORIDA STATE VS. WAKE FOREST -- A SERIES HISTORY The Series: Wake Forest leads, 20-14 Last Game: March 9, 2006; Wake Forest 78, Florida State 66 Last Florida State Win: Jan. 24, 2006; Florida State 75, Wake Forest 68 Last Wake Forest Win: March 9, 2006; Wake Forest 78, Florida State 66 Last Florida State win in Tallahassee: Jan. 18, 2005; Florida State 91, Wake Forest 83 (OT) Last Wake Forest win in Tallahassee: Feb. 26, 2003; Wake Forest 60, Florida State 56 Current Streak vs. Forest: Wake Forest has won 1 Leonard Hamilton vs. Wake Forest: 3-7
FLORIDA STATE VS. WAKE FOREST – THE LAST GAME
Justin Gray had 25 points and Eric Williams added 14 to help Wake Forest beat Florida State 78-66 in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on March 9, 2006 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Chris Ellis swished a 3-pointer to give the Demon Deacons the lead for good with about 3 1/2 minutes left, and they pulled away from there for their second-straight win. Al Thornton had 17 points before fouling out and Isaiah Swann scored 12 for the Seminoles. This one appeared to be going their way, too. Thornton’s layup early in the second half gave them a 45-34 lead, and the margin still was seven following a 3 from Swann with 6:40 remaining. Yet Florida State went nearly six minutes without a basket, and Wake Forest took advantage. An 11-0 run did the trick, and it started with Williams’ post up move as he was fouled. He failed to make the free throw, but his teammates picked up the slack. Trent Strickland drove down the lane and Gray converted a pair at the line to bring the Deacons within one. Gray finished with eight assists and only one turnover, and Strickland grabbed all 10 of his rebounds on the defensive end. Ellis and Michael Drum each scored 10 points, while Todd Galloway had 10 for Florida State.