March 7, 2006
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
Florida State, which finished fifth in the regular season standings during the 2006 ACC standings, faces Wake Forest in the first round of the 53rd Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday March 9, 2006 at approximately 2:30 p.m. The No. 5 Seminoles’ game against the No. 12 Demon Deacons will follow 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first game of the tournament – No. 9 Miami vs. No. 8 Clemson – on the first day of the expanded tournament. The winner of the Florida State vs. Wake Forest game will face the No. 4 seeded NC State Wolfpack on Friday at approximately 2:30 p.m. Picked to finish 11th in the league standings by the voting members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, the Seminoles earned their third best ACC finish ever. Florida State’s fifth place finish is rivaled by only its second place finishes during the 1991-92 (11-5 record) and 1992-93 (12-4 record) seasons. The Seminoles’ closed out the regular season with their best week of the season (and one of the best weeks in school history) with a victory over No. 1 Duke (March 1, 79-74) and a win at Miami (March 5, 67-64). Florida State’s victory over Duke was its second all-time victory over the nation’s No. 1 ranked team (also against No. 1 ranked Duke on Jan. 6, 2002) and the victory at Miami was its third ACC road victory of the season – the most ACC road victories since the 1992-93 season.
THORNTON AND JOHNSON EARN ALL-ACC HONORS
Junior Al Thornton earned All-ACC Second-Team honors and junior Alexander Johnson earned All-ACC Honorable Mention honors in voting conducted by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. It marks the first time either player has been named to one of the leagues first, second, third or Honorable Mention All-Star teams. Johnson was named to the All-Freshman team during the 2003-04 season. The selection of both Thornton and Johnson to the All-ACC Second and honorable teams marks the first time since the 1999-00 season that two Seminoles have been so honored (Damous Anderson and Ron Hale earned All-ACC Third-Team honors that season) and the fifth time in school history multiple Seminoles have earned All-ACC first, second, third or Honorable Mention honors in the same season. The last Seminole player to earn All-ACC First-Team honors was Tim Pickett during the 2003-04 season.
LOOKING INTO THE SEMINOLES 19-8 RECORD
Florida State finished the regular season with an overall record of 19-8 and an ACC record of 9-7. It marked only the second time in the last nine years that the Seminoles won 19 or more games in a single season with 19 coming during the 2003-04 season when they advanced to the second round of the NIT. In addition, the Seminoles’ nine ACC wins marked the most in conference play for the Seminoles since finishing with a 12-4 record during the 1992-93 season. Florida State’s winning ACC record ended a 12-year streak of losing records in conference play (1993-94 through 2004-05). The Seminoles finished with a 13-2 record at home which gave them a winning percentage of .867 – the second best home winning percentage in school history. Only the Seminoles’ 14-2 record and .875 winning percentage at home during the 1992-93 season was better than their record at the Donald. L. Tucker Center this season. Florida State’s 6-2 record at home in the ACC is tied for the second best home mark ever – tied with the Seminoles’ 2003-04 team than also finished with a 6-2 mark. Florida State’s 7-1 mark at home during the 1992-93 season is the best in school history.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its 20th game of the season. The last time the Seminoles won 20 games was during the 1996-97 season when they finished with a 20-12 record. The Seminoles won 25 games during the 1992-93 season and won 22 games during the 1991-92 season;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its first round ACC Tournament game for the second time in the last four years and second time under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton.
…Defeat Wake Forest and earn a victory over the Demon Deacons in the ACC for the first time in three games. The Demon Deacons defeated the Seminoles during the 1997 and 2003 Tournaments which were both held at the Greensboro Coliseum;
…Defeat Wake Forest and earn its third neutral site victory of the season. The Seminoles are 2-0 on neutral courts this season with victories over Bowling Green (Dec. 17, 71-60) at the Coors Classic in Mobile, Ala., and against Nebraska (Dec. 31, 74-60) in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla.;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its third consecutive game. The Seminoles defeated Duke (March 1, 79-74) and Miami (March 5, 67-64) and most recently won three consecutive games with victories over Stetson (Dec. 20, 75-57), Campbell (Dec. 22, 108-73) and Nebraska (Dec. 31, 74-60) in December before opening ACC play.
SEMINOLES RECEIVE VOTES IN BOTH ESPN/USA TODAY AND AP POLLS
Florida State earned votes in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and the Associated Press Media poll this week. It marked the fifth poll this season the Seminoles had received votes in the coaches poll and the second time this season they had earned at least one vote in the media poll.
SEMINOLES IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
Florida State has an all-time record of 5-14 in 14 previous appearances in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles defeated NC State, 93-80, on March 13, 1992 in their first ever tournament game. Florida State is 4-4 in first rounds games and will face Wake Forest in a first round game on March 9 at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Seminoles have advanced to the quarterfinals five times with their most recent appearance in that round coming in 1993. Florida State is 2-4 when playing as the higher seeded team in the ACC tournament. The Seminoles were the No. 2 seed in the 1992 and 1993 tournaments.
FLORIDA STATE HAS MORE…
…Overall wins (plus seven) and ACC wins (plus five) this season (19-8/9-7 ACC) than it did during the 2004-05 season (12-19/4-12 ACC);
…Steals in 27 games this season (247/9.10 spg) than it did in 31 games (216/6.96) during the 2004-05 season;
…Free throws made and attempted (472-of-666) in 27 games this season than it did in 31 games (416-of-626) during the 2004-05 season;
…Points scored in ACC play in 16 games this season (1,199/74.9 ppg) than in 16 ACC games during the 2004-05 season (1,065/66.6 ppg). The Seminoles owned a +0.8 scoring margin in ACC play this season as compared to a -7.2 scoring margin during the 2004-05 season;
…Free Throws made in 16 ACC games this season (277/17.3 FTM/G) than it did in 16 ACC games during the 2004-05 season (205/12.8 FTM/G). The Seminoles shot .725 from the line in ACC play this season as compared to .702 from the line in ACC play last season;
…Steals (plus 38) and rebounds (plus six) in 16 ACC games this season as compared to 16 ACC games during the 2004-05 season.
IN THE SEMINOLES’ LAST 10 GAMES…
…They have a 7-3 record with six ACC wins and a victory over UMass of the Atlantic 10. Florida State enters the 2006 ACC Tournament with a two-game winning streak marking the first time the Seminoles have entered the ACC tournament with a two-game winning steak;
……They are shooting .757 from the free throw line and have made nearly as many free throws (181) as their opponents have attempted (197).
IN THE SEMINOLES’ LAST FIVE GAMES…
…They have a 4-1 record with victories over Virginia (14-13, 7-9 ACC), Maryland (18-11, 8-8 ACC), No. 1 ranked Duke (27-3, 14-2 ACC) and at Miami (15-14, 7-9 ACC) – all four teams finished in the top eight of the ACC;
…They have made 90 free throws and are shooting .714 from the field as compared to their opponents who have attempted 90 free throws and are shooting .678 from the free throw line;
…They are shooting .421 from the 3-point line and have made an average of 6.4 3-point field goals per game. They made an average of 6.3 3-point field goals per game during the regular season (27 games);
…They own a +4.4 points per game scoring margin and outscored Virginia (76-62, +14) by their highest margin in an ACC game this season;
FLORIDA STATE IN THE STEALS COLUMN
Florida State has earned more steals through the first 27 games of the 2005-06 season (247, 9.40 spg) than they earned during the entire 2004-05 season (216, 6.96 spg). Leading the way in the steals column is the Seminoles’ starting five (Thornton, Johnson, Swann, Galloway and Rich) which have combined for as many steals (181) than Florida State’s 26 opponents (181 steals).
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE... F #12 Al Thornton (16.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg; 26 pts and 10 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 1/18/05) F #32 Alexander Johnson (12.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg; 17 pts and 7 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 2/25/04) G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.0 ppg, 30 apg; 4 pts and 3 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 1/24/06) G #4 Todd Galloway (7.8 ppg, 3.3 apg; 21 pts and 8 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 1/18/05) G #21 Jason Rich (9.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 11 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 2/12/05) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #20 Andrew Wilson (6.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg; 18 pts and 1 reb vs. Wake Forest, 1/24/06) F #25 Diego Romero (4.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 5 pts and 3 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 1/24/06) G #10 Ralph Mims (4.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg; 4 pts and 1 reb vs. Wake Forest, 2/12/05) G #11 Jerel Allen (3.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg; 11 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 1/26/06) F #15 Casaan Breeden (3.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg; First career game against Wake Forest) F #41 Uche Echefu (2.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg; 2 pts and 2 rebs vs. Wake Forest, 1/26/06)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR WAKE FOREST F #31 Eric Williams (16.3 ppg, 8.9 rpg; 15 pts and 14 rebs vs. Florida State, 2/12/05) F #33 Trent Strickland (12.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg; 12 pts and 9 rebs vs. Florida State, 1/14/06) C #55 Kyle Visser (5.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 6 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 12, 2005 G #1 Justin Gray (18.3 ppg, 3.9 apg; 20 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, 2/12/05) G #4 Harvey Hale (6.1 ppg, 2.1 apg; 16 pts and 2 asts vs. Florida State, 1/24/06)
FLORIDA STATE VS. WAKE FOREST -- A SERIES HISTORY The Series: Wake Forest leads, 19-14 Last Game: Jan. 24, 2006; Florida State 75, Wake Forest 68 Last Florida State Win: Jan. 24, 2006; Florida State 75, Wake Forest 68 Last Wake Forest Win: Feb. 12, 2005; Wake Forest 87, Florida State 48 Last Florida State Win In ACC Tournament: None Last Wake Forest Win In ACC Tournament: March 14, 2003; Wake Forest 69, Florida State 61 Florida State vs. Wake Forest in ACC Tourn.: 0-2 Florida State vs. Wake Forest, Current Streak: Florida State has won 1 Leonard Hamilton vs. Wake Forest: 3-6
FLORIDA STATE VS. WAKE FOREST – THE LAST GAME
Andrew Wilson had a season-high 18 points and Alexander Johnson added 14 to help Florida State defeat Wake Forest 75-68 on Jan. 24 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Al Thornton scored 13 for the Seminoles and got plenty of help from his teammates, with junior Jerel Allen contributing 11 points. Justin Gray had 16 of his 19 points in the first half for the Demon Deacons and teammate Eric Williams finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Wake Forest shot only 35 percent from the field, including 9-for-28 in the second half. The Seminoles were 11-for-20 on 3-pointers, including Wilson’s 4-for-7 effort. The Demon Deacons trailed for the final 35 minutes, and for much of that span, they were down by at least 10 points. The margin was 12 before the Demon Deacons rallied. Williams started a 9-0 run with a layup – his first points of the second half – and Strickland capped it with a 3 to bring his team within 62-59. Again, the Seminoles came up with a clutch shot, with Wilson connecting from beyond the arc for a five-point advantage. Wake Forest had one final opportunity in the final minute, but Williams lost the ball in the post and Florida State closed out the victory by converting six-of-eight shots at the line.