December 24, 2002 - by
Florida State Takes On Boston University In Fiesta Bowl Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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Dec. 24, 2002

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State travels to Tucson, Ariz., to play Boston University in the first round of the Fiesta Bowl Classic Honoring Bobbi Olson. The game is the first between the Seminoles and the Terriers since Florida State took an 86-52 victory Dec. 20, 1955 in the Carousel Tournament in Charlotte, N.C. The game also marks the first road game for the Seminoles this season. Florida State recorded a 6-2 mark as it played a school-record eight consecutive home games to begin the season. The Seminoles play three consecutive and five of their next six games away from Tallahassee with their only home game coming against Texas A&M Corpus Christi Jan. 6. Florida State opened its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Dec. 22 against North Carolina and plays its next conference game at Maryland Jan. 11.


PICKETT A SHINING STAR IN THE EARLY GOING FOR FLORIDA STATE
Junior All-ACC candidate Tim Pickett has been a shining star for the Seminoles during the first month of the season. The junior guard leads the team in 13 categories: points per game (16.4), field goals made (44), field goals attempted (12), 3-point field goals made (23), 3-point field goals attempted (80), free throws made (20), free throws attempted (23), free throw shooting percentage (.870), defensive rebounds (44), total rebounds (50), rebounds per game (6.3), steals per game (3.5) and minutes per game (31.0). Pickett has led the Seminoles in scoring five times, in steals five times, in rebounding three times and in assists twice.


PICKETT IN THE NATIONAL AND ACC STATISTICS
Junior All-ACC candidate Tim Pickett was ranked first in the ACC and tied for fourth nationally in steals in the most recent statistical rankings. Pickett was the only player in the ACC and one of only three players nationally with 25 or more steals.


LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Play its first road game of the season. The Seminoles began the season with a school record eight-game homestand and left Tallahassee for the first time Dec. 25 to travel to Tucson and the Fiesta Bowl Classic;
…Defeat a team from the state of Massachusetts for the first time since Dec. 2, 1992 when the Seminoles defeated Massachusetts, 67-64, in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Boston University for the second time in school history. The Seminoles hold a 1-0 series lead over the Terriers with the only game coming during the 1955-56 season;
…Play a game in the state of Arizona for the first time since Dec. 6, 1994 when the Seminoles played Arizona in Tucson;
…Win its first game of an in-season tournament since defeating Utah State in the first round of the 1997 Preseason NIT. The Seminoles advanced to the championship finals of the event before falling to Kansas.


FLORIDA STATE AMOING THE NATION’S LEADERS IN FIELD GOAL DEFENSE
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Boston University as one of the nation’s top teams in the category of field goal percentage defense. The Seminoles were ranked No. 1 in the nation in the category in the NCAA statistics dated Dec. 16. Florida State has held five consecutive opponents below 37 percent shooting including then No. 8 ranked Florida and then No. 23 ranked North Carolina. Florida entered the game shooting .493 percent from the field and was held nearly 15 percentage points under its season average while North Carolina entered its game against Florida State shooting .479 from the field and was held nearly 12 percentage points below its average.


Seminoles Holding Their Opponents Down
Opponent FG% Entering Game FSU Defensive Effort Notes

Savannah State First Game .298 One of three under .300
Mercer .531 .276 Opponent low 16 FGM
Iowa .455 .455 Only team with no drop
Florida .493 .345 Still season low for Gators
Miami .444 .283 Canes with 7 FG in 1st half
B. Southern .479 .346 BSC with 6 FG in 2nd Half
Stetson .374 .347 Most pts. (76) vs. FSU
N. Carolina .479 .364 UNC with 11 FG in 1st half


SEMINOLES IMPROVING FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
With four regulars entering Saturday’s game against Boston University shooting above 70 percent from the free throw line, the Seminoles are raising their team free throw shooting percentage on a game-by-game basis. Florida State has shot 70 percent or better from the line as a team in three of the last four games, shooting 70.2 percent during that span as a team.


Seminoles’ From The Line
Games FTM-A Pct. Notes
Last 4 59-84 .702 % 71.0 percent or better in three of last four games
First 4 41-65 .630 % Season-high .846 in victory over Iowa Dec. 2
Improvement +7.2 % Shooting .671 in 02-03/Shot .656 in 01-02


SEMINOLES ALSO GETTING TO THE LINE MORE OFTEN
In addition to increasing its shooting percentage from the free throw line in the last four games, Florida State is shooting more and making more free throws during the span. The Seminoles made a season-high 22 free throws in a season-high 31 attempts during their victory over Birmingham Southern Dec. 15 and had made and attempted in double figures in free throws in three of the last four games. The team is making an average of more than four free throws a game while taking an average of nearly five more per game since its victory over Miami Dec. 8.


Seminoles Getting To The Line
Games Avg. FTM/A Pct. Notes

Last 4 14.8/21.0 .702 % Seminoles have made 59/Opponents have attempted 62
First 4 10.3/16.3 .630 % Single figure FTM in three of four games
Improvement +4.5/+4.7 +7.2 % .219 % of points from FT line in last four games
.137 % of points from FT in first four games


AN INDICATOR FOR THE SEMINOLES…
…Florida State is 6-0 when it has more steals than its opponent with victories over Savannah State, Mercer, Iowa, Miami, Birmingham Southern and Stetson;
…Florida State is 0-2 when it has fewer steals than its opponent in games against Florida and North Carolina.


FLORIDA STATE HAS…
…More steals than its opponents in six of its eight games and is averaging 11.4 steals per game. The Seminoles averaged 7.6 steals per game last season;
…As many or more blocked shots than its opponents in seven of its eight games and is averaging 7.0 blocked shots per game. The Seminoles averaged 3.5 blocked shots per game last season;


SEMINOLES SWATTING AWAY SHOTS AT ALARMING RATE
Florida State is among the ACC leaders in blocked shots with a 7.0 blocked shots per game average. The Seminoles have blocked at least five shots in all eight of their games and sent back a season-high 16 shots in their season opener against Savannah State Dec. 24. Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Boston University with 56 blocked shots, more than half way to its 2001-02 season total of 102 in only the first eight games of the 2002-03 season.

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