August 26, 2008 - by
Florida State to Play 16 Home Games

Aug. 26, 2008




2008-09 Men’s Basketball Schedule

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s basketball team will play host to nationally ranked Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Florida at the Donald L. Tucker Center in the annual intra-state rivalry game between the Seminoles and the Gators as the 2008-09 schedule was released by Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. North Carolina and Pittsburgh are slated as pre-season top-five teams in the nation. The Seminoles will also participate in the four-team Global Sports Classic and play a total of 16 home games with four scheduled to be played on national television.


The Seminoles will play host to Duke (Jan. 10), North Carolina (Jan. 28) and Florida (Dec. 7) in the same year for the first time since the 2004-05 season and will host Big East Champion Pittsburgh (Dec. 21) on a home schedule that should prove to be the most exciting in recent years. The Seminoles will play nine post-season tournament teams from the 2008 season at home with games coming against the Blue Devils, Tar Heels, Panthers and Gators as well as Virginia (Feb. 11), Miami (Feb. 18), Clemson (Feb. 28) and Virginia Tech (March 7).


The Seminoles will also play neutral site games against NCAA Tournament participant Western Kentucky (in the Orange Bowl Classic on Dec. 28) and against Cincinnati of the Big East (Nov. 28) and either UNLV of the Mountain West Conference or Cal of the Pac-10 Conference (Nov. 29) in the third and fourth rounds of the Global Sports Classic at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Western Kentucky advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament while UNLV advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Cal advanced to the second round of the NIT while Cincinnati was one of the most improved teams in the Big East a year ago.


The Seminoles open the season with consecutive road games at Jacksonville (Nov. 15) and at La Salle (Nov. 18). It marks the first time Florida State will play its first two games of the regular season on the road since the 1989-90 season when the Seminoles opened the season at the Great Alaska Shootout against Kansas State and Alaska Anchorage. It marks the first time that the Seminoles will play two true road games to begin the season since the start of the 1967-68 season when they opened the season at Florida Presbyterian and at Ohio State and is the ninth time in school history that Florida State begins its season with at least two regular season games away from home.


“We are very excited about our schedule for the upcoming season,” said Hamilton. “Our schedule has a great mix of teams from every region of the country that all play different styles of basketball. When we assembled our schedule we looked at playing teams from around the country that would challenge us to play well as a team and at the same time adjust to the many different things teams are doing around college basketball. We are going to challenge our young players early as we play five games in the first nine days of the season. More than anything, the teams we will play during the season will challenge our younger players and prepare all of our players to be at the level we want to be at entering the ACC portion of our schedule.


Florida State will face six teams (Duke, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky) that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, three (Florida, Maryland and Virginia Tech) that played in the 2008 NIT and one (Virginia) who played in the inaugural CBI. The Seminoles could face a seventh NCAA Tournament participant (UNLV) or a fourth NIT participant (California) depending on the outcome of the Rebel/Bear game in the third round of the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas. A total of five of the six NCAA Tournament teams on the Seminoles’ schedule won at least one game in the tournament with North Carolina winning four games and advancing to the national semifinals. Western Kentucky advanced to the Sweet 16 and UNLV advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual national champion Kansas (75-56) in the second round. All three of the Seminoles opponents who played in the 2008 NIT won at least one game with Florida winning three games and advancing to the semifinals of the event. Virginia Tech won two games to advance to the NIT quarterfinals before losing. Cal also won its NIT first round game with a victory over New Mexico before falling to eventual NIT champion Ohio State. Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the CBI before falling to tournament runner-up Bradley (96-85).


This season, at least 19 of Florida State’s 31 games will be televised including 12 of the Seminoles’ 16 ACC games. The Seminoles will play nationally televised games against Florida, Duke (at home). North Carolina and Pittsburgh and in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta (March 12-15).

2008-09 Florida State Men’s Basketball Schedule Notes

* Florida State opens the 2008-09 regular season with an instate game at Jacksonville. It will mark the second time in the last four seasons that the Seminoles will begin the season on the road against the Dolphins. Florida State defeated Jacksonville, 78-48, on Nov. 19, 2005 to open the 2005-06 season. It will mark the third time in school history (also 2005-06, Won, 78-48, Road; 1991-92, Won, 100-91, Home) that Florida State will open its season against Jacksonville. The Seminoles are 2-0 against Jacksonville in season-opening games).

* Florida State’s 43 all-time wins against Jacksonville are the most against any team the Seminoles have played since the beginning of the sport of men’s basketball at the school for the 1947-48 season.

* Florida State plays its second game of the season on the road against La Salle. The Seminoles defeated La Salle last season at home (81-76, Jan. 5, 2008) and have an all-time record of 2-1 against the Explorers. The Seminoles’ game at La Salle marks the second time in school history and first time since Feb. 23, 1989 that they will play the Explorers on the road. La Salle won the first meeting (Florida State’s George McCloud vs. La Salle’s Lionel Simmons) by a 101-100 score in a game played at the famed Palestra in Philadelphia. The Seminoles were ranked No. 12 and the Explorers No. 14 in the Associated Press poll when that game was played.

* Florida State’s game at La Salle will mark the Seminoles’ fourth game in the state of Pennsylvania in the last six seasons. The Seminoles have twice played at the University of Pittsburgh against the Panthers (Dec. 22, 2003, 56-63 and Nov. 24, 2006, 66-88) and played a neutral site game against Chicago State at the University of Pittsburgh (Dec. 20, 2003, 48-42). The Seminoles’ game against La Salle marks their first game in the city of Philadelphia since playing at Temple (Dec. 14, 1998, 66-75).

* Florida State plays its first two games of the regular season on the road for the first time since the 1989-90 season when the Seminoles opened the season at the Great Alaska Shootout against Kansas State (70-71, Nov. 24, 1989) and Alaska Anchorage (75-74, Nov. 25, 1989). It marks the first time that the Seminoles will play two true road games to begin the season since the start of the 1967-68 season when they opened the season at Florida Presbyterian (Dec. 2, 1967, 90-66) and at Ohio State (Dec. 4, 1967, 69-76). It marks the ninth time in school history that Florida State begins its season with at least two regular season games away from home.

* Florida State will face six teams (Duke, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky) that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, three (Florida, Maryland and Virginia Tech) that played in the 2008 NIT and one (Virginia) who played in the inaugural CBI. The Seminoles could face a seventh NCAA Tournament participant (UNLV) or a fourth NIT participant (California) depending on the outcome of the Rebel/Bear game in the third round of the Las Vegas Tournament. A total of five of the six NCAA Tournament teams on the Seminoles’ schedule won at least one game in the tournament with North Carolina winning four games and advancing to the national semifinals. Western Kentucky advanced to the Sweet 16 as it defeated Drake (101-99) and San Diego (72-63) before falling to eventual national semifinalist UCLA (78-88). In addition, UNLV defeated Kent (71-58) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual national champion Kansas (75-56) in the second round. All three of the Seminoles opponents who played in the 2008 NIT won at least one game with Florida winning three games and advancing to the semifinals of the event. Virginia Tech won two games to advance to the NIT quarterfinals before losing. Cal also won its NIT first round game with a victory over New Mexico before falling to eventual NIT champion Ohio State. Virginia advanced to the semifinals of the CBI before falling to tournament runner-up Bradley (96-85).

* The Seminoles will play one new (for sure) opponent – Western Illinois — and a second (potentially) new opponent – the Cal Bears – during the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles will face Western Illinois in the first round of the Las Vegas Tournament on Nov. 24, 2008 in Tallahassee. Western Illinois is coached by Jim Molinari who is in his first season with the Leathernecks. The Leathernecks were 12-18 and 7-11 in the Mid American Athletic Conference last season. The Seminoles could meet the Bears in the final round of the Las Vegas Tournament on Nov. 29. The Seminoles open the tournament with two games in Tallahassee (against Coastal Carolina and Western Carolina) and then travel to Las Vegas for the final two games of the event. The Seminoles play Cincinnati in the third round of the event and then meet either UNLV or Cal in the final round of the tournament.

* Florida State opens its regular season home schedule against Stetson on Nov. 20. The Seminoles have won 13 consecutive games against Stetson and have not lost to the Hatters since March 5, 1975. The Seminoles will travel to play Stetson in Deland for the second time in three seasons after taking an 82-63 victory over the Hatters the last time these two teams met on Stetson’s home court (Dec. 5, 2006). The Seminoles are 13-7 on the road against Stetson and have won four road games against the Hatters. Stetson joins Florida as the only non-conference teams the Seminoles have played in each of the first seven years of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee.

* Florida State will play four games in the Las Vegas Tournament with two (Coastal Carolina and Western Carolina) coming in Tallahassee and two (Cincinnati and against either UNLV or Cal) coming in Las Vegas. The Seminoles’ two games at the Thomas and Mack Center (on the UNLV campus) will mark their first trip to Las Vegas since the 1990-91 season when they fell to No. 1 ranked UNLV, 101-69, in a regular season game (Dec. 22, 1990). That game against the Rebels marks the only game played in the sate of Nevada during the history of the Seminole men’s basketball program.

* Florida State’s game against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 22 marks the Seminoles’ only game of the season against a team whose head coach is a Florida State alumnus. Cliff Ellis earned his bachelors degree in physical education from Florida State in 1968 and is entering his second season as the head coach of the Chanticleers. Ellis coached at Clemson from 1984-1994, putting together a 177-128 (.580) record in his tenure. While at Clemson, Ellis led the Tigers to the 1990 Atlantic Coast Conference title, the only in the school’s history, with a 24-8 overall record, a 10-4 ACC mark and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. Florida State was 5-2 against Ellis and Clemson after joining the ACC for the 1911-92 season.

* Florida State’s potential game against UNLV in the final round of the Global Sports Classic will mark only the second time the Seminoles will play the Runnin’ Rebels. The Seminoles traveled to play at UNLV on Dec. 22, 1990. That game was the first game the Seminoles played in the state of Nevada and in the Thomas and Mack Center. Florida State’s visit to Las Vegas this season will be only its second visit in school history to the state of Nevada.

* In possibly facing UNLV, the Seminoles will go against its head coach Lon Kruger – the former head coach at the University of Florida. He was the court boss in Gainesville from the 1990-91 season through the 1995-96 season. Florida State was 3-5 against Florida when Kruger was the Gators’ head coach with its last game coming as a victory (74-52, Dec. 16, 1995) in the Milk Challenge in Orlando, Fla.

* The Seminoles’ potential game against UNLV will match two former NBA coaches against each other. Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton (Washington Wizards, 2000-01) and UNLV’s Lon Kruger (2000-02) both coached in the NBA. Kruger’s Hawks were 2-1 against Hamilton’s Wizards during the only season (2000-01) the two men were coaches in the NBA at the same time.

* Florida State’s potential game against UNLV and Lon Kruger could be one of two games for the Seminoles against a coach with NBA coaching experience. The Seminoles will also face NC State and Sidney Lowe who was the head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves (1993-94) and Vancouver Grizzlies (200-02) during their ACC schedule during the 2008-09 season.


* Florida State’s potential game against Cal in the final round of the Las Vegas Tournament would be its first ever game against Cal and the first game the Seminoles would play against a Pac-10 team since Dec. 23, 1997 when they defeated No. 5 Arizona, 84-79 at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles have an all-time record of 10-6 (.625 winning percentage) against seven teams from the Pac-10 Conference. The Seminoles fell to UCLA of the Pac-10, 81-76, in the 1972 NCAA National Championship game. Florida State is 3-1 against Arizona, 1-0 against Oregon, 2-1 against Oregon State, 0-2 against UCLA, 2-2 against USC, 1-1 against Washington and 1-0 against Washington State during the history of the men’s basketball program in Tallahassee.


* Florida State will face six teams (and play nine games) against teams from the states of North and South Carolina during the 2008-09 season. The Seminoles will play host to Coastal Carolina (South) in the Las Vegas Tournament, play host to Charleston Southern (South) on Dec. 18 in Tallahassee and face Duke (North) at home and on the road, NC State (North) on the road, North Carolina (North) at home, Clemson (South) at home and on the road and Wake Forest (North) on the road. The Seminoles will make one trip to South Carolina (to play at Clemson) and three trips to North Carolina (to play at NC State, at Wake Forest and at Duke).


* Florida State will play host to Florida in Dec. 7, 2008 in a game televised nationally by Fox Sports. The Seminoles will look to run their winning streak against the Gators to three consecutive games – a win would match Florida State’s longest winning steak against Florida since three consecutive wins during the 1995, 1996 and 1997 seasons. The Seminoles have defeated the Gators in both of the last two meetings overall (Dec. 3, 2006, 70-66 in Tallahassee and Nov. 23, 2007, 65-51 in Gainesville) and in both of the last two games in Tallahassee (Dec. 3, 2006, 70-66 and Jan. 2, 2005, 82-69).


* Florida will travel to play Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles will play the Wildcats for the fourth time in the history of the event which began in 1999. Florida State has a 6-3 record in nine previous challenge appearances and is 2-1 against Northwestern in three previous meetings. The Seminoles most recently played Northwestern in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 1, 2003 – a 71-53 win Florida State win in Tallahassee. Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton as a 5-1 record in his first seven ACC/Big Ten Challenge games.


* Florida State, which has won five of its last six games in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, will travel to play at Northwestern on Dec. 3 in the 10th annual battle for conference supremacy. The Seminoles will play the Wildcats for the fourth time in the history of the event which began in 1999. Florida State has a 6- record in nine previous challenge appearances and is 2-1 against Northwestern in three previous meetings. Florida State, which is the fourth winningest team in the history of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, has won five of its six challenge games under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. Hamilton, who is the 25th winningest coach in ACC history with 106, guided the Seminoles to victories in his first four ACC/Big Ten Challenge games and to a fifth against Minnesota during the 2007 season. Only Duke’s Mike Krzyzweski (nine ACC/Big Ten Challenge victories) and Maryland’s Gary Williams (six) have more challenge victories than Hamilton.


* Florida State will play host to Florida in the annual intra-state rivalry between the Seminoles and the Gators. The Seminoles have won two consecutive games against the Gators with wins in Tallahassee (Dec. 3, 2006, 70-66) and in Gainesville (Nov. 23, 2007, 65-51) and are looking for their first three-game winning against the Gators since the 1995-96 and 1997 seasons. The Seminoles won three consecutive games in the Mike Challenge played in Orlando in those three seasons. The Seminoles have won three consecutive games against the Gators twice during the series between the two teams. Additionally, the Seminoles are looking to win consecutive home games against the Gators for the second time in school history and three home games in a row against Florida for the first time in school history. Florida State has defeated Florida in each of the last two games in the Donald L. Tucker Center (Jan. 2, 2005, 82-69 and Dec. 3, 2006, 70-66).


* The Seminoles will face Georgia State for the third consecutive season – and the second time in three seasons on the road. The Seminoles defeated the Panthers in Atlanta during the 2006-07 season (Dec, 7, 2006, 87-55) and won again in Tallahassee last season (Nov. 20, 2007, 78-48). The Seminoles’ game against the Panthers will serve as the final game in the city of Atlanta for Florida State senior Toney Douglas (Jonesboro, Ga.) and as a homecoming for sophomore Jordan DeMercy (Norcross). It will also mark the first return to the state of Georgia for freshman Chris Singleton (Dunwoody, Ga.) and Pierre Jordan (Dunwoody, Ga.). Since the Seminoles do not play at Georgia Tech during the 2008-09 season, their game at Georgia State is their only game in the state of Georgia this season.


* Florida State will play host to Tennessee Tech on Dec. 16 in its first game against the Golden Eagles since the 1957-58 season. The Seminoles defeated Tennessee Tech in the only previous meeting between the two teams (Dec. 2, 1957, 74-71) in a game played in Tallahassee. The Golden Eagles are coached by Mike Sutton who was an assistant coach at The University of Kentucky from 1997-2002. He followed in the footsteps of current Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton who was an assistant coach at Kentucky from 1974-80 and the Wildcats’ associate head coach from 1980-86.


* Florida State plays host to Charleston Southern on Dec. 18, 2007 at the Donald L. Tucker Center to mark the first time since the 1983-84 season that the Seminoles will play the Buccaneers. The Seminoles lead the all-time series by a 4-0 margin in a series that dates back to the 1975-76 season. One of the Buccaneers’ top players – Giedrius Knysas – played on the same high school team at Montverde Academy with current Seminoles center Solomon Alabi.


* Florida State plays host to Pittsburgh on Dec. 21 at the Donald L. Tucker Center. It will mark the first appearance by a Big East Team in Tallahassee since Dec. 8, 2002 when the Seminoles played host to Miami (before the Hurricanes joined the ACC). The Seminoles won the game with a 72-55 victory over the Perry Clark coached Hurricanes. The Seminoles game against the Panthers will be the third time they have played the Panthers under seventh-year head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles played at Pitt in the championship game of the University of Pittsburgh Holiday Hoops Classic (Dec. 22, 2003, a 63-56 Pitt win) and in the championship game of the Colonial Classic in second game in two years that was played on Pitt’s home court (Nov. 24, 2006, an 88-66 Pitt win).


* Florida State’s game against Pittsburgh marks the first time that a Big East School (other than in-state rival and current ACC member Miami) has come to Tallahassee since Dec. 11, 1999 when the Seminoles played host to Seton Hall (a 79-56 Pirate win).


* Florida State’s game against Pittsburgh will mark the return to Tallahassee of former Tallahassee Community College star Jermaine Dixon. Dixon starred at TCC for two years (2007 and 2008) and is the brother of former Maryland star Juan Dixon who is currently a member of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Dixon will play his first game in the Donald L. Tucker Center having practiced in the facility with his Eagle teammates numerous times.


* Florida State will play Cincinnati (Nov. 28) in the third round of the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., and play host to Pittsburgh (Dec. 21) to mark the third consecutive season the Seminoles will play two Big East teams in the same season. The Seminoles played Pittsburgh in the Colonial Classic and played host to Providence at the St. Pete Times Forum during the 2006-07 season and played USF in the Glenn Wilkes Classic and traveled to play at Providence during the 2007-08 season. Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton coach 10 years in the Big East while at the University of Miami (1991-2000).


* Florida State will face Western Kentucky in the Orange Bowl Classic – a one game event at the home of the Florida Panthers of the NHL. The Seminoles are 1-0 in the Orange Bowl Classic after taking a 74-60 win over Nebraska (Dec. 31, 2005) during the 2005-06 event.


* Florida State will play Western Kentucky on Dec. 28 in Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla. It marks the first game between the Seminoles and the Hilltoppers since the 1993 NCAA Tournament (March 25, 1993, 81-78 in overtime) when Florida State won in overtime in Charlotte to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles lost their next game (March 27, 106-81) to Kentucky and were denied the second Final Four appearance in school history.


* Florida State’s game against Western Kentucky in the BankAmerica Center (home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers) marks the 11th time in the last four seasons the Seminoles’ will play a non-conference game in the home of professional sports team. During the 2004-05 season, the Seminoles faced Louisiana State in the Sugar Bowl Classic at the New Orleans Arena (home of the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets), played at NC State in a regular season ACC game at the RBC Center (home of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes) and played NC State in the ACC Tournament at the Verizon Center (home of the NHL’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. During the 2005-06 season, Florida State played Nebraska in the Orange Bowl Classic at the BankAmerica Center (home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers) and at NC State in a regular season ACC game. During the 2006-07 season the Seminoles faced Providence in a regular season game and played against Clemson and North Carolina in the ACC Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum (home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning). Last season, the Seminoles traveled to play against Butler in the Wooden Tradition at Conseco Fieldhouse (home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers) and against NC State in a regular season ACC games at the RBC Center.


* Florida State will play host to Texas AM&M Corpus Christi on Jan. 3. The game against the Islanders pits two of the last three coaches at the University of Miami against each other – Leonard Hamilton (1991-2000) and Perry Clark (200-04).


* The Seminoles will face two different teams with Panthers as their nickname in 2007. The Seminoles will travel to play at the Georgia State Panthers (Dec. 13 in Atlanta) and will play host to the Pittsburgh Panthers (Dec. 21 in Tallahassee). The Seminoles will face two different teams with cats in their nickname – the Northwestern Wildcats (Dec. 3 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge) and the Cincinnati Bearcats (Nov. 28 in the Global Sports Classic). Florida State will play Tigers (Clemson) and Bears (Cal) but no Lions; land animals from Coastal Carolina (Chanticleers – a hen like bird) and NC State (a wolf as in Wolfpack); mascots that fly from Tennessee Tech (Golden Eagles), Georgia Tech (Yellow Jackets) and Virginia Tech (the Hokie Bird); those that spend most of their time immersed in water from Jacksonville (Dolphins), Florida (Gators) and Maryland (Terrapins) and a weather phenomenon that the Seminoles are used to in the southeast from Miami (Hurricanes) and a signature piece of clothing that would fit well with a tuxedo from Stetson (the Hatters). Florida State will play nine teams with mascots that once could have ruled their specific part of the country: from La Salle in Philadelphia the Seminoles will face the Explorers; from Western Illinois they face the Leathernecks, from UNLV the Runnin’ Rebels, from Charleston Southern the Buccaneers, from Western Kentucky the Hilltoppers, from Texas A&M Corpus Christi the Islanders, from Duke the Blue Devils from Virginia the Cavaliers and from North Carolina the Tar Heels.

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