February 5, 2008 - by
Florida State Travels To Play At Miami Wedneday At 7:30

Feb. 5, 2008



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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won three consecutive games against Miami, travels to Coral Gables to play the Hurricanes at the BankUnited Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Seminoles have won two consecutive games against Miami in its arena with a 67-64 victory coming during the 2006 season and a 98-90 overtime win coming during the 2007 season. Florida State enters Wednesday’s game against the Hurricanes having won four straight true road games that have been played in the state of Florida with victories at Miami (March 5, 2006, 67-64), at Stetson (Dec. 5, 2006; 82-63), at Miami again (March 3, 2007, 98-90 in overtime) and at Florida this season (Nov. 23, 65-51). The Seminoles have won two games against teams from the state of Florida this season with victories over both Florida and Stetson during the month of November and have won 12 of their 13 games this season while playing within the state of Florida. Following Wednesday’s game against Miami, the Seminoles will not play another game until Feb. 14 when they play host to Wake Forest (Feb. 14, 9:00 p.m.) before travelling to play at Maryland (Feb. 16, 3:00 p.m.).

Toney Douglas – FLORIDA STATE’S CHIEF THIEF – LEADS ACC IN STEALS
Junior guard Toney Douglas earned five assists against North Carolina and solidified his title as the ACC’s Chief Thief. He enters Wednesday’s game against Miami with a single-season career-high 65 steals and a single-season career-high 2.8 steals per game average. Douglas’s five steals against the Tar Heels marked the sixth time in eight ACC games that he earned at least three steals in a single game and the third time during the league schedule that he earned at least four steals. His 2.82 steals per game average currently ranks as the third best single-season average in school history.

RICH EARNS TOP CONSECUTIVE EFFORTS OF HIS CAREER
Senior guard Jason Rich has scored 22 points in both of the Seminoles’ last two games and has scored 20 or more points in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He scored 22 points at Virginia Tech (Jan. 29) and totaled 22 points against North Carolina (Feb. 3) and is shooting .643 (18-of-28) from the field and .500 (four-of-eight) from the 3-point line in the last two games. Rich enters Wednesday’s game against Miami averaging a career-high 12.9 points per game and shooting a career-high .815 from the free throw line.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Miami and win its fourth consecutive game against the Hurricanes. It would mark the Seminoles’ longest winning streak against the Hurricanes since they won six straight games in the series from the beginning of the 1968-69 season through the middle of the 1970-71 season. From 1972 through 1985, the Hurricanes did not field a basketball team;
…Defeat Miami and raise its record to 4-3 against the Hurricanes with both teams as members of the ACC. The Seminoles and the Hurricanes first met as conference members during the 2004-05 season.
…Defeat Miami and win its second ACC road game of the season. The Seminoles opened their conference season with a 66-64 victory at Georgia Tech (Dec. 30) and are looking to equal their ACC road win total from the 2006-07 season when they won at both Duke and Miami.

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 eight games, is the TOP RATED FREE THROW SHOOTING TEAM IN THE NATION AND THE ACC for the fifth 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. The Seminoles have ranked as the nation’s top free throw shooting team in seven of the nine weeks the statistics have been complied and have been at the top of the conference statistics throughout the entire season.

Seminoles Lead The Nation In Free Throw Percentage (Through games of Feb. 3, 2008)
Rank    School                FTM   FTA   FT Pct.   Record
1.      Florida State         358   454   .789      13-10
2.      Utah State            348   443   .786      16-6
3.      UC Santa Barbara      287   367   .782      16-5
4.      IUPUI                 334   429   .779      17-5
5.      Wisconsin Green Bay   298   386   .772      12-9

NOTING FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE…
…Florida State’s 2007-08 team has already made more free throws in its first 23 games of the season (358) than the Seminoles’ did during the entire 2002-03 season (352). The Seminoles shot .672 from the line during the 02-03 season (Leonard Hamilton’s second in Tallahassee);
…Florida State is averaging 15.5 made free throws per game through the first 23 games of the 2007-08 season. The Seminoles averaged 14.2 made free throws per game in finishing first in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage for the first time in school history (school record .758 percent).

SEMINOLES EARN 14 STEALS AGAINST NORTH CAROLINA
Led by Toney Douglas, the top perimeter defender in the ACC, Florida State earned its ACC season-high of 14 steals against No. 4/4 North Carolina in Tallahassee on Feb. 3. The Seminoles’ 14 steals is tied for the sixth highest team total in Florida State’s history in the ACC and was the highest number of steals in a conference game since earning 14 steals against Georgia Tech on Feb. 9, 2006 and against Clemson on Feb. 1, 2006. It marked the third time this season the Seminoles had earned at least 14 steals in a single game with its season-high of 18 coming in their season-opening victory over Nicholls State.

SEMINOLES PUSH SEASON STEALS TOTAL OVER 200
Florida State’s 14 steals in its game against North Carolina on Feb. 3 pushed its season-total to 209 and allowed the Seminoles to push its season total over 200 for the sixth time in six seasons under Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles enter Wednesday’s game against Miami ranked second in the ACC in total steals with 209 and fourth in the ACC with a 9.09 steals per game average. Florida State ranked fifth in the ACC with a 7.89 steals per game average during the 2006-07 season. Florida State’s current average is ranked as the fourth highest per game average in school history and marks one of only nine times the Seminoles have earned more than nine steals per game.

SEMINOLES RANKED IN NATION’S TOP 30 IN STEALS PER GAME
Florida State is ranked 28th in the nation with its 9.1 steals per game average. The national leader, Virginia Military Institute, averages 13.1 steals per game.

FEWEST TURNOVERS OF THE SEASON BY FLORIDA STATE AGAINST N. CAROLINA
Florida State was charged with a season-low 10 turnovers in its game against North Carolina. The Seminoles entered their game against the Tar Heels committing an averaging 16.2 turnovers per game and cut that number by more than six. The Tar Heels, by comparison, entered Sunday’s game ranked fourth in the ACC as they forced an averaged of 17.5 turnovers per game. The Seminoles’ previous season low was 12 turnovers committed in their victory over La Salle on Jan. 5.

BALANCED SCORING
Three different Seminoles – Toney Douglas (22 points at Georgia Tech), Jason Rich (22 points at Virginia Tech and against North Carolina) and Uche Echefu (24 points at Clemson) – have scored at least 20 points in the first eight games of the ACC season. The Seminoles and Clemson are the only two teams in the ACC with five players who average in double figure scoring in both overall and ACC games only. Florida State is ranked sixth in the ACC in scoring offense with a 73.6 points per game scoring average.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #41 Uche Echefu (11.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg; 13 pts and 3 rebs vs. Miami, Jan. 20. 2007)
F #42 Ryan Reid (5.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg; 4 pts and 2 stls vs. Miami, Jan. 20, 2007)
G #10 Ralph Mims (10.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg; 9 pts and 1 ast vs. Miami, March 3, 2007)
G #23 Toney Douglas (14.2 ppg, 2.8 spg; 13 pts and 3 asts vs. Miami, March 3, 2007)
G #25 Jason Rich (12.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg; 16 pts and 4 rebs vs. Miami, Jan. 20, 2007)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #3 Isaiah Swann (12.0 ppg, 2.9 apg; 14 pts and 3 rebs vs. Miami, Jan. 20, 2007)
F #2 Jordan Demercy (1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg; First career game against Miami)
F #21 Julian Vaughn (3.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg; First career game against Miami)
F #33 Matt Zitani (1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. Miami, Jan. 20, 2007)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR MIAMI
F #50 Anthony King (8.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg; 8 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 29, 2006)
C #21 Dwayne Collins (9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg; 12 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 20, 2007)
G #1 Lance Hurdle (7.5 ppg, 2.3 apg; First career game against Florida State)
G #23 James Dews (11.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 8 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 20, 2007)
G #33 Jack McLinton (15.7 ppg, 3.1 apg; 31 pts and 5 asts vs. Florida State, March 3, 2007)

FLORIDA STATE VS. MIAMI - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 31-27
Last Game: March 3, 2007; Florida State 98, Miami 90 (OT)
Last Florida State Win: March 3, 2007; Florida State 98, Miami 90 (OT)
Last Miami Win: Jan. 29, 2006; Miami 84, Florida State 78 (OT)
Last Florida State Win in Coral Gables: March 3, 2007; Florida State 98, Miami 90 (OT)
Last Miami Win in Coral Gables: Jan. 15, 2005; Miami 64, Florida State 63
Current Streak: Florida State has won 3
Leonard Hamilton vs. Miami: 5-3 (all at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. MIAMI – THE LAST MEETING
Al Thornton scored a career-high 45 points to lead Florida State to a 98-90 victory over Miami in the final regular season game for both teams on March 3, 2007 at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. Thornton, whose previous career highs were a pair of 37 point performances against Boston College and Duke in 2006, scored eight points in overtime. His point total also was the highest in a conference game during the 2006-07 season. A 3-pointer from Florida State’s Toney Douglas with 7.3 seconds remaining in regulation tied it 82-82. Miami’s Jack McClinton missed a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, forcing the game into overtime. Keaton Copeland had given Miami an 82-79 lead with two free throws with 13.5 remaining. The Seminoles (19-11, 7-9) rallied from a six-point deficit and outscoring the Hurricanes 12-6 in the final 2:40 of regulation. Thornton scored seven points and Miami missed five free throws during the Florida State comeback. McClinton led Miami with a career-high 31 points.

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