Dec. 20, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which defeated then No. 24 ranked Florida on Nov. 23 in its first true road game of the season, travels to play Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Rhode Island on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The Seminoles are making their first trip to the state of Rhode Island to play a men’s basketball game and are playing the Friars for the second consecutive season after earning a 92-62 victory on Dec. 29, 2006 in the first meeting between the two teams. Florida State enters Saturday’s game having won seven of its last eight games with its latest victory coming against the College of Charleston (66-61) on Tuesday night in Tallahassee. Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton knows Providence well from his career in the Big East as the head coach at the University of Miami (1991-2000) when he earned a 7-8 record against the Friars. Following Saturday’s game against Providence, the Seminoles will take three days off for the holiday before opening its ACC schedule at Georgia Tech on Dec. 30. Florida State returns home for its final non-conference game of the regular season against La Salle on Jan. 5.
SEMINOLES LEAD ACC; RANKED SECOND NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW PCT.
Florida State, which has shot at least 80 percent from the free throw line in five of its first 13 games of the season, IS RANKED FIRST IN THE ACC AND SECOND IN THE NATION with a .791 team free throw shooting percentage entering Saturday’s game against Providence. Florida State led the ACC in free throw shooting percentage with a school-record .758 mark during the 2006-07 season.
HAMILTON ONLY THREE WINS FOR 300 FOR HIS CAREER
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton enters Saturday’s game against Providence with 297 career wins and needs only three to reach the 300 wins plateau for his career. With a 97-73 record at Florida State, he is also only three victories from 100 during his career at Florida State.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Providence and earn a victory on the home court of a Big East team for the first time since March 12, 1997 when the Seminoles earned an 82-67 victory at Syracuse in the first round of the post-season NIT;
…Defeat Providence and win its 11th game of the season during the month of December for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against Providence with a 10-3 record; they finished the month of December in 2006 with a 12-2 mark;
…Defeat Providence and gain a victory over a Big East team for the second consecutive season after their victory over the Friars last season;
…Defeat Providence and win their final game before the Christmas holiday for the fourth consecutive season. The Seminoles earned early presents with victories over Stetson (Dec. 23, 2004), Campbell (Dec. 22, 2005) and Saint Peters (Dec. 23, 2006) in the last three seasons.
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST PROVIDENCE – NOTE I
Florida State will travel to play at Providence on Dec. 22 at the Dunkin Donuts Center on the Providence College campus. The Seminoles’ game against the Friars is the return of a home-and-home series which saw Florida State defeat Providence, 92-62, on Dec. 29, 2006 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. The game marks the second ever game between Florida State and Providence in the sport of men’s basketball.
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST PROVIDENCE – NOTE II
Florida State’s game against Providence will mark the second consecutive season the Seminoles’ will play on the home floor of a Big East team. The Seminoles traveled to play at Pittsburgh on Nov. 24, 2006 and have played on the Panthers’ home court twice during the Leonard Hamilton era at Florida State. Recently, the Seminoles have won at Syracuse (March 12, 1997) and at Seton Hall (Jan. 18, 1997) while playing twice at Pitt (in 200 and 2006) and at Connecticut (Feb. 6, 1993).
FLORIDA STATE AGAINST PROVIDENCE – NOTE III
Florida State’s game against Providence will mark the second game during which the Seminoles will face former FSU assistants during the season. In Providence, the Seminoles will face Tim Welsh, the Friars current head coach, who was a Seminole assistant from 1986-88 and Vince Cautero, a current Friar assistant coach, who was an assistant coach at Florida State from 1988-1992. The 44-year old head coach got his start in college coaching at Iona where he served as a volunteer assistant to Pat Kennedy in 1985. Following that season, he became an assistant on Kennedy’s staff at Florida State for two years before moving on to Syracuse. Cautero got his start in college coaching at Florida State University where he spent eight years, four as an assistant to Pat Kennedy from 1988-92. During that time, he helped the Seminoles’ program as they made four trips to the NCAA Tournament and one to the NIT. In 1991-92, Florida State advanced to the Sweet 16. He coached Seminole greats and future NBA stars Sam Cassell, Charlie Ward, Doug Edwards, George McCloud and Bob Sura. A 1988 graduate of Florida State University, Cautero served as the Seminole’s team manager as an undergrad before earning a place on Kennedy’s staff. The Seminoles defeated for Seminole assistant Donnie Marsh and UAB on Dec. 16 (78-70).
SEMINOLES IN THE NATIONAL FREE THROW PERCENTAGE STATISTICS
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Providence ranked second in the nation with a .791 team free throw shooting percentage. The Seminoles have grown accustomed to ranking among the nation’s top free throw shooting teams in the last two seasons after ranking ninth during the 2006-07 season and ranking first during the first three weeks of the 2007-08 season.
Seminoles Ranked Second Nationally Rank Team FTM FTA Pct. League 1. IUPUI 160 197 .812 Summit League 2. Florida State 189 239 .791 Atlantic Coast 3. Utah State 182 232 .784 Western Athletic 4. UNC Wilmington 147 188 .782 Colonial Athletic 5. UC Santa Barbara 148 190 .779 Big West
FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
As Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton continues to search for a set rotation, the players who have earned starting roles are shooting a combined .804 from the free throw line. The four players who have started the majority of the Seminoles’ first 13 games (Isaiah Swann and Uche Echefu, 13 starts; Toney Douglas, 12 starts and Jason Rich, 11 starts) are all shooting better than 80 percent from the line and are shooting a combined .863 percent (133 of 154).
FLORIDA STATE AMONG ACC STEALS LEADERS
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Providence ranked fourth in the ACC and tied for 32nd nationally with a 9.0 steals per game average. The Seminoles were held to a season-low three steals in their victory over the College of Charleston – but were credited with two of those steals (one by Toney Douglas and one by Isaiah Swann) in the last 48 seconds of the game. The steals led directly to four points and the 66-61 victory.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #21 Julian Vaughn (4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg; First career game vs. Providence) F #41 Uche Echefu (10.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg; 6 pts and 4 rebs vs. Providence, 12/29/06) G #3 Isaiah Swann (13.4 ppg, 3.8 apg; 14 pts and 4 asts vs. Providence, 12/29/06) G #23 Toney Douglas (12.7 ppg, 3.0 apg; 8 pts and 5 rebs vs. Providence, 12/29/06) G #25 Jason Rich (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg; 17 pts and 5 rebs vs. Providence, 12/29/06) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (9.9 ppg, 0.7 apg; 9 pts and 7 asts vs. Providence, 12/29/06) C #32 Solomon Alabi (3.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg; First career game against Providence) F #2 Jordan Demercy (1.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg; First career game vs. Providence) F #15 Casaan Breeden (4.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg; 8 pts and 3 asts vs. Providence, 12/29/06) F #42 Ryan Reid (5.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 7 pts and 7 rebs vs. Providence, 12/29/06)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR PROVIDENCE F #34 Jonathan Kale (5.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 10 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, 12/29/06) G #1 Jeff Xavier (10.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg; First career game against Florida State) G #5 Dwain Williams (9.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg; 15 pts and 4 asts vs. Florida State, 12/29/06) G #11 Geoffrey McDermott (11.5ppg, 7.9 rpg; 11 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, 12/29/06) G #23 Brian McKenzie (12.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg; 6 pts and 1 reb vs. Florida State, 12/29/06)
FLORIDA STATE VS. PROVIDENCE - A SERIES HISTORY The Series: Florida State leads the series, 1-0 Last Game: Nov. 29, 2006; Florida State 92, Providence 62 Last Florida State Win: Nov. 29, 2006; Florida State 92, Providence 62 Last Providence Win: None Last Florida State Win At Providence: None Last Providence Win At Providence: None Current Streak: Florida State has won 1 Leonard Hamilton vs. Providence: 8-8 (1-0 at Florida State, 7-8 at Miami)
FLORIDA STATE VS. PROVIDENCE – THE LAST MEETING
Jason Rich scored 17 points and Isaiah Swann added 14 as Florida State tuned up for the start of its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with a 92-62 win over Providence on Dec. 29, 2006 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. Al Thornton scored 11 for the Seminoles. Providence missed 15 of 20 shots from the field in the second half and shot 36 percent overall. With Thornton riding the bench for 16 minutes because of foul trouble, the Seminoles overcame an early 13-2 deficit and led by as many as 13 before settling for a 45-34 halftime advantage. Rich made six of seven shots in the opening half; Swann then scored 10 during the 21-4 run Florida State put together in the first eight minutes of the second half to build the lead to 66-38. Providence was limited to one field goal during the stretch. Dwain Williams led Providence with 15 points. Geoffrey McDermott and Herbert Hill finished with 11 apiece.