February 16, 2007 - by

Florida State Travels To Play At Virginia Saturday At 1:00 p.m.

Feb. 16, 2007


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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has defeated Virginia three consecutive times, travels to Charlottesville to play the Cavaliers in the only regular season meeting between the two teams on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on the Lincoln Financial / Raycom network and played in the newly opened John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus. The game for the Seminoles is the first of two consecutive on the road – they travel to play at Maryland on Wednesday. Florida State has found success on the road recently with a victory at No. 8/10 Duke (Feb. 4, 68-67) – a victory that marked the program’s first win on the road against a ranked team since the Feb. 14, 2001 at Maryland. Florida State has a 3-6 record in true road games this season with victories at Duke, at Stetson (Dec. 5, 82-63) and at Georgia State (Dec. 7, 87-55). The Seminoles won three ACC road games during the 2005-06 season with victories at Virginia, Wake Forest and Miami. Beginning with Saturday’s game at Virginia, the Seminoles have four regular season games remaining. After playing at Virginia and Maryland, the Seminoles return home and play host to NC State on Senior Day (Feb. 24) and close out the regular season at Miami (March 3) before beginning play at the ACC Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa from March 8-11.

THORNTON AT THE TOP OF THE ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR DEBATE
All-America, ACC Player of the Year and All-ACC First-Team candidate Al Thornton is the ONLY player in the ACC to rank in the leagues top 10 in scoring (2nd, 18.7 ppg), rebounding (9th, 6.7 rpg), field goal percentage (7th, .519) and free throw percentage (4th, .842). He is the ACC leader in field goals made with 166, ranks second with 133 free throws made and has made a personal single-season career-high 22 3-point field goals. Thornton is also ranked fifth in the league statistics with a 3.0 offensive rebounds per game average. Thornton leads the ACC in total points scored with 487 and enters Saturday’s game against Virginia within 13 points of reaching the 500 point plateau for the first time in his career.

Al Thornton LEADS THE ACC IN…
…Total points scored with a single-season career-high 487 (career-high 18.7 points per game), field goals made (166) and with a career-high 13 games of 20+ points scored. He has scored at least 20 points in eight of Florida State’s 12 ACC games this season.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Virginia and win their second consecutive game against the Cavaliers in Charlottesville. It would mark the first time since the 1998 and 1999 seasons (and only the second time in school history) that the Seminoles had won consecutive games on the road against Virginia;
…Defeat Virginia and win its sixth ACC game of the season. It would mark the first time since the 1997 and 1998 seasons that the Seminoles had won at least six ACC games in consecutive seasons. Florida State earned a 9-7 ACC record and a fifth place finish in the ACC standings during the 2005-06 season;
…Defeat Virginia and win its 18th game of the season. The Seminoles did not win their 18th game of the season a year ago until March 1, 2006 with a victory over then No. 1 ranked Duke in Tallahassee.

SEMINOLES FIRST TIME IN AN ACC ARENA
As it gets set to play its first game in the John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia on Saturday, Florida State holds a 5-6 record in its first game in the current home of the 11 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Seminoles have played in the current home arena of all 12 ACC teams (including the home of the Seminoles – the Donald L. Tucker) at least twice with two games coming at the Silvio O. Conte Forum at Boston College and three games coming at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami since the Eagles and the Hurricanes joined the ACC. Florida State and Virginia Tech, who were both members of the Metro Conference, have a nearly annual history dating back to the early 1960’s. The Seminoles have won two of their last three games in their first game in a current ACC arena. Four purposes of this note, the former home of the Cavaliers (University Hall) is listed in the chart below.

FLORIDA STATE SHOOTING THE BALL WELL IN ACC WINS
Florida State is shooting a solid .479 from the field for the season entering Saturday’s game against Virginia. A very telling statistic of their success in ACC play has been how well they have shot the ball in their ACC wins as compared to their ACC losses. Buoyed by their season-high .617 shooting performance in their win over Maryland (.617, 37-of-60) the Seminoles are shooting .511 in their five ACC wins as compared to .417 in their conference losses.

Seminoles Finding The Basket In Their ACC Wins
Opponents       FGM   FGA   Pct.   Outcome
Virginia Tech   23    49    .469   Scored 82 points in 82-73 win over Hokies at home
Miami           29    57    .509   Scored 86 points in 86-67 win over `Canes at home
Wake Forest     23    47    .489   Scored 74 points in 74-66 win over Deacons at home
Maryland        29    57    .617   Scored 96 points in 96-79 win over Terps at home
Duke            26    57    .456   Scored 68 points in 68-67 win over Devils on road
Totals          138   270   .511   Shooting .456 from field in 12 ACC games in 06-07

SEMINOLES LIMITING TURNOVERS IN RECENT PLAY
Florida State has committed only 21 total turnovers (10.5 to/game) in its last two games including a season-low tying seven turnovers against Boston College (Feb. 11). The Seminoles have committed an average of 12.2 turnovers (61 total turnovers) in its last five games with a low of seven against Boston College and no more than 14 in any of the five games. Florida State is averaging 12.8 turnovers in its five ACC wins and 13.1 turnovers in its seven ACC losses.

SEMINOLES ON THE BLOCK
Florida State has blocked more shots in 26 games this season (81 / 3.1 bpg) than it did in 30 games during the 2005-06 season (72 / 2.4 bpg). The Seminoles have earned more (or at least as many) blocked shots as their opponents in three of the last four seasons.

SEMINOLES RANK SECOND NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PCT.
Led by eight players who are all shooting .762 or better from the free throw line, the Seminoles are ranked first in the ACC and second in the nation in free throw shooting. Florida State has shot better than 70 percent in 10 straight and 11 of 12 ACC games. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against Virginia shooting .805 in ACC play. Should the Seminoles keep up (or improve) their current free throw shooting statistics they would set a school record and finish with one of the five best team free throw shooting percentages in ACC history.

Seminoles Ranked Second Nationally
Rank    Team             FTM    FTA    Pct.     Notes
1.      California       310    392    .791     Pac 10 Leader
2.      Florida State    386    494    .7813    ACC Leader
3.      Villanova        427    547    .7806    Big East Leader
4.      Utah State       385    498    .773     WAC Leader
5.      Air Force        353    461    .766     MWC Leader

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F	#12	Al Thornton (18.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg; 22 pts and 9 rebs vs. Virginia, Jan. 11, 2006)
F	#41	Uche Echefu (7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg; 0 pts and 3 rebs vs. Virginia, Jan. 11, 2006)
G	#3	Isaiah Swann (9.3 ppg, 3.2 apg; 17 pts and 3 ast vs. Virginia, Jan. 11, 2006)
G	#10	Ralph Mims (5.1 ppg, 2.3 apg; 4 pts and 2 asts vs. Virginia, Feb. 18, 2006)
G	#25	Jason Rich (11.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 12 pts and 4 rebs vs. Virginia, Jan. 11, 2006)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G	#11	Jerel Allen (4.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg; 2 pts and 2 asts vs. Virginia, Feb. 18, 2006)
F	#15	Casaan Breeden (3.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg; 0 pts and 1 reb vs. Virginia, Jan. 11, 2006)
F	#42	Ryan Reid (3.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg; First career game vs. Virginia)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR VIRGINIA
F	#33	Jason Cain (6.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg; 8 pts and 12 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 18, 2006)
F	#24	Mamadi Diane (10.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg; 2 pts and 2 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 18, 2006)
F	#11	Laurynas Mikalauskas (3.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg; 4 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 18, 2006)
G	#2	J.R. Reynolds (18.5 ppg, 3.8 apg; 18 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 18, 2006)
G	#44	Sean Singletary (18.4 pg, 4.8 apg; 27 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 11, 2006)

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA-- A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Virginia leads 16-14
Last Game: Feb. 18, 2006; at Florida State 76, Virginia 62
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 18, 2006; at Florida State 76, Virginia 62
Last Virginia Win: Feb. 9, 2005; at Virginia 56, Florida State 55
Last Florida State win in Charlottesville: Jan. 11, 2006; Florida State 87, at Virginia 82
Last Virginia win in Charlottesville: Feb. 9, 2005; at Virginia 56, Florida State 55
Current Streak vs. Virginia: Florida State has won 3
Leonard Hamilton vs. Virginia: 6-4

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA – THE LAST GAME
Andrew Wilson matched his career best with seven 3-point field goals and Alexander Johnson delivered his fifth double-double in seven games as Florida State took a 76-62 victory over Virginia on Feb. 18, 2006 in Tallahassee. Wilson hit seven of 11 tries from long distance to finish with a game-high 21 points while the 6-10 Johnson had 15 points and a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with a pair of spectacular blocks in the final minute. Wilson also made seven 3-point shots two years ago at North Carolina. The Seminoles pretty much put the game away with fast starts at the beginning of each half. Taking an 18-5 lead to begin the game and a 9-1 start in the second half gave them a 48-29 advantage. Five players finished in double figures for the Seminoles. Todd Galloway finished with a dozen points while Jason Rich and Al Thornton had 10 each. JR Reynolds led Virginia with 18 points. Sean Singletary, the Cavaliers’ leading scorer on the year, went scoreless in the first half but finished with 12 points along with Adrian Joseph. The Seminoles took advantage of Virginia’s cold-shooting start and raced to an early 18-5 lead as the Cavaliers misfired on 9 of their first 10 shots. Florida State led 39-28 at the half, holding 13-point leads twice.

FLORIDA STATE VS. VIRGINIA
Florida State has won three consecutive games against Virginia dating to a 68-63 victory over the Cavaliers on March 6, 2005. It is the Seminoles’ longest current ACC winning streak.

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