December 20, 2012 - by
Game Preview: Seminoles at Charlotte

Dec. 20, 2012

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Florida State, which has won two consecutive games and six of its last nine, begins a five-game road swing as it travels to play Charlotte of the Atlantic 10 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Television Network which marks the first time the Seminoles will appear on the network. Florida State enters Saturday’s game with consecutive wins over Maine (December 9, 91-59) and Louisiana Monroe (December 17, 63-48). The Seminoles’ game against Charlotte is the first of five games away from Tallahassee and is a road trip that will see Florida State play in five different states – North Carolina (Charlotte, December 22), Florida (Tulsa in Sunrise, December 29), Alabama (at Auburn, January 2), South Carolina (at Clemson, January 5) and Maryland (at Maryland, January 9) – before returning to play host to North Carolina (January 12) in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are 2-0 in neutral site games this season with wins over BYU (88-70, November 16) and Saint Joseph’s (73-66) in the semifinals and championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Following Saturday’s game against Charlotte, the Seminoles will play the Danny Manning-coached Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the Orange Bowl Classic at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on December 29 at 2:00.

Florida State travels to North Carolina to play Charlotte on Dec. 22 in its final game before the Christmas break. The game marks the fifth all-time meeting between Florida State and Charlotte with the series tied at two-two. The Seminoles, though, have won two consecutive games in the series. It will mark the third time the game will be held on a neutral court with the last two games being held at the Dayton Invitational on December 29, 1981 (a 76-73 Florida State win) and at the Milk Classic in Orlando on December 19, 1992 (a 63-59 Florida State win). The game between the Seminoles and the 49ers will be played at the Time Warner Cable Arena – the home of the Charlotte Bobcats. It will mark the 16th time in the last eight seasons that the Seminoles will play a game in the home of a professional sports team. Florida State’s game against the 49’ers will be its second game against a team from the A-10 this season (the Seminoles defeated Saint Joseph’s in the championship game Coaches’ vs. Cancer Tournament on November 17 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn). The game against Charlotte will mark the Seminoles’ third game against a current Atlantic 10 conference member since their 66-63 win in the NCAA Tournament over Saint Bonaventure on March 16, 2012. The Seminoles and the 49ers have only played four times, with this game marking the third time the two will compete in the month of December.

Four Seminoles – freshman Montay Brandon (Greensboro, N.C.), sophomores Joell Hopkins (Durham, N.C.) and Terry Whisnant (Cherryville, N.C.) and junior Ian Miller (Charlotte, N.C.) will all make their first return of the 2012-13 season to their home state of North Carolina. Only North Carolina (seven) and NC State (six) have more Tar Heel state natives on their roster while the Seminoles have as many North Carolinians as Miami (four), Virginia (four) and Wake Forest (four) on their roster.

Senior All-American Michael Snaer is recognized as one of the top college basketball players in the nation. He has been named to virtually every pre-season All-American team, the preseason All-ACC Team and was the runner-up for the preseason ACC Player of the Year award as voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

…Defeat Charlotte and win its third consecutive game against a team from the state of North Carolina. The Seminoles defeated No. 6 Duke (62-59, March 10, 2012) and No. 4 North Carolina (85-82, March 11, 2012) in the semifinals and championship game of the 2012 ACC Tournament to win the first ACC Title in school history;
…Defeat Charlotte and win its sixth consecutive regular season game against a team from the state of North Carolina in a game played in the state of North Carolina. The Seminoles have won in order at Wake Forest (84-66, February 19, 2011), at NC State (72-62, March 6, 2011), at No. 4 Duke (73-70, January 21, 2012), at Wake Forest (75-52, January 25, 2012) and at NC State (76-62, February 18, 2012) since the middle of February during the 2011 ACC season;
…Defeat Charlotte and win its fourth consecutive game against a current team from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Florida State has defeated Saint Joseph’s (this season) and topped Saint Bonaventure and UMass during the 2011-12 season.

With its victory over Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 17 in the semifinals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Florida State has won nine of its last 10 games in arenas that house NBA or NHL teams. Florida State defeated NC State at PNC Bank Arena in Raleigh (home of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes) on February 8, 2012 (76-62), swept through the 2012 ACC Tournament at Philips Arena in Atlanta (home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks) with wins over Miami (82-71), No. 6 Duke (65-62) and No. 4 North Carolina (85-82), topped Saint Bonaventure in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators) and topped BYU (88-70) and Saint Joseph’s (73-66) at the Barclays Center (home of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets) in November. The Seminoles were also 2-0 in the United Center in Chicago (home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls) during the 2011 NCAA Tournament with wins over Texas A&M and Notre Dame to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State will play its next game after Saturday against Tulsa in the Orange Bowl Classic – at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. (home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers).

Since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season, Florida State has played in the ACC Tournament in Charlotte seven times – and advanced to the semifinals of its first ever ACC Tournament with a win in its first ever ACC Tournament game over NC State at the old Charlotte Coliseum.

Led by All-American Michael Snaer, who has made a team-leading 18 3-point field goals, the Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against Charlotte ranked fourth in the ACC with 6.7 3-point field goals made per game through their first 10 games of the season. The Seminoles have made at least five shots from the bonusphere in five consecutive games and have shot 45 percent or better in four of 10 games this season (the Seminoles are 4-0 in those games). Florida State tied its season high with 11 3-point field goals made in its 91-59 victory over Maine on December 9.

Florida State, which led the NCAA in field goal percentage defense in both 2010(.381) and 2011 (.363), is quickly getting back to the type of suffocating defense which has made it successful in earning its way into the last four NCAA Tournaments and to the ACC championship in 2012. The Seminoles have limited their last four opponents to a combined shooting percentage of .395 – and are currently holding their opponents to a .408 shooting mark for the season. Florida State has led the ACC in field goal percentage defense in a league record four consecutive seasons and has held its opponents below 40 percent shooting from the field in each of the last three seasons.

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