TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Home games against defending national champion North Carolina along with ACC powerhouses Louisville, Syracuse, Miami and Virginia highlight the 2017-18 Florida State men’s basketball schedule, as released by head coach Leonard Hamilton. Among other featured match-ups, the Seminoles will compete in the inaugural Jamaica Classic, the annual Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown against Florida, a trip to Rutgers for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and their first game against Oklahoma State in more than 50 years.
Florida State, which earned a No. 3 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, will face 17 teams that appeared in the postseason in 2017 including 11 who played in the NCAA Tournament, four in the NIT and two who advanced in the College Basketball Invitational. The Seminoles will play host to NCAA Champion North Carolina on Jan. 4 and NIT runner-up Georgia Tech on Jan. 24 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles will play 15 home games beginning with its season-opener against George Washington on Nov. 14 as they look to extend their winning streak at the Tucker to 22 games. Florida State was a perfect 18-0 at home during the 2016-17 season. It marked the first time since the 1975-76, and sixth time in school history, the Seminoles finished their home schedule undefeated.
“We have assembled a very competitive schedule for our team this season,” said Hamilton. “Our goal is to prepare our team through the non-conference for ACC play and through ACC play for the postseason. Our schedule does that this season. We want our players and our team to build toward the postseason and we think this schedule will allow us to accomplish our goals.”
Florida State will play host to North Carolina, Louisville, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Clemson, Pitt and Boston College in ACC play. The Seminoles will host George Washington, Kennesaw State, The Citadel, Loyola (MD), Charleston Southern and Southern Miss during their non-conference schedule.
The Seminoles will play in the Jamaica Classic in Montego Bay, Jamaica in their holiday tournament. They will play three games in the NCAA exempt event with two games – against Fordham and Colorado State – coming in the Jamaica and a home game against The Citadel.
Florida State travels to play at Florida on Dec. 4 as it looks to defeat the Gators for the fourth consecutive time for the first time in school history. The Seminoles have defeated the Gators each season since 2014, including a buzzer-beating 73-71 win in their last trip to Gainesville on Dec. 30, 2014.
The schedule includes two non-conference neutral site games in the state of Florida as the Seminoles face Tulane at the Amalie Arena in Tampa in the Heritage Insurance Classic and Oklahoma State in the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The game against Tulane will be their first since playing the Green Wave in 1995 and their game against Oklahoma State will be the first between the two teams since 1964.
Florida State’s first true road game of the season at Rutgers on Nov. 28. The game between the Seminoles and the Scarlet Knights comes on the third night of the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. Florida State has a 1-0 all-time record against Rutgers with the only game resulting in an 87-77 Seminoles’ victory on Dec. 22, 1967 in Tallahassee.
Prior to the start of the regular season, Florida State will host the Annual Jam with Ham on Oct. 13 and a Garnet and Gold scrimmage on Oct. 20 that will be open to the public. The Jam with Ham will take the familiar “Throwback to the 70’s” theme which has developed into a special night for the Seminole students. The scrimmage will be held in the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Led by Hamilton, the two-time ACC Coach of the Year and the eighth winningest coach in ACC history, the Seminoles return a strong group of players that helped them to a 26-9 overall record; 12-6 record in ACC play. Forward Terance Mann returns as the Seminoles’ leading scorer (8.4 ppg) and rebounder (4.5 rpg) after starting 34 of 35 games as a sophomore. Mann has played in 69 games during the first two seasons of his career.
Sophomores CJ Walker and Trent Forrest, along with junior college transfers Braian Angola-Rodas and PJ Savoy will anchor the Seminoles’ backcourt while 7-4 center Christ Koumadje patrols the paint.
The Seminoles’ recruiting class – headlined by McDonald’s All-American M.J. Walker – is once again one of the top groups of newcomers in the ACC. Joining Walker is 7-0 newcomer Ike Oblige, 6-8 power forward Raquan Gray, guard Anthony Polite and forward Wyatt Wilkes.