Nov. 25, 2011
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas –
Florida State, which has won five of its first six games of the 2011-12 season, plays No. 4/4 UConn in the consolation finals of the Inaugural Battle4Atlants at the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas on Saturday, November 26, 2011. The Seminoles defeated UMass (73-53) in the first round of the tournament but fell to Harvard (46-41) in the semifinals and will battle the Huskies for the third place finish in the event. The Seminoles will face UConn for the first time since the semifinals of the 1997 Pre-Season NIT – a 67-60 win for the Seminoles. Following Saturday’s game against No. 4/4 UConn, the Seminoles will travel to play Michigan State in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich., on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN as one of the feature games of the 2011 ACC/Big 10 Challenge.
FLORIDA STATE VS. CONNECTICUT
Florida State will play defending national champion Connecticut in the consolation finals of the Battle4Atlantis Tournament on Saturday, November 26, 2011. It will mark the first game between the Seminoles and the Huskies since a 67-60 Seminole victory on Nov. 26, 1997 in the semifinals of the Pre-season NIT in Madison Square Garden. Florida State lost the championship game of the tournament to nights later to Kansas. Florida State has won two consecutive and three of the last four games in the series against Connecticut – a series that dates to the 1972-73 season – the year after Florida State played UCLA for the national championship in the title game of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State’s against Connecticut marks one of three Hall of Fame coaches the Seminoles will face this season – Jim Calhoun of Connecticut, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Roy Williams of North Carolina. The Seminoles’ game against Connecticut marks the third consecutive season and sixth time in the last seven years that Florida State will face the defending NCAA Champion. The Seminoles have played the defending national champion in 14 different seasons.
JAMES APPROACHING 100 CAREER BLOCKED SHOTS
Senior All-American candidate Bernard James enters Saturday’s game against UConn with 98 career blocked shots in 39 career games for a 2.5 blocked shots per game average. He needs only two blocked shots in the next five games to set a record for quickest Seminole to 100 career blocked shots. Corey Louis (1994-98) blocked his 100th career shot in his 45th career game making him the current fastest player in school history to reach 100 career blocked shots.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat UConn and win its third consecutive game against the Huskies. The Seminoles’ last two games against the Huskie – both wins – came during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons;
…Defeat UConn and gain a win over a ranked team for the first time this season. The Seminoles’ game against the Huskies is their first against a ranked team this season;
…Defeat UConn and gain a win over a top five ranked team for the second time in its last eight games. The Seminoles defeated then No. 5 ranked Notre Dame, 71-57, on March 20, 2011 in Chicago’s United Center to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament;
…Defeat UConn and gain a win over ranked team for the fifth time in the last two seasons. The Seminoles earned wins over No. 15 Baylor, No. 1 Duke, No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 5 Notre Dame during the 2010-11 season;
…Defeat UConn and earn a win over a nationally ranked team for the 22nd consecutive season. The Seminoles have defeated at least one nationally ranked team each season since a win over No. 22 ranked South Carolina during the 1990-91 season;
…Defeat UConn and gain a win over a national ranked team for the 22nd time under 10th year head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles have defeated six teams ranked in the top five since Hamilton led Florida State to a win over No. 5 Duke on Feb. 2, 2003.
FLORIDA STATE’S DEFENSE IN THE FIRST TWO GAMES OF THE BATTLE4ATLANTIS
Florida State has limited its first two opponents in the 2011 Battle4Atlantis to a combined .317 (32-101) shooting percentage from the field, a combined .167 (seven of 42) shooting percentage from 3-point range, an average of 13.5 steals per game and an average of 8.0 blocked shots per game. The Seminoles limited UMass to 53 points and Harvard to 46 points – an average of 49.5 points per game.
FLORIDA STATE LEADS ACC IN ALL DEFENSIVE CATEGORIES
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against UConn as the best defense in the ACC – and when the national statistics are released for the first time this season on Nov. 27, the Seminoles will undoubtedly rank as the nation’s best defense. The Seminoles are ranked first in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.315), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.192), steals (9.5 spg), blocked shots (7.3 bpg) and are second in scoring defense (53.5 points allowed per game).
JAMES ON THE CAREER BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME LIST
Senior All-American candidate Bernard James enters Saturday’s game against UConn as Florida State’s all-time career leader in blocks per game with a 2.5 average in the first 39 games of his career. He needs only two blocked shots to become only the ninth player in the school history with 100 or more career blocks. He has blocked eight shots in the first two games of the 2011 Battle4Atlantis and has blocked 16 shots in the first six games of the 2011 season.
DULKYS CONTINUES HIS STEALING WAYS
Senior Deividas Dulkys has totaled five of Florida State’s 26 steals in the 2011 Battle4Atlantis including a career-high tying four steals against Harvard. He enters Saturday’s game against UConn with 107 career steals and needs only nine steals to move into a tie for 25th place on the Seminoles’ all-time career steals list. Dulkys has 107 steals in 102 career games for a 1.04 career steals per game average.
GIBSON WITH A CAREER HIGH FOUR STEALS AGAINST HARVARD
Senior Xavier Gibson totaled a career-high four steals against Harvard to bring his season total to nine in the first six games of the season. He already has three times as many steals this season (nine) as he did in 25 games as a junior and has more steals in the first six games of the 2011-12 season than he had in both his freshman and junior seasons combined (eight). Gibson’s single season career high of 12 steals came during his sophomore season.
SNAER SCORES IN DOUBLE FIGURES
Junior Michael Snaer scored 10 points against Harvard and has now scored in double figures in four of Florida State `s first six games of the season and enters Saturday’s game against UConn as the Seminoles’ leading scorer with a career-high 12.5 points per game scoring average. He has scored in double figures in six of his last eight games with 13 points against Notre Dame and 12 points against VCU in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
SNAER FROM THE BONUSPHERE
Junior Michael Snaer is shooting .556 (five of nine) from the bonusphere in the first two games of the 2011 Battle4Atlantis. He made three long range shots in Florida State’s win over UMass and totaled two more in the Seminoles’ game against Harvard. Snaer has made a team leading 10 3-point shots and is shooting a team leading .455 from the 3-point line in two games at the Battle4Atlantis. His 76 career 3-point shots made has him ranked 25th in school history for career 3-point shots made.
LOUCKS LEADS FLORIDA STATE IN ASSISTS
Graduate student Luke Loucks led the Seminoles with four assists against Harvard, has a team leading seven assists in the Battle4Atlantis and enters Saturday’s game against UConn as the Seminoles’ leader in assists with 20 and a 3.3 assists per game average. In his first season as the Seminoles’ starting point guard, Loucks is looking to leading the Seminoles in assists for the first time in his career.