March 2, 2009 - by

No. 24 Seminoles Travel To Play At No. 7 Duke Tuesday At 8:00 p.m.

March 2, 2009


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#24 Florida State Seminoles (22-7) (9-5 ACC)
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# 7 Duke Blue Devils (24-5) (10-4 ACC)
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which can finish in second place in the ACC standings with victories in its final two conference games of the 2008-09 season, travels to play its final ACC road game of the season as it travels to play at No. 7/7 Duke on Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. Florida State is led by ACC Player of the Year candidate Toney Douglas and ACC Coach of the Year Candidate Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles were picked to finished 10th by the attending media at ACC Operation Basketball in October and enter Tuesday’s game in a tie for third place in the league standings. The Seminoles have won six of their last eight games (all conference match-ups) and enters Tuesday’s game with an overall record of 22-7 (the most regular season wins by Florida State since also winning 22 games prior to post-season play during the 1992-93 season) and a record of 9-5 in ACC play (the most conference wins since winning nine during the 2005-06 season and tied for the third most ACC wins in school history). The Seminoles arrive in Durham looking to win their fifth ACC game ad their 11th game away from Tallahassee this season. The Seminoles have earned conference road victories at NC State (Jan. 13, 78-65), at Virginia (Jan. 24, 73-62), at No. 10/10 Clemson (Feb. 7, 65-61) and at Virginia Tech (Feb. 21, 67-65) this season and have won at least five ACC road games only twice in school history (six in 1991-92 and five in 1992-93). Additionally, the Seminoles’ 10 wins away from home this season (seven in true road games and three in neutral site games) are the most on the road since they won 12 games away from Tallahassee (seven true road games and five games at neutral sites) during the 1992-93 season. Florida State is also playing for a potential top two finish in the ACC standings. The Seminoles finished in second place in the ACC standings during both the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. Following Tuesday’s game at Duke, the Seminoles play host to Virginia Tech (March 8, 2:00 p.m.) on Senior Day when they will celebrate the careers of Toney Douglas, Uche Echefu and Brian Hoff in a pre-game ceremony.

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ACC PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE Toney Douglas
Senior guard Toney Douglas has emerged as one of the leading candidates for ACC Player of the Year honors with his play during the entire 2008-09 season, but especially with his play during the Seminoles’ run to a top four standing in the ACC race. Douglas is the leader in overall points scored (596), the second leading scorer in overall points per game average (a career-high 20.6 point per game) and is the leading scorer in ACC games (22.9 points per game). He has led a team comprised of eight freshmen and sophomores and only four juniors and seniors to the verge of a top-four finish in the ACC standings. He has scored at least 20 points in 11 of 14 ACC games and has led Florida State to 10 victories away from home and has guided the Seminoles to within five wins of tying the school-record for wins in a season with 27. Douglas surpassed the 2,000 career point plateau (he has scored 2,025 career points) against Boston College on Feb. 24 and is ranked ninth in school history with 1,500 career points in only three years as a Seminole.

ACC COACH OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE Leonard Hamilton
Leonard Hamilton, a two-time Big East Coach of the Year (1994-95 and 1998-99), is a leading candidate to earn ACC Coach of the Year honors this season. The Seminoles are currently third in the ACC standings (after being picked to finish 10th), have defeated three nationally ranked teams and has led Florida State to the brink of the its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat No. 7/7 Duke and win its 23rd game of the season. It would mark the most wins for the Seminoles in a single season since winning 25 during the 1992-93 season. The Seminoles finished the 1992-93 season with a 25-10 record and only one win from advancing to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history;
…Defeat No. 7/7 Duke and win its 23rd game of the regular season. It would mark the first time the Seminoles had won at least 23 games in the regular season since the 1969-79 season when they won 23 games in the regular season and finished with a 23-3 record. The Dave Cowens-led Seminoles did not participate in post-season play that year;
…Defeat No. 7/7 Duke and win its second consecutive game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Seminoles defeated the Blue Devils, 68-67, on Feb. 4, 2007 inside the legendary house of hoops;
…Defeat No. 7/7 Duke and win its third game in its last five against the Blue Devils. The Seminoles won consecutive games against the Blue Devils on March 1, 2006 and Feb. 4, 2007 before losing the only game between the two teams last season on Jan. 16, 2008 and the first meeting between the two earlier this season on Jan. 10 in Tallahassee;
…Defeat No. 7/7 Duke and win its second consecutive game against a ranked opponent after defeating No. 12/13 Clemson on Saturday in Tallahassee. It would mark the first time since the 2003-04 season when the Seminoles defeated No. 7 North Carolina (Jan. 22, 2004; 90-81 in overtime) and No. 10 Wake Forest (Jan. 25, 2004; 75-70) in consecutive games;
…Defeat No. 7/7 Duke and win its fourth game of the season against a ranked team. The Seminoles have already earned victories over No. 21/23 Florida (Dec. 3, 57-55), No. 10/10 Clemson (Feb. 7, 65-61) and No. 12/13 Clemson (Feb. 28, 73-66).

LOOKING INTO THE NUMBERS OF FLORIDA STATE’S 22-7 RECORD…
…Florida State has won six of its last eight games since losing on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot by North Carolina’s Ty Lawson on Jan. 28. The Seminoles have won eight of their last 10 and 11 of their last 16 games since defeating Western Kentucky on Dec. 28 at the orange Bowl Classic;
…Florida State finished the month of February with a 6-2 record. The Seminoles were 4-3 in February last season and were 2-5 in February during the 2006-07 season. The Seminoles were 16-25 in the month of February and averaged 2.7 wins in the month of February during the first six years of the Leonard Hamilton era at Florida State;
…Florida State enters the month of February with seven losses – the fewest entering the month of March since a total of six losses through the month of February during the 1988-89 season;
…Florida State has defeated three ranked teams so far this season. It marks the second time since the 2006-07 season and third time under Leonard Hamilton that the Seminoles have defeated at least three ranked teams in a single season. The Seminoles defeated four ranked teams under Hamilton during the 2003-04 season;
…Florida State has defeated five teams (Clemson twice, California, Florida and Miami of Florida) that have been ranked at some point in time during the 2008-09 season;
…The Seminoles have won nine ACC games (tied for the third most in school history) entering Tuesday’s game against No. 7/7 Duke. It marks the school record fourth consecutive season (all under Leonard Hamilton) that the Seminoles have won at least seven ACC games;
…Florida State has swept two ACC teams – Virginia and Clemson. Clemson was ranked in the nation’s top 15 during both of the Seminoles’ two wins over the Tigers;
…The Seminoles are one of only two teams in the nation (also Miami of Florida) who have played at least four of the five teams that have been ranked No. 1 this season. The Seminoles have played Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest;
…Florida State has seven victories over teams predicted to finish ahead of the Seminoles in the ACC pre-season poll. The Seminoles (who were predicted to finish in 10th place) have one win over Miami (predicted fourth), two wins over Clemson (predicted fifth), one win over Virginia tech (predicted sixth), one win over Maryland (predicted seventh), one win over Georgia Tech (predicted eighth) and one win over NC State (predicted ninth);
…Florida State is tied for first in the ACC with five come-from-behind victories after trailing at halftime. The Seminoles are tied for first in the league with Boston College with five wins each;
…Florida State leads the ACC with 10 wins in games decided by 1-2-3-4-5 points or in overtime and have lost only one “close” game this season. The Seminoles’ only loss by five or less points came on a buzzer-beating three-point shot to give North Carolina an 80-77 win over the Seminoles on Jan. 28.

NOTES FROM FLORIDA STATE’S VICTORY OVER CLEMSON…
…Florida State’s 73-66 victory over No. 12/13 Clemson marked the Seminoles’ gave it a season sweep of the Tigers for the first time since the 2000-01 season;
…Florida State limited the ACC steals leaders – Clemson – to seven steals. The Tigers entered Saturday’s game with a 9.3 steals per game average and were held to seven total steals;
…Florida State limited the ACC blocked shots leaders – Clemson – to five blocked shots. The Tigers entered Saturday’s game averaging 9.7 blocks per game and blocked only five Seminole shots. Clemson’s Trevor Booker, who entered Saturday’s game as the ACC leader in blocked shots and was held without a blocked shot as the Seminoles earned the win;
…Florida State’s scoring defense (which is ranked No. 1 in the ACC) held Clemson’s scoring offense (which is ranked No. 4 in the ACC) to 66 points – a total of 12.7 points below its season scoring average. Florida State held the Tigers to an average of 63.5 points per game in its two-game regular season sweep.

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (7.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg; 6 pts and 3 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
F #41 Uche Echefu (8.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg; 6 pts and 7 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 16, 2008)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (8.1 ppg, 2.1 bpg; 4 pts and 9 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (8.4 ppg, 2.3 apg; 16 pts and 5 stls vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #23 Toney Douglas (20.6 ppg, 2.0 spg; 18 pts and 2 stls vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
...AND TOP RESERVES
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 2 pts and 4 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #3 Luke Loucks (3.6 ppg, 2.3 apg; 0 pts and 2 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (3.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg; 3 asts and 2 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)
F #42 Ryan Reid (5.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg; 6 pts and 4 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 16, 2008)
G #21 Brian Hoff (0.8 ppg, 0.5 rpg; 2 pts and 3 rebs vs. Duke, Jan. 10, 2009)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR DUKE
F #12 Kyle Singler (16.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg; 15 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 10, 2009)
F #42 Lance Thomas (5.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 1 pt and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #15 Gerald Henderson (16.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg; 25 pts and 5 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #20 Elliot Williams (3.8 ppg, 0.5 apg; 1 pts and 0 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 10, 2009)
G #30 Jon Scheyer (13.9 ppg, 2.8 apg; 21 pts and 2 stls vs. Florida State, Jan. 16, 2008)

FLORIDA STATE VS. DUKE - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Duke leads the series, 27-6
Last Game: Jan. 10, 2009; Duke 66, at Florida State 58
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 4, 2007; Florida State 68, at Duke 67
Last Duke Win: Jan. 10, 2009; Duke 66, at Florida State 58
Last Florida State Win In Durham: Feb. 4, 2007; Florida State 68, at Duke 67
Last Duke win in Durham: Feb. 4, 2006; at Duke 97, Florida State 96 (OT)
Current Streak: Duke has won 2
Leonard Hamilton vs. Duke: 3-6 (all at Florida State)

FLORIDA STATE VS. DUKE – THE LAST GAME
Gerald Henderson scored 25 points in leading second-ranked Duke to a 66-58 victory on Jan. 10 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Blue Devils ran off the first nine points of the second half during a 41-11 run to build their largest lead of the game, 46-21 with 12:45 left. Toney Douglas led Florida State with 18 points. The first half was believed to be one of the lowest scoring in the ACC since the game clock went into effect. Duke led 19-14 at the break, making just five field goals–one on a goaltending call to go along with four baskets by Henderson. Florida State scored only four points in the final 13:07 of the half, going scoreless for 7 minutes and 58 seconds at one stretch. In the second half, the Blue Devils went 7:14 without a basket until Henderson’s layup with 5:31 left gave Duke a 53-42 lead. Derwin Kitchen scored 16 points and Uche Echefu 10 for Florida State.

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