January 1, 2004 - by
No. 25 Florida State Travels To Play No. 12 Florida Saturday In Gainesville

Jan. 1, 2004

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No. 25 Florida State, which has earned a national ranking for the first time since the 1997-98 season, travels to Gainesville to play No. 12 Florida. It marks the first time a ranked Florida State team plays a ranked opponent since Jan. 24, 1998 when No. 20 Florida State played No. 2 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against Florida having won 12 of their first 13 games of the season and holding a winning percentage of .923. The Seminoles are tied for the best start in school history with a 12-1 record – the best start to a season in school history was 16-1 during the 1988-89 and 1971-72 season. Florida State advanced to the national championship game of the NCAA Tournament against UCLA during the 1971-72 season. Florida State won its first 10 games of the 2003-04 season before losing its first game against No. 16 Pittsburgh in the final game of the Panther’s Holiday Hoops Classic Dec. 22. The Seminoles were the first team in the nation to reach double figures in wins as they gained the 10th victory of the season Dec. 20 against Chicago State. Following Saturday’s game at Florida, The Seminoles begin their ACC schedule in earnest with a home game against NC State Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. Beginning with their game against NC State, 15 of the Seminoles’ final 16 games of the regular season come against conference opponents.

Senior All-America candidate Tim Pickett scored 12 points, had two assists and earned three steals as he led No. 25 Florida State to an 87-72 win over Stetson Tuesday in DeLand, Fla. Pickett made four 3-point field goals to raise his ACC leading total to 38 for the season. Pickett enters Saturday’s game against Florida averaging a team leading 14.1 points, a team-leading 2.6 steals and shooting a team-high tying .822 from the free throw line. He is ranked first in the ACC in 3-point field goals made (38), tied for first in total steals (34) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.409).

Freshman Von Wafer, who averaged 12.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and shot .563 from the field as the Seminoles split two games against nationally ranked opponents last week, was been named the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball Rookie of the Week for the second time this season as voted on by a panel of voters from the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Wafer also earned the award Dec. 1 and is the first repeat winner of the award this season.

…Defeat a ranked opponent for the second time in a seven-day span for the first time since the 1996-97 season when the Seminoles defeated No. 8 Clemson Feb, 23, 1997 in Clemson, S.C. (67-65) and No. 5 Wake Forest March 1, 1997 in Tallahassee (59-55);
…Defeat a ranked opponent on the road for the first time since Feb. 14, 2001 when the Seminoles defeated No. 18 Maryland, 74-71, in College Park, Md.;
…Defeat a ranked Florida team for the first time since Dec. 3, 1988 when the Seminoles defeated the No. 19 Gators, 104-86, in Tallahassee. Florida State was ranked No. 14 in the nation at the time of the game.

Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Florida ranked 25th in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Poll. It marks the first time since Jan. of 1998 that the Seminoles have earned a national ranking in men’s basketball.

Florida State, which won a school record 10 consecutive games to begin the season, enters Saturday’s game against Florida with a 12-1 record. The Seminoles’ two best starts – 16-1 – came most recently during the 1988-89 season when Florida State played in the Metro Conference Tournament championship game and the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles also won 12 of their first 13 games during the 1971-72 season when the Ron King-led Seminoles won 16 of their first 17 games on their way to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.

Seminoles’ Best Starts
Season Wins Losses Pct. Notes

1971-72 16 1 .941 Played in NCAA Tournament National Champ game vs. UCLA
1988-89 16 1 .941 Championship game of Metro Conf Tournament; NCAA Tourn.
2003-04 12 1 .923 School record 10 wins to open season; 12 wins before Jan. 1
1969-70 20 2 .909 Dave Cowens-led Seminoles finish 23-3
1954-55 16 2 .889 First National NAIA Tournament appearance in school history
1977-78 15 2 .882 Championship game of Metro Conf Tournament; NCAA Tourn.

Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Florida as the only team in the nation with victories over teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (Maryland, Dec. 28) Big East (Miami, Dec. 14), the Big Ten (Northwestern, Dec. 1) and the Southeastern Conference (Ole Miss, Dec. 3).

Led by Nate Johnson’s career-best perfect six-of-six performance from the 3-point line against Stetson Tuesday, the Seminoles established a school record for 3-point shots made in a single game with 17. It marked the fifth time in 13 games this season that the Seminoles had made 10 or more shots from the bonushpere and broke the previous record of 14 made 3-point shots which came against Jacksonville Dec. 14, 1996 in a 108-84 Seminole victory. Johnson’s performance for the 3-point line marked only the fourth time in school history one player was perfect from long range on six or more shots. In addition, his six 3-point field goals made are tied for the seventh best single game performance in school history. Florida State has established three of its top seven 3-point field goals made totals in the first 13 games of the 2003-04 season.

School Record For 3-Point Shots Made In A Single Game
Rank No. Date Opponent Outcome

1. 17 Dec. 30, 2003 Stetson W, 87-72
2. 14 Dec. 14, 1996 Jacksonville W, 1-8-84
3. 13 Dec. 18, 2003 Wagner W, 83-62
13 Nov. 26, 2003 Nicholls State W, 99-54
13 Feb. 23, 1989 LaSalle L, 100-101
13 Dec. 15, 1991 North Carolina W, 86-74
13 Jan. 25, 1991 NC State W, 98-76

Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Florida ranked No. 1 in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage with a .413 mark. The Seminoles made a school record 17 3-point field goals Tuesday night against Stetson and have made 51 3-point shots in their last five games. In addition to making 17 against Stetson, Florida State made 10 against Pittsburgh (10-of-25, .400) and were true on 13 against Wagner (13-of-31, .419). Florida State is ranked first in the ACC this season (.413) after ranking ninth in the ACC last season (.333). The single-season school record for 3-point field goal percentage is .437 during the 1987-88 season. The Seminoles’ current .413 percentage ranks third highest in school history.

School Record For 3-Point Field Goal Percentage
Rank Pct. Season 3FGM 3FGM/Game

1. .437 1987-88 in 30 Games 154 5.1
2. .416 1986-87 in 30 Games 178 5.9
3. .413 2003-04 in 13 Games 119 9.1
4. .359 1994-95 in 27 Games 211 7.8
5. .357 1999-00 in 28 Games 175 6.0
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