December 13, 2002 - by
Seminole Men’s Basketball Team Plays Host To Birmingham Southern Sunday

Dec. 13, 2002



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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State plays host to Birmingham Southern in a mid-December, non-conference home game for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles defeated the Panthers, 78-62, in Tallahassee last Dec. 4. Florida State enters Sunday’s game with a 4-1 record that matches its best start since the 1997-98 season when the Seminoles last appeared in the NCAA Tournament. Sunday’s game is the sixth of eight consecutive home games to begin the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. The eight game homestand is the longest in school history. Florida State won its first three games of the season with wins over Savannah State, Mercer and Iowa before falling to No. 8 Florida and defeating Miami. Florida State’s first road game comes against Boston University Dec. 28 in the Fiesta Bowl Classic Tournament hosted by the University of Arizona. Following today’s game against Birmingham Southern, the Seminoles play host to Stetson Dec. 18 and begin conference action as they play host to North Carolina Dec. 22.


HAMILTON’S QUICK STARTS
First-year Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton has led the Seminoles to a 4-1 record in his first five games as Florida State’s court boss. It marks the seventh time in his head coaching career his teams have won at least four of the first five games in a season. Hamilton’s best season start was 5-0 while at Miami during the 1997-98 season. The Hurricanes finished with an 18-10 record and played in the NCAA Tournament that season.


Hamilton’s Best Starts
School Year After 5 Games After Six Games

Florida State 2001-02 4-1 vs. Birmingham Southern, Dec. 15
Oklahoma State 1988-89 4-1 4-2
Miami 1997-98 5-0 6-0 (improved to 9-0)


SEMINOLES ON TEAM RECORD PACE
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Birmingham Southern averaging 12.2 steals per game. The Seminoles have recorded double figure steals in four of their first five games and recorded a season-high 16 in their season-opening victory against Savannah State. Steals became an official NCAA statistic during the 1977-78 season. The Seminoles record for steals in a season is 9.5 (322 steals in 35 games). Florida State has averaged nine or more steals per game three times – most recently during the 1992-93 season when they averaged 9.2 steals per game in advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Sam Cassell led the Seminoles with 97 steals and a 2.8 steals per game average.


LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO …
…Defeat Birmingham Southern and tie the all-time series against the Panthers at 2-2. The series began in 1949 with BSC winning the first two games before Florida State defeated the Panthers last season;
…Improve to 5-1 for the first time since the 1997-98 season when the Seminoles won eight of their first nine games before suffering their second loss of the season;
…Win for the fifth time at home this season in six games;
…Win its seventh consecutive games against an unranked, non-conference opponent at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center.


SEMINOLE BLOCK PARTY IN THE CIVIC CENTER
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Birmingham Southern averaging 6.4 blocked shots per game. Led by senior Trevor Harvey’s nine blocks, the Seminoles have blocked twice as many shots (32) as their opponents (16) through the first five games of the season. The school record for blocked shots in a single season is 6.6 during the 1992-93 season when Florida State most recently appeared in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. Rodney Dobard led Florida State with 11 blocked shots and a 3.2 blocked shots per game average.


Seminoles’ Top Three Blocked Shot Seasons
Season Blocks/Game Total Blocks Notes

1992-93 6.6 210 Dobard ranks 2nd in ACC/7th in NCAA with 3.2 BPG
2002-03 6.4 32 8 players with at least 1 blocked shot
1994-95 6.2 167 Corey Louis with 74 blocks/2.7 BPG


SEMINOLES FINDING SUCCESS FROM 3-POINT RANGE
Led by junior guard Tim Pickett’s 16 3-point shots made through the first five games of the season, Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Birmingham Southern with 39 3-point shots made. The Seminoles have made more 3-point shots (39) than their opponents (28) and are averaging 7.8 3-point shots made per game. Since 3-point field goals became an official NCAA statistics beginning with the 1986-87 season, Florida State has made more 3-point field goals than their opponents only five times during the 16-year period.


Florida State’s 3-point Shooting Success
Season FSU 3PM Opponent 3PM Notes

1986-87 178 118 Pee Wee Barber and LaRae Davis account for 152 3PM
1987-88 154 138 Seminoles play in NCAA Tournament
1988-89 181 141 George McCloud sets season record with 115 3PM
1994-95 211 166 Sura, Collins, Carroll with at least 40 3PM each
1996-97 195 172 Collins with 75 3PM, Seminoles win 20 games


MORE NEWS FROM THE BONUSPHERE
Led by junior guard Tim Pickett’s average of 3.2 3-pointfield goals made per game this season, Florida State is averaging 7.8 3-point field goals made as a team. The Seminoles are averaging two 3-point field goals more this season than they did last season.


Florida State From Long Range
Season 3PFGM/Game Notes

2002-03 7.8 FSU Ranks 3rd in current ACC statistics
2001-02 5.8 FSU Ranked 8th in last year’s final ACC statistics


SEMINOLES’ FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE LEADS THE ACC
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Birmingham Southern ranked first in the ACC in both field goal percentage defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense. The Seminoles have held three of their first five opponents under 30 percent shooting from the field have and a cumulative defensive percentage of .330. Florida State ranked fourth in field goal percentage defense and eighth in 3-point field goal percentage defense in the nine-team ACC least season.


Florida State Putting A Lid On The Basket
Category Def. Pct. Notes

FG% Defense .330 4 of 5 opponents below 40%; 2 of 5 opponents below 30%
3FG% Defense .275 All five opponents held below 35 percent from 3-point line


THE TEAM LEADERS…
…Junior guard Tim Pickett has led the team in scoring in three of five games (Savannah State, Florida and Miami) while junior forward Michael Joiner has led the Seminoles in scoring twice (Mercer and Iowa);
…Senior center Trevor Harvey (vs. Savannah State and Mercer) and junior guard Tim Pickett (vs. Iowa and Florida) have led Florida State in rebounding twice each;
…Junior guard Nate Johnson has led Florida State in all five games this season (Savannah State, Mercer, Iowa, Florida and Miami). Freshman guard Todd Galloway (Savannah State) and junior guard Tim Pickett (Mercer) have also been co-leaders in assists;
…Junior guard Tim Pickett has led the Seminoles in steals in four different games (vs. Savannah State, Iowa, Florida and Miami) while junior forward Michael Joiner (vs. Mercer and Iowa) has been atop the Seminoles’ steals column twice.
…Senior center Trevor Harvey has led the Seminoles in blocked shots three times (vs. Iowa, Florida and Miami) while sophomore forward Anthony Richardson has led the team in blocked shots twice (vs. Savannah State and Mercer).

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