Feb. 9, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The Florida State men’s basketball team, which defeated then No. 10 ranked Clemson on Saturday, is ranked No. 25 in both of this week’s major national polls by the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today. It marks the first time since Jan. 18, 1998 (20th) that the Seminoles are included in the Associated Press poll and the first time since Dec. 29, 2003 (25th) that they are listed in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
“It (the national ranking) gives our players and our basketball program a certain level of recognition,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton. “But, as a coach, we realize that in order for it to be meaningful we need to continue to keep putting in good work and we need to continue winning. This is not where we want to be at the end of the season so we realize we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Not very many teams have ever made the NCAA Tournament winning five conference games and that is where we are. In order for what we have done up to this point to be meaningful we have to continue to stack successes on top of successes for our team to be where we want to be at the end of the season.”
Florida State, which recovered from a 19-point deficit with 14:44 remaining for a 65-61 victory over Clemson on the road Saturday, plays host to Virginia on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee as its plays for its season-high third consecutive ACC win.
The Seminoles enter their game against the Cavaliers with consecutive victories against Georgia Tech (Feb. 5, 62-58) and at Clemson (Feb. 7, 65-61) and five wins in their first eight ACC contests of the season. The Seminoles have five wins during the first half of the ACC season for the first time since the 1998-99 season. Florida State comes into Tuesday’s game with an 18-5 overall record (it won a total of 19 games during the 2007-08 season) and a 5-3 record in ACC play (it won seven ACC games during the 2007-08 season).
The Seminoles’ victory over No. 10/10 Clemson on Saturday marked the second victory of the season over a ranked team after they defeated No. 21/23 Florida (Dec. 7, 57-55) earlier this season. Florida State’s two victories over ranked teams marks the second time in three seasons that they have defeated multiple ranked teams and the 10th time in the last 11 seasons that Florida State has defeated at least one ranked team.
Following Tuesday’s game against Virginia, the Seminoles will travel to play at No. 7/8 Wake Forest (Feb. 14, 4:00 p.m.) in their fourth game against a team that has held the No. 1 ranking this season. Florida State has already played Pittsburgh, Duke and North Carolina.