Florida State travels from the sunny south to the northeast for the first of three times this season as it travels to play Providence at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the third round of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. The Seminoles defeated Manhattan (November 15, 81-66) in the first round of the event and fell to Northeastern (November 18, 76-73) in the second round of the event. Both of those game were played at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles play Providence (picked to finish near the top of the Big East) on Saturday (2:30 p.m.) and UMass (picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10) on Sunday (12 Noon) – a period of 24 hours where the Seminoles will play two 2014 NCAA Tournament teams on a neutral court in back-to-back games on consecutive days. It will mark the Seminoles’ second and third games of the 2014-15 season against NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago. Manhattan, who the Seminoles defeated in the season opener for both teams (November 15, 81-66), also played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Following its participation in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic, the Seminoles will play host to The Citadel in Tallahassee on November 25 in the first of four consecutive home games.
FLORIDA STATE VS. PROVIDENCE – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State will play its first road game of the season at a neutral site of Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., against the Providence Friars on November 22, 2014. The game will be the third ever meeting between the two teams. Florida State has a 1-0 advantage over Providence at neutral sites as the Seminoles took a 92-62 win over the Friars in the St. Petersburg Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. The Seminoles most recently played Providence on December 22, 2007 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. Providence won the game by a 101-95 margin. Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton has a record of 8-9 against Providence with a 7-8 record from his tenure at Miami and a 1-1 mark at Florida State. Florida State’s game against Providence will mark the second consecutive season the Seminoles’ will play against a team from the Big East after defeating Georgetown, 101-90, in the second round of the 2014 NIT in a game played in Tallahassee. The win marked a victory over a team from the Big East for the first time since beating Notre Dame on March 20, 2011 in the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles are 14-13 against the current teams of the Big East.
HAMILTON AND SEMINOLES SIGN TOP FIVE RATED RECRUITING CLASS
Florida State University head coach Leonard Hamilton has secured one of the top basketball recruiting classes in school history with the addition of four players – including two ranked within the nation’s top 50 players and three ranked within the top 100 – to the Seminoles’ already deep roster which includes only one graduating player. Signing National Letters of Intent with Hamilton and the Seminoles were forward Dwayne Bacon (Lakeland, Fla./Oak Hill Academy), guard Malik Beasley (Alpharetta, Ga./Saint Francis), center Jean Marc Christ Koumadje (Chad, Africa/Montverde Academy) and guard Terance Mann (Tilton, N.H./Tilton School). Florida State’s 2015 recruiting class is ranked among the nation’s best including No. 4 by 247Sports.com, No. 5 by ESPN.com, No. 6 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 6 by Hoopniks.com. “I must give my staff tremendous credit for recognizing the needs of our program and working very hard to address all of those needs in outstanding fashion,” said Hamilton. “I could not be happier with the group of players we have signed. Not only is this an extremely talented group but it is a group of young men all with tremendous character – character that further allows us to continue to move our program forward.”
THOMAS CRASHES THROUGH 20-POINT PLATEAU AGAINST NORTHEASTERN
Junior guard Aaron Thomas scored his season high of 24 points in Florida State’s game against Northeastern on Tuesday in Tallahassee – the eighth time in his career and the fourth time in his last six games that he has scored at least 20 points. He closed his sophomore season by scoring at least 20 points in three of his final four games (22 against Florida Gulf Coast, 26 against Georgetown and 21 against Louisiana Tech) and began his junior season with at least 20 points scored in one of his first two games of the season (24 against Northeastern). Thomas is averaging 18.3 points per game in his last six games played.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Providence and win its first game played in the state of Connecticut since February 6, 1993 when it won at UConn, 86-74, on its way to the Elite Eight of the 1993 NCAA Tournament;
…Defeat Providence and gain its second ever victory over the Friars. The Seminoles defeated Providence, 92-62, on December 29, 2006 at the St. Pete Times Forum;
…Defeat Providence and gain a win over a team from the state of Rhode Island for the third time since the 2000-01 season. Florida State defeated Rhode Island, 86-71, at the Great Alaska Shootout and topped Providence in Tampa during the 2006-07 season.