Aug. 5, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State, which has played in two consecutive NCAA Tournaments, will play Hawaii in the first round of the second annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 23 as the complete bracket for the eight team tournament in the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii was released by ESPN. The Seminoles will then play either Utah or 2010 NCAA Tournament runner-up Butler in the second round as they play to win their third consecutive in-season tournament championship.
The Seminoles will face the Rainbow Warriors on their home floor in the fourth of four games of a very exciting first day of basketball. Mississippi State will face Washington State, San Diego will face Baylor and Utah will face Butler in the first three games of the three day tournament.
Each of the eight teams will play three games with the semifinals being contested on Dec. 23 and the championship game tipping off on Christmas Day. Each of the games on the first two days of the tournament as well as the championship and third place games on Dec. 25 will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.
The Seminoles’ game against Hawaii will be broadcast at 1:00 a.m. (ET) on Dec. 23 on ESPNU. A victory would send the Seminoles to the semifinals where they will would the winner of the Utah/Butler game at 10:00 p.m. (ET) on Dec. 23. The championship game of the tournament is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (ET) on Dec. 25.
Hawaii will again serve as the tournament host after finishing fourth in last year’s inaugural Diamond Head Classic. The Rainbow Warriors, who finished with a 10-20 record in 2009-10, will be under the direction of new head coach Gib Arnold to begin the 2010-11 season. Arnold was an assistant coach for the USC squad that won the 2009 Diamond Head Classic.
Florida State is making its first trip to Hawaii since the 1998-99 season when it finished in fifth place at the Rainbow Classic. The Seminoles defeated Mississippi State (68-68) and Murray State (80-76 in overtime) after falling to Princeton in the first round of the tournament.
The Seminoles are 1-2 all-time against Hawaii with their last game against the Rainbow Warriors coming on December 22, 1971 in a regular season game played at Hawaii. Hawaii won that game, 81-76. The Seminoles have a 2-3 record in two previous trips to the state of Hawaii.
Florida State has won two consecutive in-season tournament championships with team titles coming at the 2008 Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas and at the 2009 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Florida State returns three starters (Chris Singleton, Derwin Kitchen and Michael Snaer), 11 letterwinners, six of its top eight scorers and six of its top eight rebounds from its 2010 team that finished 22-10 and 10-6 in the ACC. Singleton, the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is Florida State’s leading returning scorer (10.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.0 rpg) and its returning leader in blocked shots (1.5 bpg) and steals (2.2 spg).
Sophomore Michael Snaer, who started the final 10 games of the 2010 season and finished the season as the Seminoles’ third leading scorer, returns as a starter after earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors in 2010. Kitchen, who ranked seventh in the ACC in assist:turnover ratio and 10th in assists, returns with 49 career starting assignments to run the Seminoles from the point guard position. Sophomore Deividas Dulkys, the leading returning 3-point shooter in the ACC, has made 100 career 3-point shots and started 22 career games while junior Xavier Gibson, who averaged 5.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in just 12.8 minutes per game also return to anchor the Seminoles’ line-up.
Diamond Head Classic First Round Games Mississippi State vs. Washington State, ESPNU San Diego vs. Baylor, ESPNU Utah vs. Butler, ESPNU Florida State vs. Hawaii, ESPNU