November 14, 2014 - by
Seminoles Open Season Against Manhattan Saturday At 1:00 PM

SEMINOLES OPEN SEASON AGAINST MANHATTAN IN HALL OF FAME CLASSIC
Florida State, which has played in nine consecutive post-season tournaments, plays host to Manhattan in the first round of the 2014 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in the newly renovated Donald L. Tucker Center.  The Seminoles’ game against the Jaspers will serve as the regular season opener for both teams.  Following Saturday’s game against Manhattan, the Seminoles will play host to Northeastern in the second round of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic before traveling to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., for the third and fourth rounds of the tournament.  The Seminoles will play Providence on Nov. 22 at 2:30 p.m. and play UMass on Nov. 23 at Noon to close out the event.  Manhattan will play at UMass in the second round (Nov. 18), Binghamton in the third round (Nov. 22) and either Navy or Northeastern in the final round (Nov. 23). 

FLORIDA STATE VS. MANHATTAN – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State opens its 2014-15 season as they play host to Manhattan on November 15 at the Donald L. Tucker Center.  It will mark the first game between the two teams since a 98-68 Seminole win in Tallahassee on January 11, 1971. This game will also mark the first matchup between Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton and Manhattan’s Steve Masiello. Florida State holds the advantage of 2-0 against Manhattan. The Seminoles are 1-0 when playing at home against the Jaspers and protects home court when playing against teams from the MAAC conference with a 5-0 record. The Seminoles are 6-1 against teams from the MAAC while Hamilton has a 3-0 record against teams in the MAAC (2-0 at Miami, 1-0 at Florida State).  Manhattan played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament where it fell to new ACC member Louisville in the second round, 71-64.  The last time Florida State played a team from the MAAC was during its run to the championship of the Old Spice Classic during the 2009-10 season.  The Seminoles defeated Iona, 64-49, in the first round of the tournament, topped Alabama, 60-51, in the second round of the event and won the championship with a come-from-behind, 57-56, win over Marquette.  The games were played at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 

HAMILTON LOOKING TO WIN 12TH SEASON OPENER AT FLORIDA STATE
Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton enters Saturday’s game against Manhattan looking to improve his record in season openers as Florida State’s head coach to 12-1.  He has led the Seminoles to season opening victories over Savannah State (Nov. 24, 2002; 79-46), Maine (Nov. 21, 2003; 69-49), Texas Southern (Nov. 19, 2004; 71-62), Jacksonville (Nov. 19, 2005; 78-48), McNeese State (Nov. 12, 2006; 85-65), Nicholls State (Nov. 9, 2007; 81-58), Jacksonville (Nov. 15, 2008, 59-57) Jacksonville (Nov. 16, 2009, 87-61), North Florida (Nov. 12, 2010, 75-55), Jacksonville (Nov. 11, 2011, 79-67) and Jacksonville (Nov. 8, 2013, 91-67).

HAMILTON LOOKING TO TIE DURHAM FOR SEASON-OPENING WINS
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton, who coached his first game at Florida State on November 2, 2002 enters Saturday’s game against Manhattan looking to tie the school record for season opening wins.  He is looking to catch hall of Famer Hugh Durham with 12 season opening wins as Florida State’s head coach.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Manhattan and win its third consecutive game against Manhattan.  The Seminoles defeated the Jaspers during the 1963-64 (Dec. 27, 1963) and 1970-71 seasons (Jan. 11, 1971) in the only two previous meetings between the schools in the sport of basketball;
…Defeat Manhattan and win its 12th home opener in the last 13 seasons.  The Seminoles are 11-1 in season openers under head coach Leonard Hamilton;
…Defeat Manhattan and win its ninth consecutive non-conference home game.  The Seminoles were 8-0 at home against non-ACC opponents in 2013-14 (including three wins in the NIT).

SEASON-OPENING SEMINOLE NOTES
…Florida State’s largest margin of victory in a season opener came in a 133-79 (+54) victory over UCF on Nov. 25, 1978.  The 54-point victory stands as the seventh largest margin of victory in school history;
…The most points scored by a Florida State opponent in a season opener is 97 by Georgia Southern in a 109-97 victory by Florida State to open the 1972-73 season on Dec. 1, 1972;
…The fewest number of points scored in a season opener was 39 against Spring Hill College in a 39-36 victory by Florida State to open the 1947-48 season on Dec. 10, 1947.  That game was the first in the history of the Seminole men’s basketball program;
…Florida State has scored 100 points or more nine times in a season opener – most recently the Seminoles defeated Florida Atlantic, 110-59, to open the 1993-94 season on Dec. 1, 1993.
…Florida State is 5-0 against Jacksonville in season-opening games with wins on Nov. 26, 1991 (100-91), Nov. 19, 2005 (78-48), Nov. 15, 2008 (59-57), Nov. 16, 2009 (87-61) and Nov. 11, 2011 (79-67). 

THOMAS APPROACHING 1,000 CAREER POINTS
Junior Aaron Thomas, who scored 522 points as a sophomore, enters the 2014-15 season with 736 career points and needs only 274 points scored to become the 44th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.  His 522 points during his sophomore season ranks as the 30th most prolific scoring season in school history.  In surpassing the 500 point plateau for a single season, he became the 42nd player in school history to score at least 500 points in a single season. 

THOMAS SCORING INCREASE AS A SOPHOMORE
Junior Aaron Thomas averaged a team-leading 14.5 points scored per game as a junior – an increase of +8.5 points scored per game as compared to his freshman season.  His per game scoring increase was the fifth best scoring increase in the ACC in the 2013-14 season as compared to the 2012-13 season.  Thomas was one of only seven players in the ACC who increased his scoring average by at least 8.2 points in the 2013-14 season as compared to the 2012-13 season. 

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