Dec. 16, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won a season-high tying four consecutive games, plays host to High Point on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in its first game since defeating Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 10, 88-62) eight days ago. The Seminoles took time away from competition on the basketball court to concentrate on their final exams. Florida State’s game against High Point is its second of four consecutive home games and the seventh of a school record 17 home games for the Seminoles this season. The Seminoles are 6-0 at home and 2-2 on the road with victories at Stetson (Dec. 5, 82-63) and at Georgia State (Dec. 7, 87-55) so far this season. Florida State will play its first and only neutral site game of the regular season as it plays Providence at the St. Pete Times Forum (Dec. 29, 9:30 p.m.) in its first game after breaking for the holiday season. Following Monday night’s game against High Point, Florida State will play host to Coastal Carolina (Dec. 21. 7 p.m.) at Saint Peter’s (Dec. 23, Noon) to close out their non-conference home schedule for the season. The Seminoles begin ACC play at home against Clemson (Jan. 3, 7 p.m.).
THORNTON SHOOTS FOR 1,000 CAREER POINTS AGAINST HIGH POINT
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton enters Monday’s game against High Point with 989 career points and needs only 11 points to become the 38th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Thornton is looking to become the first Seminole to reach the 1,000 point mark since Tim Pickett during the 2003-04 season. Thornton is looking to reach the milestone as he plays in his 100th career game against the Panthers.
THORNTON ON WOODEN AWARD TOP-50 LIST
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton is one of 50 candidates for the John Wooden award as the nation’s best collegiate player. Thornton is the first Seminole player to be named as a top candidate for the Wooden Award All-American Team and postseason Player of the Year Award since Corey Louis prior to the 1997-98 season. Other preseason candidates for the Seminole program include George McCloud prior to the 1988-89 season and Bob Sura prior to the 1994-95 season. McCloud was a finalist for the award and became the first Seminole player to earn NBA Draft Lottery status when he was picked seventh overall by the Indiana Pacers in the 1989 NBA Draft.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat High Point and win its season-high fifth consecutive game. The Seminoles began their current winning streak with a victory over then No. 4/4 Florida (Dec. 3, 70-66) and have defeated Stetson (Dec. 5, 82-63), Georgia State (Dec. 7, 87-55) and SE Louisiana (Dec. 10, 88-62) in successive games;
…Defeat High Point and win their seventh consecutive home game. The Seminoles are 6-0 at home this season;
…Defeat High Point and win its 17th consecutive non-conference regular season home game. The Seminoles’ winning streak began with a victory over South Alabama (83-52) on Dec. 16, 2004 and includes two victories over the Florida Gators;
…Defeat High Point and win its first of two consecutive games against a team from the Big South Conference. Both High Point and Coastal Carolina (Dec. 21, 7 p.m.) are members of the same conference. The Seminoles are 9-1 against teams from the Big South with its last game coming against UNC Asheville (Jan. 6, 2001, 76-68) and have won nine consecutive games against teams from the conference.
FLORIDA STATE LEADS ACC IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
Florida State enters Monday’s game against High Point as the ACC leader in free throw shooting percentage with a .757 mark. Should that mark stand, or improve, it would rank as a single-season team record. The Seminoles shot a season-high .857 (18-of-21) in their victory over SE Louisiana as they made their first 13 free throws of the game.
SEMINOLES ROLLING FROM THE FREE THROW LINE…
…Florida State has made more free throws than their opponents have attempted in each of their last three games. During the three-game span, the Seminoles have made 55 free throws (55-of-67, .821) while their opponents have attempted 40 free throws (30-of-40, .750);
…Florida State made its season high of 23 free throws in its victory over Stetson. The Seminoles were 23-of-29 from the free throw line (.793) in their victory over the Hatters;
…The Seminoles are averaging 22.3 free throws attempted in each of their last three games after averaging 15.1 free throw attempts in their first seven games of the season.
FLORIDA STATE READY TO PLAY IN RECENT GAMES
Florida State has won its last three games by an average margin of 25.7 points per game. The final scores and margins of victory have, at least in part, to do with the outstanding starts the Seminoles have gotten off to in recent games. The Seminoles are averaging 52.0 first half points and are shooting .570 percent from the field in their last three first halves. Those quick starts have led to three wins and a margin of victory of better than 15 points per game.
IN FLORIDA STATE’S LAST THREE GAMES…
…The Seminoles are shooting .523 from the field (92-of-176) and have made an average of 30.7 field goals per game. The Seminoles are limiting their opponents to a .375 field goal shooting mark (69-of-184) and 23 field goals made per game;
…The Seminoles have scored at least 50 points in each of their last three halves of basketball and average 52.0 points per half since scoring 50 first half points in their victory over Stetson. The Seminoles are limiting their opponents to 31.7 points in the first half of the last three games;
…Florida State is averaging 11.0 steals per game in their last three games and earned 12 in their victory over Georgia State. The Seminoles’ opponents are averaging 8.0 steals per game in the last three games;
…The Seminoles have outrebounded each of their last three opponents after being outrebounded in two of their previous three games.
FLORIDA STATE IN THE ACC STATISTICS
Florida State is ranked first in the ACC statistics in the team free throw shooting percentage category and ranks in the top five of three other team statistic categories. The Seminoles are the team leaders in free throw percentage and tied for the team lead in team steals per game.
SEMINOLES PLAYING WELL AT HOME
Florida State, which is 20-3 (.870 winning percentage) at home in the last two seasons, has won the first six home games for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles won their first six games of the 2005-06 season and improved to 7-0 before falling to North Carolina, 81-80, on Jan. 22, 2006.
SEMINOLE WINNING STREAKS UNDER HAMILTON
Florida State enters Monday’s game against High Point having won four consecutive games for the second time this season. The Seminoles began the season with four wins (McNeese State, Illinois State, SMU and New Orleans) and have won their last four games (Florida, at Stetson, at Georgia State and vs. SE Louisiana). Florida State’s longest winning streak under fifth-year head coach Leonard Hamilton came to begin the 2003-04 season when he guided the Seminoles to 10 consecutive wins to open the season. The Seminoles’ second-longest winning steak under Hamilton, seven games, came during the 2005-06 season when Florida State went undefeated from Nov. 29 (97-57 against Purdue) through Dec. 31 (74-60 against Nebraska). The Seminoles were undefeated during the month of December in 2005-06 as they finished with a 6-0 record in games played during the 12th month. Florida State has started the month of December this year with a 4-0 record and have four games (including Monday night against High Point) remaining in the 12th month of the 2006-07 season.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (15.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg; Avg 7.3 rebs and shooting .821 from FT in 4-gm win strk) F #41 Uche Echefu (7.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg; Avg. 6.8 ppg and 4.3 ppg in 4-gm win strk) G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg; Avg 10.0 ppg and 3.8 apg in 4-gm win strk) G #23 Toney Douglas (14.9 ppg, 2.6 apg; Avg. 14.8 ppg and shoot .545 from 3FG in 4-gm win strk) G #25 Jason Rich (9.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg; Avg 11.0 ppg and 2.0 spg in 4-gm win strk) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (5.1 ppg, 1.9 apg; Avg. 5.8 ppg and shoot .833 from FT in 4-gm win streak) G #11 Jerel Allen (6.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg; Avg 7.3 ppg and shoot 1.000 from FT in 4-gm win strk) F #15 Casaan Breeden (3.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg; Avg 5.0 ppg and shoot .857 from FG in 4-gm win strk) F #42 Ryan Reid (3.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg; Avg 4.0 ppg and shot .583 from FG in 4-gm win strk)
FLORIDA STATE VS. HIGH POINT - A SERIES HISTORY The Series: First Meeting Last Game: First Meeting Last Florida State Win: First Meeting Last High Point Win: First Meeting Last Florida State Win at Tallahassee: First Meeting Last High Point Win at Tallahassee: First Meeting Current Streak vs. High Point: First Meeting Leonard Hamilton vs. High Point: First Meeting
ANOTHER FIRST TIME OPPONENT FOR THE SEMINOLES
Florida State plays host to High Point Monday night marking the first time the Seminoles will play the Panthers in the sport of men’s basketball. Florida State has five first-time opponents on its schedule – Southeastern Louisiana, High Point, Coastal Carolina, St. Peter’s and Providence – all in successive games during the month of December.
CHIP BAKER OF THE FSU BASEBALL TEAM IS A HIGH POINT ALUMNUS
Chip Baker, the much revered and respected Director of Baseball Operations for the nationally ranked Seminole baseball team, is an alumnus of High Point University. A 1980 graduate of High Point, Baker was part of four Carolina Conference championship teams. He was a member of the High Point team that finished second at the 1979 NAIA World Series. High Point has since obtained NCAA Division I status and competes in the Big South Conference in all sports.