GAINESVILLE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — Florida State, which is undefeated in its first six games for the first time since the 2008-09 season, travels to play No. 6 Florida at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville in the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 at 9:00 pm. The game will be televised by on ESPN2. Florida State enters Monday’s game with a 6-0 record after winning at Rutgers on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles are 3-0 at home (with wins over George Washington, Kennesaw State and The Citadel), 1-0 in true road games (a victory at Rutgers) and 2-0 in neutral site games (with victories over Fordham Colorado State) as they won the championship of the inaugural Jamaica Classic. Florida State’s game at Florida is its second true road game of the season and second consecutive game on an opponents’ court. Florida State is in the midst of playing four of five games away from Tallahassee with its games at Rutgers and Florida, followed by a home game against Loyola (Md.) and neutral site contests against Tulane in Tampa (Dec. 10) and Oklahoma State in Sunrise, Fla. (Dec. 16). Florida State plays seven games during the month of December with three in Tallahassee, six in the state of Florida and only one (its ACC opener at Duke on Dec. 30) outside of the state. Following Monday’s game against Florida, the Seminoles play host to Loyola (Md.) on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7:00 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee.
FLORIDA STATE VS. FLORIDA – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State travels to play at Florida at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on December 4, 2017. The Seminoles enter the Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown against the Gators looking to win their fourth consecutive game for the first time in series history, which dates back to the 1951-52 season. The Seminoles are also playing for their second consecutive win in Gainesville since January 26, 1981 and December 23, 1983. Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton enters the game against Florida with six wins against the Gators and is looking become Florida State’s all-time winningest coach against Florida. Pat Kennedy also won six games against Florida during his 11-year tenure as Florida State’s head coach. The Gators are coached by Mike White who is in his third season at Florida. The Seminoles defeated White and the Gators in his first game of the Seminole-Gator rivalry by a 73-71 margin on December 29, 2015 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and defeated the Gators by an 83-78 score on December 11, 2016 in Tallahassee. White is 1-3 against Florida State during his career with a 1-1 record against the Seminoles while he was at Louisiana Tech (two NIT games) and an 0-2 record as the head coach at Florida. Dusty May, an assistant coach on the Florida staff, has coached against the Seminoles twice (while at Louisiana Tech) and has a 1-1 record in two games against Florida State. Jordan Mincy and Kyle Church, both in their third seasons at Florida, have coached against Florida State three times – twice with the Gators during the 2015-16 season and once at Louisiana Tech during the 2014-15 season and are both 0-3 against the Seminoles.
SEMINOLES LOOKING TO WIN THEIR FOURTH STRAIGHT AGAINST FLORIDA
Florida State enters Monday’s game against Florida looking to win its fourth consecutive game against the Gators. The Seminoles’ current three-game winning streak against Florida marks the fourth time in the history of the series (1969, 1978, 79; 1995, 1996, 1997; 2006, 2007, 2008; 1014, 2015, 2016) that Florida State has won three straight against the Gators, most recently during the 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons. Two of the four three-game winning steaks in school history have come under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton (2006, 2007 and 2008 and the current winning streak) with the first coming under Hugh Durham and the second under Pat Kennedy.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Florida and win its fourth consecutive game against Florida for the first time in the history of the 68-game series;
…Defeat Florida and earn a victory against the Gators for the second consecutive visit to Gainesville. The Seminoles defeated the Gators, 73-71, on a Dwayne Bacon jumper with under four seconds to play on Dec. 29, 2015;
…Defeat Florida and win its first game of the season against a ranked team. The Seminoles defeated a school-record tying seven nationally ranked teams in 2016-17 including No. 21/21 Florida on Dec. 11, 2016 in Tallahassee.
FLORIDA STATE ON THE DEFENSIVE
Florida State, which is looking to regain its Junkyard Dog defensive mindset under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton, is one of the nation’s top defensive teams. The Seminoles and Syracuse are the only two teams in the ACC ranked in the top five of the conference statistics for steals per game (9.3, first), blocked shots per game (6.3, fourth) and field goal percentage defense (.375, fourth). Florida State led the nation in the field goal percentage defense category in both 2010 and 2011. The Seminoles held George Washington to a .231 shooting mark from the field (12 of 52) in their season-opening victory over the Colonials on Nov. 14.
DEFENSIVELY IN THE LAST TWO GAMES…
…Florida State has held its opponents to a .366 field goal shooting mark (52 of 142), totaled 19 steals (9.5 spg, 12 steals vs. Rutgers) and 15 blocked shots (7.5 bpg; 10 blocked shots vs. The Citadel).
FLORIDA STATE’S RECENT FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Florida State has held it last three opponents to a combined .388 shooting mark from the field in winning all three games. The Seminoles limited The Citadel to a .333 shooting mark holding the Bulldogs to the lowest scoring total of the season.
FLORIDA STATE OFFENSIVELY
Florida State enters Monday’s game against Florida ranked third in the ACC in scoring (88.8 ppg), second in the ACC in field goal percentage shooting (.517) and third in the ACC in scoring margin (+20 ppg). The Seminoles have scored at least 78 points in five of their first six games, have shot 51 percent or better from the field in four of their first six and have won three of their first six games by at least 20 points. Florida State scored its season-high of 113 points in its victory over The Citadel (113-78, Nov. 24), shot a season-high .559 from the field (38 of 68) in their win over George Washington (Nov. 14) and defeated The Citadel by 35 points (113-78, Nov. 24).