February 26, 2008 - by
Seminoles Travel To Play At NC State On Wednesday At 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 26, 2008



Game Notes 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, who has won two consecutive ACC games, travels to play at NC State on Wednesday Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. The Seminoles’ game against the Wolfpack is their first on the road since playing at Maryland on Feb. 16 and their first game on the road since playing two consecutive games at home. Florida State enters Wednesday’s game against NC State with consecutive victories over Clemson (Feb. 19, 64-55) and Boston College (Feb. 23, 66-63) to mark the first time this season the Seminoles have won consecutive ACC games. With three ACC games remaining in the regular season, the Seminoles are looking to get to the .500 mark in league play for the second time in the last three seasons. The Seminoles finished with a 9-7 record in conference play during the 2005-06 season and were 7-9 against league competition in 2006-07. Following Wednesday’s game against NC State, the Seminoles will play their second consecutive game in the state of North Carolina as they travel to play at No. 3/3 North Carolina (March 4) before closing out the regular season at home against Miami (March 8).

ALL-ACC CANDIDATE DOUGLAS CONTINUES TO LEAD SEMINOLES
All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas, the top perimeter defender and the eighth leading scorer in the ACC this season, is enjoying one of the top all-around seasons of any player in the ACC this season. He is ranked first in steals (80 steals / 2.86 spg), eighth in scoring (442 points, 15.8 ppg), eighth in field goal percentage (.462), tied for 10th in 3-point field goals made (52) and third in minutes played (35.1 mpg). Douglas – the ACC’s Chief Thief – earned three steals in the Seminoles’ victory over Boston College to bring his ACC-leading total to 80 and making him only the eighth player in Florida State history to earn 80 or more steals in a single game.

ALL-ACC CANDIDATE RICH ALSO ENJOYING STRONG SEASON
All-ACC candidate Jason Rich , who is ranked 18th in the ACC with a career-high 13.4 points per game, is averaging career-high statistics for scoring, 3-point field goals made (23), free throws made (71), rebounds (4.4) and games with at least 20 points scored (six). He is averaging 15.0 points scored per game in the Seminoles’ 13 ACC games.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat NC State and win its third consecutive ACC game. It would mark the third time in the last two seasons that the Seminoles had won three consecutive games against ACC competition. The Seminoles defeated Wake Forest, Maryland and Duke in successive games during the 2006-07 regular season and beat NC State, Miami and Clemson at the end of the 2006-07 season with their victories over NC State and Miami coming in the final two games of the regular season and their victory over Clemson coming in the first round of the 2007 ACC Tournament;
…Defeat NC State and gain its third ACC road victory of the season. The Seminoles most recently won three ACC road games in a year when they won at Virginia (87-82 in overtime), at Wake Forest (75-68) and at Miami (67-64) in their way to a 20-10 overall record and a 9-7 record in conference play during the 2005-06 season;

SEMINOLES AMONG ACC LEADERS IN SCORING DEFENSE
Florida State enters Wednesday’s game against NC State ranked fourth in the ACC in scoring defense as it is allowing 68.4 points per game. In their last three wins – all against ACC competition – the Seminoles have allowed a total of 173 points for an average of 57.7 points per game. The Seminoles limited both Miami (averaging 75.8 ppg / scored 20.8 less than its season average) and Clemson (averaging 80.2 ppg / scored 25.2 less than its season average) to 55 points and held Boston College to 63 points (averaging 72.7 ppg / scored 9.7 less than its season average) in earning their third, fourth and fifth conference victories of the year. Florida State led the ACC in scoring defense in Leonard Hamilton’s first season in Tallahassee (2002-03) and ranked second in scoring defense in the league statistics during his second season in Tallahassee (2003-04).

Points Allowed Per Game Under Leonard Hamilton
Season     Pts/Alwd.   Games    PPG/Alwd.   ACC Rank
2002-03    1,930       29       66.6        1st
2003-04    2,148       33       65.1        2nd
2004-05    2,170       31       70.0        7th
2005-06    2,077       30       69.2        9th
2006-07    2,414       35       69.0        6th
2007-08    1,915       28       68.4        4th

SEMINOLES LEAD ACC IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
Florida State continues to prove itself as one of the most accurate free throw shooting teams in the nation. The Seminoles have made 430 free throws this season and enter Wednesday’s game against NC State ranked FIRST IN THE ACC AND FIFTH IN THE NATION IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE. The Seminoles have shot better than 70 percent in each of the last three seasons and led the ACC with a school record .758 mark from the line during the 2006-07 season. Florida State has made more free throws than its opponent 15 times this season and averages 15.4 made free throws.

FLORIDA STATE FROM THE FREE THROW LINE LATE IN RECENT GAMES
…Florida State made its final nine free throws of the game in the last 5:01 of its victory over Boston College on Saturday. Junior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas and senior guard Ralph Mims were both four-of-four from the line during that span;
…Florida State made 11 free throws in 15 free throw attempts in the final 3:43 of its victory over Clemson on Feb. 19. Junior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas was five-of-six and senior guard Ralph Mims was four-of-four during that span;
…Florida State made nine of its final 11 free throws attempts in the final 5:50 of its victory over Miami on Feb. 6. Junior All-ACC candidate Toney Douglas was five of six from the line during that span.

FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE GETTING DOWN TO WHERE HAMILTON WANTS IT
If you ask Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton what his favorite statistic is, there is a good chance he might tell you of his affinity for the field goal percentage defense mark by his team. The Seminoles are currently ranked seventh (with a bullet) in the ACC in the field goal percentage statistic. In its last six games, the Seminoles are limiting their opponents to just over 40 percent from the field. The Seminoles’ field goal percentage defense in their three wins during the month of February is .353 (60-of-170).

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #41 Uche Echefu (10.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg; 14 pts and 6 rebs vs. NC State, Jan. 26, 2008)
F #42 Ryan Reid (4.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg; 5 pts and 3 rebs vs. NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
G #10 Ralph Mims (11.0 ppg, 1.6 apg; 14 pts and 6 rebs vs. NC State, Jan. 26, 2008)
G #23 Toney Douglas (15.8 ppg, 2.9 spg; 17 pts and 4 stls vs. NC State, Jan. 26, 2008)
G #25 Jason Rich (13.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg; 7 pts and 3 rebs vs NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)
...AND TOP RESERVES
F #2 Jordan Demercy (1.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. NC State, Jan. 26, 2008)
F #21 Julian Vaughn (3.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg; 2 pts and 4 rebs vs. NC State, Jan. 26, 2008)
F #33 Matt Zitani (1.7 ppg, 1.2 rpg; 0 pts and 0 rebs vs. NC State, Jan. 26, 2008)
G #3 Isaiah Swann (11.8 ppg, 2.9 apg; 12 pts and 2 asts vs. NC State, Feb. 24, 2007)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR NC STATE
F #11 Gavin Grant (14.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 15 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 24, 2007)
F #34 Ben McCauley (6.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg; 7 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 26, 2008)
C #1 J.J. Hickson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg; 12 pts and 10 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 26, 2008)
G #4 Courtney Fells (11.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 16 pts and 1 reb vs. Florida State, Jan. 26, 2008)
G #10 Javier Gonzalez (3.2 ppg, 2.1 apg; 7 pts and 4 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 26, 2008)

FLORIDA STATE VS. NC STATE - A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: NC State leads, 25-16
Last Game: Jan. 26, 2008; NC State 69, Florida State 66
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 24, 2007; Florida State 78, NC State 52
Last NC State Win: Jan. 26, 2008; NC State 69, Florida State 66
Last Florida State Win in Raleigh: Jan. 26, 2005; Florida State 70, NC State 64
Last NC State Win in Raleigh: Feb. 15, 2006; NC State 86, Florida State 64
Current Streak: NC State has won 1
Leonard Hamilton vs. NC State: 2-8

FLORIDA STATE VS. NC STATE – THE LAST MEETING
Freshman J.J. Hickson sank two free throws with 9.6 seconds left and then blocked a Toney Douglas layup try at the other end of the floor to boost NC State to a 69-66 victory over Florida State on Jan. 26, 2008 in Tallahassee. Courtney Fells’ 3-point shot had tied the game at 66 with 40 seconds left before Hickson’s two free throws make it 68-66 and Javier Gonzalez added a free throw with 2.2 seconds left after Hickson’s game-saving block. Douglas had put the Seminoles ahead 62-59 with a 3-point basket with 2:50 to go but failed on his last two attempts in the final 10 seconds. Fells led the winners with 16 points, Gavin Grant added 14 and Hickson coupled a dozen points with a game-high 10 rebounds. Douglas’ 17 points led Florida State which also had 14 points each from Uche Echefu and Ralph Mims. The big difference came in the first half when the visiting Wolfpack scored the final 17 points to erase a 12-point deficit. Grant hit a 3-pointer and added a layup 23 seconds later to ignite the run in the final 4:31 of the half that gave the Wolfpack a 36-31 halftime lead. Florida State had built a 31-19 advantage before going scoreless the final 5:08 of the half. The Seminoles regained the lead 43-42 with 12:24 left when Jason Rich slipped free along the baseline for an uncontested dunk that setup a seesaw finish.

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