Jan. 5, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won eight of its last nine games, travels to play its third top-10 opponent of the season as it faces No. 2/2 North Carolina Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. In addition to their game against North Carolina being their third against a top-10 ranked team in their first 16 games of the season, it is their fifth game against a top-25 ranked team this season. Florida State is 9-1 at home, 2-2 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral court. The Seminoles earned road victories over both Stetson (82-63, Dec. 5) and Georgia State (87-55, Dec. 7) as they won eight consecutive games and finished the month of December undefeated for the second consecutive season. Florida State’s victory over No. 4/4 Florida (70-66, Dec. 3) marked the 17th consecutive season the Seminoles have defeated at least one ranked team over the course of a single season. The Seminoles enter their game against the Tar Heels looking to win their first ACC game of the season. The Seminoles recovered after dropping their first ACC game of the 2005-06 season to post a 9-7 conference record and a fifth place finish in the league standings a year ago. Following Sunday’s game against the Tar Heels, Florida State plays its second of two consecutive conference road games at Georgia Tech (Jan. 13, 6:00p.m.) before returning home to play host to Virginia Tech (Jan. 17, 7:00 p.m.).
THORNTON IN DOUBLE FIGURE SCORING IN ALL 15 SEMINOLE GAMES
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton enters Sunday’s game against North Carolina averaging 16.3 points per game. He has scored in double figures in each of Florida State’s 15 games this season. Thornton’s streak of 15 consecutive games of scoring in double figures is a career-long streak and is the longest by a Seminole since All-ACC First-Team selection Tim Pickett opened the 2002-03 season with a 19-game double-figure scoring streak.
THORNTON CONTINUES TO SHOOT UP SEMINOLES’ ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton has scored 1,076 points and ranks 29th in school history in scoring. Should the senior continue to score at his current pace (or better) he would move into the Seminoles’ all-time top-15 with over 1,300 career points. Take into consideration that Thornton scored 84 total points as a freshman, and one can clearly see that he has worked his way into becoming one of the elite players in college basketball
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat North Carolina and gain a victory over a ranked team on the road for the first time since Feb. 14, 2001 when the Seminoles defeated No. 17 Maryland, 74-71, in Cole Field House in College Park, Md.;
…Defeat North Carolina and gain a victory over the No. 2 ranked team in the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history. The Seminoles have wins over a team ranked everywhere in the nation’s top 10 except for the second ranked team in the nation at the time of the game;
…Defeat North Carolina and gain a win in Chapel Hill for the first time since Jan. 22, 2000. The Seminoles have not been successful against the Tar Heels in their last five trips to Chapel Hill;
…Defeat North Carolina and gain a second win over a ranked team this season. The Seminoles defeated then No. 4/4 Florida (Dec. 3) in Tallahassee.
SEMINOLES LEAD THE ACC IN FREE THROW SHOOTING
Florida State shot an even 80 percent (16-of-20) from the free throw in its ACC opener against Clemson and is the conference leader in free throw shooting percentage with a .761 mark. Should the Seminoles’ free throw shooting mark stand (or improve) the mark will be recorded as the school record for top free throw shooting percentage in the history of the program. The Seminoles’ 80 percent mark from the field against Clemson saw the team make eight of its last 10 free throw attempts in the second half. The Seminoles’ 80 percent mark from the free throw line against Clemson marked the fifth time in the last two seasons that they had shot 80 percent or better from the line in an ACC game. Florida State shot a combined .824 (42-of-51) from the line in two games against Duke last season. All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton made two of four free throw attempts and the Seminoles shot 80 percent from the free throw line (eight of 10) during their last visit to Chapel Hill on March 3, 2005.
SEMINOLES SHOOTING THE BALL WELL FROM THE FIELD
With two players ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in field goal shooting percentage (Al Thornton, fifth and Toney Douglas, eighth) the Seminoles are ranked fourth in the ACC with a .495 field goal shooting percentage. The Seminoles have shot better than 50 percent from the field six times this season including a .554 success rate in their victory over Providence (Dec. 29). Florida State has made more field goals than their opponent in 11 of their 15 games this season including a 27-24 advantage in their victory over Florida (70-66, Dec. 3).
Seminoles Shooting Straight Under Hamilton Season FGM FGM Pct. ACC Rank Notes 2004-05 756 1,671 .452 4th Al Thornton leads at .543 2005-06 806 1,681 .479 3rd Alexander Johnson leads at .540 2006-07 422 853 .495 4th Al Thornton leads at .544 Totals 1,984 1,205 .472 3.6 avg. Al Thornton shooting .531 in last 3 years
FLORIDA STATE SWATTING AWAY THEIR OPPONENTS
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against North Carolina ranked seventh in the ACC with a 4.0 blocked shots per game average. The Seminoles have blocked 60 shots thorough the first 15 games of the season – only 12 fewer blocked shots than they registered in 30 games during the 2005-06 season. Already this season, All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton has a career-high 22 blocked shots and sophomore Uche Echefu has turned back a career-high 11 shots. Thornton ranks seventh in the ACC in blocked shots – he is looking to become the first Seminole player to rank in the top 10 in the ACC in blocked shots since Trevor Harvey ranked eighth with a 1.2 bpg average during the 2002-03 season.
FLORIDA STATE BUILDING STEALS TOTAL AGAIN
Florida State, which is averaging 11.3 steals in its last three games, is ranked fourth in the ACC in steals with a 9.5 steals per game average. The Seminoles have recorded at least 10 steals in eight of their 15 games and recorded a season-high 13 thefts in their victory over Providence (Dec. 29). Florida State has ranked in the top five in steals in the ACC in four of Leonard Hamilton’s five seasons at Florida State and ranked second in the conference during the 2002-03 season.
Seminoles' Steals Rate Ranks Among ACC's Best Season ACC Rank Steals Games SPG Team Leader 2002-03 2nd 273 29 9.4 Tim Pickett, 2.8 spg 2003-04 5th 291 33 8.2 Tim Pickett, 2.8 spg 2004-05 10th 216 31 7.0 Todd Galloway, 1.1 spg 2005-06 4th 262 30 8.7 Isaiah Swann, 1.6 spg 2006-07 3rd 142 15 9.5 Isaiah Swann, 1.9 spg
SEMINOLES KEEPING THEIR OPPONENTS OFF THE SCOREBOARD
Florida State is ranked fifth in the ACC as it is allowing a scant 64.2 points per game through the first 15 games of the season. The Seminoles have allowed 65 or fewer points in 11 of their 15 games and have allowed more than 65 points only four times (88 by Pittsburgh, 81 by Wisconsin, 66 by Florida and 68 by Clemson). Florida State is allowing 5.0 points fewer this season as compared to last season when it surrendered an average of 69.2 points per game to rank ninth in the ACC. The Seminoles’ current scoring defense mark, if it holds, would rank as the sixth lowest opponent scoring averaging in school history and lowest since the 1950-51 season.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (16.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg; 19 pts and 5 rebs vs. North Carolina, Jan. 22, 2006) F #41 Uche Echefu (7.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 2 pts and 2 rebs. Vs. North Carolina, Jan. 22, 2006) G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 11 pts and 3 stls vs. North Carolina, March 3, 2005) G #23 Toney Douglas (13.5 ppg, 2.3 apg; First career game against North Carolina) G #25 Jason Rich (10.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg; 12 pts and 1 blk vs. North Carolina, Jan. 22, 2006) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (5.5 ppg, 2.3 apg; 2 pts and 1 asts vs. North Carolina, March 3, 2005) G #11 Jerel Allen (5.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg; 3 pts and 1 reb vs. North Carolina, Jan. 22, 2006) F #15 Casaan Breeden (4.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg; First career game against North Carolina) F #42 Ryan Reid (3.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg; First career game against North Carolina)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR NORTH CAROLINA F #3 Rayshwan Terry (10.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg; 17 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 22, 2006) F #34 Brandan Wright (15.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg; First career game against Florida State) C #50 Tyler Hansbrough (18.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg; 15 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 22, 2006) G #2 Wayne Ellington (13.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg; First career game against Florida State) G #5 Ty Lawson (9.0 ppg, 5.4 apg; First career game against Florida State)
FLORIDA STATE VS. NORTH CAROLINA -- A SERIES HISTORY The Series: North Carolina leads, 34-8 Last Game: Jan. 22, 2006; North Carolina 81, Florida State 80 Last Florida State Win: Jan. 22, 2004; Florida State 90, North Carolina 81 Last North Carolina Win: Jan. 22, 2006; North Carolina 81, Florida State 80 Last Florida State win in Chapel Hill: Jan. 22, 2000; Florida State 76, North Carolina 71 Last North Carolina win in Chapel Hill: March 3, 2005; North Carolina 91, Florida State 76 Current Streak vs. North Carolina: North Carolina has won 4 Leonard Hamilton vs. North Carolina: 1-7
FLORIDA STATE VS. NORTH CAROLINA – THE LAST GAME
Reyshawn Terry made two free throws with 23 seconds left to lift No. 24 North Carolina to an 81-80 victory over Florida State on Jan. 22, 2006 in Tallahassee. Wes Miller led the Tar Heels with a career-high 18 points and Terry added 17 points and eight rebounds. Miller got all of his points from the outside, hitting 6-of-10 from 3-point range. Alexander Johnson connected on two foul shots with 39 seconds to play to give the Seminoles an 80-79 lead, setting the stage for Terry. Al Thornton’s desperation jumper from the top of the circle in the final seconds was well off the mark for Florida State. Florida State hit 10 of its first 11 shots, building a 25-13 lead and led by 50-37 in the final seconds of the half before North Carolina scored the final five points. The Tar Heels kept up their push in the second half. David Noel’s dunk gave North Carolina a 69-61 lead and finished off a 32-11 surge that started before halftime. Isaiah Swann scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half for the Seminoles and Thornton also finished with 19. North Carolina had five players in double figures and shot a season-high 55.6 percent. Freshman center Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points, Danny Green 11 and Byron Sanders 10 for the Tar Heels.