December 11, 2003 - by
Seminoles Travel To Play Miami In Men’s Basketball Sunday

Dec. 11, 2003

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With a perfect 7-0 record, the Florida State men’s basketball team travels to play the Miami Hurricanes in search of its third 8-0 start in school history and its first since the 1988-89 season. Florida State enters Sunday’s game looking to tie the school record for the best start to a season following the lead of the Seminoles’ 1988-89 and 1977-78 teams, which also won their first eight games. The Seminoles’ game against the Hurricanes also marks the first road game of the season for Leonard Hamilton’s team who played its first seven games of the 2003-04 season in the friendly confines of the Leon County Civic Center. The game also marks a homecoming for Hamilton who was Miami’s head coach from 1991-00 and led the Hurricanes to 114 wins, three NCAA Tournaments and two NIT tournaments. Following Sunday’s game against the Hurricanes, Florida State plays three consecutive games in the University of Pittsburgh Holiday Hoops Classic. The Seminoles play host to Wagner (Dec. 18, 7 p.m.) before traveling to Pittsburgh to play Chicago State (Dec. 20, 4 p.m.) and Pitt (Dec. 22, 7 p.m.) to close out the event. Florida State defeated Georgetown (Ken.) (81-67; Nov. 24) in Tallahassee during the first round of the four-game exempt tournament.


Best Starts In School History
Season First First First First
7 Games 8 Games 9 Games 10 Games

2003-04 7-0 Dec. 14 Dec. 18 Dec. 20
1988-89 7-0 8-0 8-1 9-1
1977-78 7-0 8-0 8-1 9-1


ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE Tim Pickett
Senior All-America candidate Tim Pickett, who has led the Seminoles in scoring in 22 of his 36 career games, enters Sunday’s game against Miami averaging a team-leading 16.1 points, a team-leading 2.4 steals, a team-leading 3.4 made 3-point field goals per game and shooting a perfect 1.000 percent (nine-of-nine) from the free throw line. Pickett ranks in the top 10 in four different ACC statistical categories – he is first in 3-point field goals made (3.43 pg), second in 3-point field goal percentage (.480), fifth in steals (2.43 pg) and seventh in scoring (16.1 ppg). Pickett has at least one steal in all seven games this season and in 12 consecutive games and enters Sunday’s game with 99 career steals.


LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Tie the all-time school record for wins to start a season with a victory over Miami. The school record for consecutive wins at the beginning of a season is eight by both the 1988-89 and 1977-78 seasons;
…Defeat Miami for the second consecutive season after defeating the Hurricanes, 72-55, in Tallahassee last season. The Seminoles enter Sunday’s game having won three consecutive games against the Hurricanes;
…Win its fourth consecutive game against a Big East opponent. The Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech (76-69; Jan. 6, 2003) and Miami (72-55; Dec. 8, 2002) last season and beat the Hokies (78-49; Dec. 27, 2001) two years ago. Both Virginia Tech and Miami will become members of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2004-05 season;
…Run its winning streak to eight games – its longest since winning eight consecutive during the 1990-91 season. The Seminoles won eight consecutive games from Feb. 21 through March 14. During their late season march, the Seminoles won their final four games of the regular season, three straight games to win the Metro Conference championship and one of two games in the NCAA Tournament.


FLORIDA STATE ON THE DEFENSIVE
Florida State is one of the nation’s top defensive teams for the second consecutive season. Through the first seven games of the season the Seminoles are ranked first in the ACC in scoring defense allowing only 53.6 points per game. Florida State led the ACC in scoring defense a year ago. A year ago, the Seminoles led the ACC and ranked seventh in the nation in field goal percentage defense. The Seminoles are ranked second in the ACC in field goal defense – they are allowing their opponents to make less then 35 percent of their shots from the field. Florida State has held two opponents (South Carolina State and Fairleigh Dickinson) below 30 percent shooting from the field. In addition, the Seminoles have outrebounded six of their seven opponents so far this season.


Tough Seminole Defense
Category Statistic ACC Rank Notes

Scoring Defense 53.6 ppg 1 Ranked 1st in ACC in 2002-03 season
FG Pct. Defense .349 2 Ranked 2nd in ACC in 2002-03 season
Rebounding Def. 29.6 2 Ranked 7th in ACC in 2002-03 season
Steals 10.0 4 Ranked 2nd in ACC in 2002-03 season


STEALING IS LEGAL UNDER HAMILTON
Led by senior All-America candidate Tim Pickett’s 2.4 steals per game average, Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Miami averaging 10.0 steals per game. The Seminoles recorded a season-high 18 steals in their victory over South Carolina State Nov. 28 and swiped 12 more in their victory over Fairleigh Dickinson Dec. 6. Florida State ranked second in the ACC with a 9.4 steals per game average during Head Coach Leonard Hamilton’s first season in Tallahassee.



Florida State is averaging 10.0 steals per game with 70 steals in its first seven games of the 2003-04 season. The Seminoles are averaging 9.5 steals per game during the first 36 games of Head Coach Leonard Hamilton’s tenure at Florida State after averaging only 6.4 steals per game in the three years prior to his arrival.


Getting In The Passing Lanes
Years Steals Games SPG Notes
2003-04 (2 Years) 343 36 9.5 Ranked second in ACC in steals in 2002-03
2000-02 (3 Years) 561 88 6.4 Avg. 187 steals per season / 3 years
Improvement +3.1 Averaging 10.0 spg in 2003-04


SEMINOLES FORCING TURNOVERS
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Miami forcing an average of 19.4 turnovers per game. The Seminoles have forced their opponents into 136 turnovers through their first seven games of the season. The school record for turnovers forced is 21.1 during the 1974-75 season when the Seminoles finished with an 18-8 record. Florida State forced an average of 20 or more turnovers each season from 1974 through 1977. The highest turnovers forced mark since 1977 was 17.4 during the 1998-99 season.


SEMINOLES CUTTING DOWN ON TURNOVERS
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Miami growing more comfortable in holding onto the basketball and limiting its turnovers. The Seminoles committed a season-low tying 12 turnovers in their victory over Ole Miss and were charged with 14 in their victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.


Holding Onto The Ball
Games TO TO/Game Notes
First 5 86 17.2 Season-high 22 turnover vs. Georgetown
Last 2 26 13.0 Season-low tying 12 turnovers vs. FDU
Improvement -4.2 FSU averaged 14.8 TO per game in 2002-03


SEMINOLES SHOOTING STRAIGHT
Florida State is shooting .501 from the field and is ranked third in the ACC in field goal shooting percentage. After opening night jitters against Maine (Nov. 21) when they shot a season-low .389 from the field, the Seminoles are shooting .519 from the field in their last six games. Led by ACC Rookie of the Year candidate Alexander Johnson, who is shooting .750 from the field, the Seminoles have shot above 50 percent in four of their first seven games of the season. Florida State shot .432 from the field during the 2002-03 season.


Florida State Finding The Goal
Games FGM FGA Pct. Notes
Games 2-7 195 389 .519 Season-high .563 in ACC/Big 10 victory over N’Western
Game 1 21 54 .389 Season-low shooting percentage in season opener
Improvement +13.0% Seminoles rank 3rd in ACC in field goal percentage


PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE…
F #1 Michael Joiner (6.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg; 9 pts., 2 asts vs. Miami, 12/8/02)
F #54 Anthony Richardson (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg; 14 pts., 6 rebs. vs. Miami, 12/08/02)
C #33 Mike Mathews (2.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg; 2 pts., 1 blk. vs. Miami, 12/08/02)
G #10 Nate Johnson (2.9 ppg, 4.7 apg; 5 pts., 5 asts. vs. Miami, 12/8/02)
G #22 Tim Pickett (16.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg; 17 pts., 5 rebs. vs. Miami, 12/08/02)
AND TOP RESERVES…
G #4 Todd Galloway (5.4 ppg, 3.7 apg; 11 pts, 4 asts. vs. Miami, 12/08/02)
F #12 Al Thornton (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg; First career game vs. Miami)
G #20 Andrew Wilson (3.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg; 4 pts, 1 stl. vs. Miami, 12/08/02)
G #23 Von Wafer (8.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg; First career game vs. Miami)
F #32 Alexander Johnson (9.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg; First career game vs. Miami)
F #51 Adam Waleskowski (3.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg; 5 pts, 9 rebs. vs. Miami, 12/08/02)


FLORIDA STATE VS. MIAMI —  A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 28-23
Last Game: Dec. 8, 2002; FSU 72, Miami 55
Last Florida State Win: Dec. 8, 2002; FSU 72, Miami 55
Last Miami Win: Jan. 18, 1990; Miami 90, FSU 89
Last Florida State Win In Miami: Feb. 28, 1970; FSU 112, Miami 96
Last Miami Win In Miami: Jan. 18, 1990; Miami 90, FSU 89
Florida State vs. Miami, Current Streak: Florida State has won 2
Leonard Hamilton vs. Miami: 1-0 (at Florida State)


FLORIDA STATE VS. MIAMI – THE LAST FOUR GAMES
Dec. 8, 2002 Feb. 17, 1990 Jan. 18, 1990 Feb. 26, 1987
at Florida State 72 at Florida State 92 at Miami 90 at Florida State 108
Miami 55 Miami 73 Florida State 89 Miami 84


FLORIDA STATE VS. MIAMI – THE LAST GAME
Tim Pickett scored 17 points – all in the first half – and Anthony Richardson added 14 Florida State defeated Miami, 72-55, Dec. 8, 2002 in the Leon County Civic Center. It was the first time Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton was up against his former team, now coached by Perry Clark. James Jones scored 14 points and Darius Rice 11 for Miami, which shot just 28.3 percent in the game and 21.7 percent from 3-point range. Both teams were ragged, combining for 39 turnovers and 41 personal fouls. Pickett hit four shots from 3-point range to go along with five first half free throws as the Seminoles took a 39-28 halftime lead. Richardson scored 10 of his points in the second half, including three slam-dunks, after Miami (3-2) tightened up on Pickett. Nate Johnson hit two straight jump shots – one from 3-point distance – to spark an 11-0 run that gave Florida State a 50-33 lead 4:15 into the second half and the Seminoles were never threatened – opening their biggest advantage at 66-47 with 5:10 left in the game.

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