Nov. 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) –
No. 24/25 Florida State plays its third game as a ranked team as it plays host to South Alabama on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have won their first three games to open the season and will play the Jaguars in the final game of their season opening four game home stand. The Seminoles opened the season with a victory over Jacksonville (Nov. 11, 79-67), joined the national rankings and have defeated both UCF (Nov. 14, 73-50) and Stetson (Nov. 16, 79-66) to raise their record to 3-0. It marks the sixth consecutive season the Seminoles have won at least their first three games of the season (every year since the start of the 2006-07 season). Florida State won a school record 10 consecutive games to open the 2003-04 season under head coach Leonard Hamilton. Following Sunday’s game against South Alabama the Seminoles will travel to play three games in the Battle4Atlantis at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Florida State opens the event against UMass on Nov. 24 at 4:30 p.m. and will play either Harvard or Utah in the second round on Nov. 25. The championship and consolation games are on Nov. 26. Following its participation in the Battle4Atlantis Florida State will travel to play at Michigan State (Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
FLORIDA STATE VS. SOUTH ALABAMA
Florida State plays host to South Alabama in its fourth consecutive home game to open the season on Nov. 20. The Seminoles have a 9-2 all-time record against the Jaguars and will face them for the first time since an 83-52 win on Dec. 16, 2004 in Tallahassee. Florida State has won three consecutive games against USA with all three wins coming since the 1988-89 season. The Jaguars finished with a 12-16 overall record and in fourth place in the east division of the Sun Belt Conference in 2010-11. South Alabama is coached by Ronnie Arrow who has coached against Florida State while the head coach at two different schools. The Seminoles defeated USA twice on their way to the NCAA National Championship game during the 1971-72 season. Florida State gained a 105-72 win at home on Jan. 19, 1972 and a 104-81win on the road on Feb. 7, 1972. Florida State went on to storm through the 1972 NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 1 ranked UCLA, 81-76, in the championship game.
TRACKING Bernard James
Senior Bernard James enters Sunday’s game against South Alabama averaging a near double double of 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in Florida State’s first three games of the 2011-12 season. He is shooting .750 from the field (including .833, 15 of 18 in the last two games) and has blocked a team leading five shots to bring his career total to 87 in only 37 games (2.4 bpg). James enters Sunday’s game against South Alabama looking to earn his third consecutive double double for the first time in his career. He has earned double doubles (18 points and 11 rebounds against Jacksonville and 15 points and 11 rebounds against Stetson) in the last two games. James is looking to become the first player since Chris Singleton during the 2010-11 season. Singleton totaled double doubles against UNC Greensboro (22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals), Gardner Webb (30 points and 12 rebounds) and at Florida International (14 points and 13 rebounds) in three of the first four games of the 2010-11season.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat South Alabama and win its fourth consecutive game to open the 2011-12 season. It will mark the fifth time in Leonard Hamilton’s 10-year tenure that they have won at least their first four consecutive games of a season;
…Defeat South Alabama and win its fourth consecutive game against South Alabama. The Seminoles’ current three-game winning streak began on Dec. 14, 1988;
..Defeat South Alabama and win its third consecutive game as a ranked team. The Seminoles were 0-1 as a ranked team during the 2010-11 season.
FLORIDA STATE RECENTLY IN THE DONALD L. TUCKER CENTER
Florida State is 23-3 (.885 winning percentage) in non-conference home games since the start of the 2008-09 season.
SEMINOLES ENTER NATIONAL POLLS
Florida State is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 25 in the Associated Press poll this week. The Seminoles began the season ranked No. 26 in both polls in the preseason and joined the top 25 following its win over Jacksonville on Friday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have now been ranked in four consecutive seasons and in parts of five of head coach Leonard Hamilton’s first 10 years at Florida State. The Seminoles’ highest ever national ranking came during the first three weeks of the 1972-73 season when they were ranked No. 2 nationally in the Associated Press poll during the preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season.
FLORIDA STATE BY THE NUMBERS IN ITS FIRST THREE GAMES…
…Florida State has made nearly as many free throws (48) as its opponents have attempted (49) during the first three games of the 2011-12 season. Overall, the Seminoles have attempted 23 more free throws (+7.7 free throws per game) than their opponents. The Seminoles made more free throws than both Jacksonville and Stetson attempted in wins over the Dolphins and the Hatters;
…Led by Bernard James’ five blocked shots in the first three games of the season, Florida State has blocked twice as many (14-7) shots as their opponents. The Seminoles did not have a shot blocked in their win over Stetson on Wednesday night and have earned more blocked shots than their opponents in each of their first three games of the season;
…Florida State is limiting its opponents to .368 shooting from the field – right line with its nation’s leading field goal percentage defense of .365 during the 2010-11 season;
…Florida State has won each of its first three games by double figures – and earned its win over UCF by a season high 23 points;
FLORIDA STATE’S WINNING PERCENTAGE IN THE LAST THREE SEASONS
Florida State is the third winningest program in the ACC in the last three years (since the start of the 2008-09 season) in total games played with 72 wins. The Seminoles averaged 23.3 wins per season with records of 25-10 (2008-09) and 22-10 (2009-10) in the last two seasons and 23-11 during the 2010-11 season. Florida State enters the 2011-12 season having won 26 of their last 38 ACC games since defeating Boston College on Feb.14, 2010.