SUNRISE, Fla. (seminoles.com) No 11/12 Florida State, which has won five consecutive games, travels to play Saint Louis in the 2018 Metro by T-Mobile Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Seminoles’ appearance in the Orange Bowl Classic marks the seventh consecutive season they have played in the event. Florida State arrives at the Orange Bowl Classic ranked No. 11 in the latest Associated Press poll and No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches poll. The Seminoles are ranked in the nation’s top 11 in the AP poll for the third consecutive week and in the top 12 of the coaches poll, also, for the third consecutive week. Florida State has won five consecutive games twice this season and began their current winning streak with a 73-72 win over No. 19/21 Purdue in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge in Tallahassee on November 23.
FLORIDA STATE VS. SAINT LOUIS – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State will face Saint Louis in the Metro by T-Mobile Orange Bowl Classic on December 22, 2018 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. It marks the seventh consecutive season, eighth time under Head Coach Leonard Hamilton and ninth time in their history the Seminoles will play in the Orange Bowl Classic. Florida State holds an 11-1 series advantage and has won four consecutive games against the Billikens. The series began on January 4, 1972 – when the Seminoles took a 63-62 win over St. Louis in the championship game of the Senior Bowl Tournament. It was the same season – just two months later — that Florida State played UCLA in the championship game of the 1972 NCAA Tournament. Florida State and St. Louis played as members of the Metro Conference from the 1976 season through the 1982 season when the Billikens left the conference to join the Mid Continent Conference. Florida State left the Metro for the ACC in 1991. The Seminoles were 10-1 against St. Louis while members of the Metro, with their only loss coming by one point on Feb. 4, 1980. Travis Ford is in his third season as the Billikens’ Head Coach. He, as did Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, coached at Oklahoma State – Hamilton from 1987-90 and Ford from 2008-16. Hamilton and Ford also have the University of Kentucky in common – Hamilton was an assistant coach from 1974-86 and Ford was a player for the Wildcats (1992-94). Ford has faced Hamilton and Florida State twice and is 1-1 (while the head coach at UMass) against the Seminoles. Dante Milligan, a graduate manager at St. Louis, scored 10 points in 18 minutes played in Florida State’s 73-63 win over UMass in 20006.
FLORIDA STATE’S HISTORY IN THE ORANGE BOWL CLASSIC
No. 11 Florida State owns a 7-2 record in nine previous Orange Bowl Classic appearances and enters the 2018 Classic having won seven of their last eight games with victories over Nebraska (in 2005), Western Kentucky (in 2008), Tulsa (in 2012), UMass (in 2013), USF (in 2014), Florida Atlantic (in 2016) and Manhattan (in 2017).
…Mfiondu Kabengele was a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line in Florida State’s victory over North Florida on Wednesday night. He enters Saturday’s game against Saint Louis having made 10 consecutive free throws;
…Christ Koumadje was a perfect five of five from the field in Florida State’s victory over North Florida on Wednesday night and enters Saturday’s game against Saint Louis having made 11 consecutive field goals.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Saint Louis and win its season-high sixth consecutive game of the season. The Seminoles won their first five games of the season (November 6 through November 23) and its most recent five games (November 28 through December 19).
…Defeat Saint Louis and win its 11th game of the season in the month of December for the third consecutive season;
…Defeat Saint Louis and raise its record in neutral site games to 10-3 in the last two seasons. The Seminoles already have neutral site wins this season at the HP Arena in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (a win over UAB and a win over then No. 19/21 LSU) and in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (a win over UConn).
SEMINOLES TO HONOR NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE AGAINST SAINT LOUIS
The Florida State men’s basketball team will wear turquoise Nike N7 uniforms against Saint Louis in the Metro by T-Mobile Orange Bowl Basketball Classic to raise awareness for bringing sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth. It marks the 12th time (and second time this season) the Seminoles will wear the special uniforms. The Seminoles wore the special uniforms in their 73-72 win over No. 18/19 Purdue in Tallahassee on November 28 in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge. This season (2018-19) marks the sixth consecutive season the Seminoles will wear the turquoise uniforms. Florida State makes a distinct departure from its traditional school colors to don turquoise Nike N7 uniforms to stand for the importance of bringing sport and physical activity to Native American and Aboriginal youth. “The Seminole Tribe of Florida approached us about this program, and we are honored and excited to wear these unique uniforms,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles first wore the turquoise uniforms in their 89-61 win over UT-Martin in Tallahassee on November 17, 2013.
FLORIDA STATE IS OFF TO A SCHOOL RECORD TYING START
Florida State, which has won 10 of its first 11 games, has tied the school mark fort the best record after 11 games. The Seminoles are 10-1 for the sixth time in school history – and for the third consecutive season. Each time the Seminoles have begun a season with a 10-1 record, they have been 11-1 after their first 12 games of the season. After starting the 2017-18 season at 10-1, the Seminoles improved to 11-1 with a victory over Southern Miss.
SEMINOLES’ WINNING STREAKS
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Saint Louis looking to win its season-high sixth consecutive game. The Seminoles have two five-game winning streaks this season, earned a nine-game winning streak during the 2017-18 season and totaled a school-record 12-game winning streak during the 2016-17 season.
FLORIDA STATE VS. NORTH FLORIDA – BY THE NUMBERS…
…Florida State scored a season-high 95 points in its victory over North Florida. It marked a season-high for points for Florida State and was the second time the Seminoles scored at least 93 points in a game this season. Florida State scored 93 points in its victory over Canisius (November 19);
…Florida State made 40 field goals in its victory over the Ospreys – the highest total of field goals made by the team this season. The second highest total of field goals made by the Seminoles this season is 31 in victories over Canisius and Southeast Missouri (December 17);
…Florida State shot .661 from 2-point range (37 of 56) in scoring 95 points. The Seminoles scored 80 of their 95 points (.842 percent) from inside of the 3-point line and not from the free throw line;
…Florida State shot a season-high .923 percent from the free throw line (12 of 13) and made their final eight free throws of its win over North Florida. It marked the first time this season the Seminoles shot 90 percent or better in a game;
…Florida State totaled a season-best 2.8:1 assist to turnover ratio with 17 assists against only six turnovers. The Seminoles totaled a season-low one turnover in the first half of their win over North Florida;
FLORIDA STATE TIES SEASON HIGH WITH 11 STEALS IN WIN OVER NORTH FLORIDA
Led by Trent Forest’s four steals, the Seminoles totaled a season-high tying 11 steals in their win over UNF on Wednesday night in Tallahassee. It marked the second time in the last three games (and third time this season) Florida State has earned 11 steals in a game. The Seminoles are averaging 9.3 steals and 13.0 points off turnovers in the last three games.