TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — Florida State, which has won two of its first three games of the 2019-20 season, plays host to Chattanooga in the First Round of the Sixth Annual Emerald Coast Classic on Wednesday, November 20, 2020 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. The Emerald Coast Classic is an eight-team tournament broken into two brackets with the Seminoles playing Chattanooga (November 20) and Chicago State (November 25) in Tallahassee before traveling to Niceville, Fla., to play Tennessee (November 29, 7:00 pm EST) and either VCU or Purdue (November 30, 4:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. EST) at The Arena at Northwest Florida State College. Florida State’s game on Wednesday against Chattanooga marks the third meeting between the Seminoles and the Mocs – and the first since the 1974-75 season when Florida State was led by Hall of Fame Head Coach Hugh Durham. The Seminoles lead the all-time series against the Mocs by a 2-0 margin. Following Wednesday’s game against Chattanooga, the Seminoles play host to Saint Francis (Pa.) in a non-conference home game on Saturday, November 23 with the tip scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in the first meeting between the two teams.
HISTORY OF THE EMERALD COAST CLASSIC
Florida State makes its first appearance in the Emerald Coast Classic which crowned Ole Miss as its inaugural Champion in 2014. The Rebels took the first Emerald Coast Classic Championship and have been followed by Iowa State (2015), Virginia (2016), TCU (2017) and Cincinnati (2018) in claiming the team championships in one of the most attractive of the Thanksgiving tournaments spaced among the college basketball landscape. Florida State becomes the third ACC team to play in the event with Virginia (champions in 2016) and Virginia Tech (third place finish in 2015) paving the way for the Seminoles in 2019.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Chattanooga and win its 34th consecutive non-conference home game. The Seminoles’ current streak against non-conference opponents began December 6, 2014 with a 96-73 victory over UCF;
…Defeat Chattanooga and raise its record to 51-3 at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center since the end of the 2015-16 season (a perfect 18-0 record in 16-17; 13-2 in 2017-18, 15-1 in 2018-19 and 1-0 in 2019-20;
…Defeat Chattanooga and win its eighth consecutive home game. The Seminoles closed out their 2018-19 season with victories over Clemson (77-68, January 22), Georgia Tech (59-49, February 2), Louisville (80-75, February 9), Wake Forest (88-66, February 13), Notre Dame (68-61, February 25), NC State (78-73, March 2) and Virginia Tech (73-64 in overtime, March 5) and opened their 2019-20 home schedule with a win over Western Carolina (79-74, November 15).
HAMILTON MOVES CLOSER TO SIXTH WINNINGEST COACH IN ACC HISTORY
With 336 career victories during his tenure at Florida State, 18th-year Head Coach Leonard Hamilton enters the Seminoles’ game against Chattanooga on Wednesday as the seventh all-time winningest coach in ACC history. He needs only 13 wins to move into sixth place in ACC history (passing Maryland’s Lefty Driesell) and only 14 wins to become just the sixth coach in the illustrious history of the nation’s best basketball conference to win 350 career ACC games.
FLORIDA STATE IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES AT THE TUCKER CENTER
Florida State enters Wednesday’s game against Chattanooga having won 33 consecutive non-conference home games at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles’ streak began with a 96-73 win over UCF on Dec. 6, 2015. Included in the streak are three victories over Florida (Dec. 30, 2014, 65-63; Dec. 11, 2016, 83-78; Nov. 6, 2018, 81-60), a win over Minnesota in the ACC Big Ten Challenge (Nov. 28, 2016, 83-78) and a win over Purdue in the ACC Big Ten Challenge (Nov. 28 2018; 73-72).
SEMINOLES ON THE DEFENSIVE
Florida State enters Wednesday’s game against Chattanooga averaging 5.7 blocked shots, 5.0 steals and holding its first three opponents to a .354 shooting percentage from the field. The Seminoles held their first two opponents to a combined .297 shooting from the field (30 of 110) and an average of 56.0 points scored per game. Redshirt sophomore Malik Osborne, who leads the Seminoles with five blocked shots, has helped the Seminoles block at least five shots in each of their first three games. Senior Trent Forrest and redshirt sophomore Anthony Polite have four steals each to lead Florida State who totaled eight steals in its victory over then No. 6 Florida in Gainesville.
SEMINOLES’ FRESHMAN WILLIAMS LEADS ACC IN FREE THROW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
Following his perfect seven of seven performance from the free throw line in Florida State’s victory over Western Carolina, Seminole freshman Patrick Williams enters Wednesday’s game against Chattanooga ranked first in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage. He is the only player ranked in the ACC’s top 15 who is perfect from the line in the first two weeks of the season. Williams was a perfect three of three in the final 2:36 of the Seminoles’ victory over the Catamounts and scored what proved to be the game-winning basket (a layup) with 45 seconds remaining to be played. His bucket at the 0:45 second mark gave Florida State a 75-74 lead – a lead the Seminoles increased following his basket. Williams made a free throw on a traditional three-point play to put the Seminoles up 73-72 with 2:36 to play then made two of two free throws with 16 seconds left in the game to put Florida State up 77-74.