March 6, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won two consecutive games, plays Clemson in the first round of the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on March 8 at 12 Noon at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Seminoles and Tigers met twice during the regular season with Clemson taking both meetings. Clemson won in Tallahassee on Jan. 4 (68-66) on a last second lay-up by Cliff Hammonds and won in Clemson on Feb. 7 (71-58) as K.C. Rivers scored a game-high 17 points. With consecutive wins over NC State (Feb. 24, 78-52) and Miami (March 3, 98-90 in overtime) the Seminoles are one of only six teams in the ACC who enter the 54th annual league tournament with a win in their last game and only one of four teams (also Maryland, Georgia Tech and Clemson) who enter the event on a winning steak of at least two games. The winner of Thursday’s game between Florida State and Clemson plays top seeded North Carolina at Noon on Friday in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
THORNTON EARNS ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM HONORS
All-America candidate Al Thornton, who leads the league in overall scoring with a career-high 20.1 points per game average and in conference games only scoring with a career-high 23.5 points per game scoring average earned All-ACC First-Team honors in a vote by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Thornton is only the third player in Seminole basketball history to earn All-ACC First-team honors and the second in the five-year tenure of Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. Thornton joins Bob Sura (1993-94) and Tim Pickett (2003-04) as All-ACC First-Team selections from Florida State. Thornton is a two-time All-ACC selection after earning All-ACC Second-Team honors as a junior during the 2005-06 season.
SEMINOLES IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
Florida State has an all-time record of 5-15 in 15 previous appearances in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles defeated NC State, 93-80, on March 13, 1992 in their first ever tournament game. Florida State is 4-5 in first rounds games and will face Clemson in a first round game on March 8, 2007 at the St. Pete Times Forum. The Seminoles have advanced to the quarterfinals five times with their most recent appearance in that round coming in 1993. The Seminoles were the No. 2 seed in the 1992 and 1993 tournaments.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Clemson and win its third consecutive game against the Tigers in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles defeated the Tigers in the 2002 and 2003 ACC Tournament and have more wins in the tournament against Clemson than any other team;
…Defeat Clemson and win a game in the ACC Tournament for the fist time since the 2003 season. The Seminoles won at least one game in the 2000, 2002 and 2003 tournaments;
……Defeat Clemson and win its 20th game of the season. Florida State won 20 games last season and finished with a 20-10 record. The Seminoles won 25 games during the 1992-93 season and won 22 games during the 1991-92 season.
LOOKING INTO THE SEMINOLES 20-11 RECORD
Florida State finished the regular season with an overall record of 19-11 and an ACC record of 7-9. It marks the third time in the last four seasons that the Seminoles have won 19 or more games in a single season with 20 wins coming last season and 19 coming during the 2003-04 season when they advanced to the second round of the NIT. The Seminoles have won at least 19 games in three of the first five seasons of the Leonard Hamilton era at Florida State. The Seminoles finished with a 14-3 record at home and a winning percentage of .823. It marked the second consecutive season the Seminoles have won at least 80 percent of their home games after recording a 13-2 record at home during the 2005-06 season for a winning percentage of .867 – the second best home winning percentage in school history. The Seminoles finished with a 5-3 record in home conference games marking the second consecutive season the Seminoles have won at least five conference games at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center.
FLORIDA STATE UNDER Leonard Hamilton
Florida State enters the 2007 ACC Tournament with a 19-11 record. The Seminoles have an 84-69 record (.549 winning percentage) under fifth-year Head Coach Leonard Hamilton and average 16.8 victories during the first five years of the Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Florida State has won at least 19 games in three of the last four seasons and average more than 17 wins per season since winning 19 games and advancing to the second round of the NIT during the 2004 season.
SEMINOLES LEAD ACC AND RANKED FIFTH NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW PCT.
Florida State enters the ACC Tournament ranked FIRST in the ACC and FIFTH in the NATION in free throw shooting percentage. The Seminoles are on school record pace and are looking to lead the ACC in free throw shooting for the first time ever with their .767 mark from the line. Florida State has been ranked among the nation’s leaders throughout the season and was ranked No. 1 during the last two weeks with their free throw line performances.
Seminoles Ranked Fifth Nationally Rank Team FTM FTA Pct. Notes 1. California 376 482 .7800 Pac 10 Leader 2. Villanova 532 683 .7789 Big East Leader 3. Utah State 441 570 .7737 WAC Leader 4. Air Force 406 528 .7689 MWC Leader 5. Florida State 444 579 .7668 ACC Leader
SEMINOLES LOOKING TO WRITE THEMSELVES INTO THE ACC RECORD BOOK
Florida State enters the 2007 ACC Tournament with the highest team free throw shooting percentage in school history and the eighth best single-season percentage in ACC history. The Seminoles, who lead the ACC in overall and ACC games only free throw shooting percentages, are looking to lead the conference in free throw shooting percentage for the first time since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season. Florida State ranked sixth in the ACC with a .704 free throw shooting percentage during the 2005-06 season.
Top ACC Team Free Throw Shooting Seasons Rank Team Season FTM FTA Pct. 1. NC State 2004 481 602 .7990 2. Duke 1978 665 841 .7907 3. Duke 1973 496 632 .7848 4. North Carolina 1984 551 704 .7826 5. Wake Forest 1969 642 833 .7707 6. NC State 2003 488 634 .7697 7. Wake Forest 1970 542 706 .7677 8. Florida State 2007 444 579 .7668
SEMINOLE BLOCK PARTY
Florida State has blocked more shots in 30 games this season (98 / 3.3 bpg) than it did in 30 games during the 2005-06 season (72 / 2.4 bpg). The Seminoles have earned more (or at least as many) blocked shots as their opponents in three of the last four seasons.
Florida State has accumulated 231 steals and is averaging 7.6 steals per game this season. The Seminoles have now earned at least 200 steals in each of the last six seasons and during each of the five seasons of the Leonard Hamilton era at Florida State.
SEMINOLES FROM THE 3-POINT LINE
Led by junior Isaiah Swann’s career-high 50 3-point field goals made this season, the Seminoles have been the top 3-point shooting team in the ACC since conference play began in earnest in January. The Seminoles lead the conference in ACC games only 3-point field goal shooting with a .399 mark. Having played 16 consecutive ACC games to close the regular season, the Seminoles have shot nearly six percentage points higher from the bonusphere in ACC games (.399) than they did in their first 14 games of the regular season. The Seminoles rank sixth in the ACC with a .372 mark from the arc.
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (20.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg; 21 pts and 5 rebs vs. Clemson, Feb. 7, 2007) F #41 Uche Echefu (7.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg; 7 pts and 3 rebs vs. Clemson, Jan. 3, 2007) G #3 Isaiah Swann (9.6 ppg, 3.0 apg; 13 pts and 5 asts vs. Clemson, Jan. 3, 2007) G #10 Ralph Mims (5.5 ppg, 2.4 apg; 5 pts and 2 rebs vs. Clemson, Feb. 7, 2007) G #25 Jason Rich (10.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 13 pts and 6 rebs vs. Clemson, Feb. 1, 2006) ...AND TOP RESERVES G #23 Toney Douglas (13.1 ppg, 2.7 apg; 7 pts and 5 rebs vs. Clemson, Jan. 3, 2007) G #11 Jerel Allen (4.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg; 8 pts and 3 rebs vs. Clemson, Feb. 7, 2007) F #15 Casaan Breeden (2.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg; 2 pts and 2 rebs vs. Clemson, Jan. 4, 2006) F #42 Ryan Reid (2.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg; 6 pts and 7 rebs vs. Clemson, Feb. 7, 2007)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR CLEMSON F #1 K.C. Rivers (13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg; 17 pts and 2 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 7, 2007) F #40 James Mays (13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg; 14 pts and 6 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 3, 2007) C #35 Trevor Booker (9.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg; 8 pts and 6 rebs v. Florida State, Feb. 7, 2007) G #3 Vernon Hamilton (12.3 ppg, 3.6 apg; 19 pts and 3 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 3, 2007) G #25 Cliff Hammonds (11.0 ppg, 3.6 apg; 16 pts and 6 asts vs. Florida State, Feb. 7, 2007)
>pre>FLORIDA STATE VS. CLEMSON– A SERIES HISTORY
The Series: Florida State leads, 25-23
Last Game: Feb. 7, 2007; at Clemson 71, Florida State 58
Last Florida State Win: Feb. 1, 2006; at Florida State 69, Clemson 59
Last Clemson Win: Feb. 7, 2007; at Clemson 71, Florida State 58
Last Florida State Win in ACC Tournament: March 13, 2003; Florida State 72, Clemson 61
Last Clemson Win in ACC Tournament: March 12, 1993, Clemson 87, Florida State 75
Current Streak vs. Clemson: Clemson has won 2
Leonard Hamilton vs. Clemson: 3-8 (all at Florida State)
FLORIDA STATE VS. CLEMSON- THE LAST GAME
K.C. Rivers scored 17 points and Clemson hung on to defeat Florida State 71-58 on Feb. 7 at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, South Carolina. The Seminoles had come in winning five of six, including their first victory ever at Duke, 68-67. But Rivers’ bucket with 11:05 left put Florida State behind 15 points and despite a late 15-5 run, the Seminoles could not rally. Cliff Hammonds added 16 points for the Tigers. Al Thornton had 21 points, 13 of them after halftime. He had a lay-up and then a foul shot to cut Clemson’s lead to 55-50 with 4:14 left. But Clemson, one of the ACC’s poorest foul shooting teams, made nine of its next 13 foul shots to remain in front. Thornton, the ACC’s second leading scorer went 12 of 15 from the foul line. For Clemson, Rivers’ strong performance got it going. He had not scored this much since he had 18 points in a loss to Maryland on Jan. 13. He had two quick baskets and then hit a 3-pointer as Clemson opened a 15-7 lead. Another Rivers’ jumper increased the lead to 28-14 with 7:15 left.