December 26, 2003 - by
Florida State Plays Host To Maryland Sunday at 5:30

Dec. 26, 2003

Florida State, which was the first team in the nation to win 10 games this season, opens its 13th Atlantic Coast Conference season as it plays host to No. 24 ranked Maryland. The Seminoles won their first 10 games of the season before falling to No. 16 ranked Pittsburgh in the final game of the Holiday Hoops Classic hosted by the Panthers. Florida State’s 10-game season-opening winning streak established the school record for consecutive wins to open a season. It marked the third time in the 58-year history of the program that the Seminoles had won at least the first eight games of a season. Florida State plays host to Maryland looking to win its conference opener for the first time since 2000. The Seminoles and Terps have never played to open the ACC portion of their schedules. Florida State plays two consecutive non-conference games at Stetson (Dec. 30) and at Florida (Jan. 3) before continuing its ACC schedule against NC State Jan. 11 in Tallahassee.

Senior All-America candidate Tim Pickett, who leads the ACC in 3-point field goals made and is ranked second in steals, enters Sunday’s game against Maryland averaging a team leading 14.4 points and a team-leading 2.8 steals per game. He has scored in double figures and has at least one steal in 10 of Florida State’s 11 games. Pickett scored 14 points (eight in the second half) and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds in the Seminoles’ last outing against Pittsburgh. With 28 steals in the first 11 games of the season, Pickett is bidding to become the first Seminole in ACC history to lead the ACC in steals in consecutive seasons.

Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Maryland allowing only 54.5 points per game, holding its opponents to a .356 field goal shooting percentage, a .280 3-point field goal shooting percentage, forcing 17.5 turnovers per games and earning 8.9 steals per game. The Seminoles have not allowed any of their first 11 opponents to score more than 67 points (67 by Georgetown College), have held three of their opponents below 30 percent shooting from the field (South Carolina State, .231; Fairleigh Dickinson, .295 and Chicago State, .298) and have earned 10 or more steals five times (Nicholls State, 18; Fairleigh Dickinson, 12; Wagner, 12; South Carolina State, 11; Miami, 10).

Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Maryland as the only team in the nation with victories over teams from the Big East (Miami, Dec. 14), the Big Ten (Northwestern, Dec. 1) and the Southeastern Conference (Ole Miss, Dec. 3)

…Win its ACC opener for the first time since the 1999-00 season when the Seminoles defeated Wake Forest, 66-64, in Winston-Salem;
…Defeat Maryland for the first time since Feb. 14, 2001 when the Seminoles defeated the No. 18 ranked Terps, 74-71, in College Park, Md.;
…Defeat a ranked Maryland team for the first time since Feb. 14, 2001 and for the third time since joining the ACC. In addition to its victory over the Terps in 2001, the Seminoles beat No. 5 Maryland, 74-70, Jan. 29, 1997 in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Maryland at home for the first time since Jan. 29, 1997 – a span of seven games played in Tallahassee;
…Defeat a ranked team at home for the first time since Feb. 2, 2003 when the Seminoles defeated No. 5 ranked Duke, 75-70.

Florida State opens its 2003-04 ACC slate against Maryland marking the first time the Terps have served as the conference opener for the Seminoles. Florida State won its first ever ACC opener as it defeated North Carolina, 86-74, in Chapel Hill in its first game as a member of the ACC. The Seminoles most recurring ACC opening day opponent is Virginia.

Florida State’s ACC Openers
Date Opponent Score Date Opponent Score

Dec. 15, 1991 at N. Carolina W, 86-74 Dec. 20, 1997 N. Carolina L, 73-81
Jan. 6, 1993 at Virginia L, 76-80 Dec, 1, 1998 at Virginia W, 72-69
Jan. 6, 1994 at Virginia L, 64-84 Jan. 4, 2000 at Wake W, 66-64
Jan. 4, 1995 Virginia L, 71-85 Jan. 4, 2001 Duke L, 72-99
Jan. 3, 1996 at Virginia W, 69-64 Dec. 16, 2001 at Wake L, 72-93
Dec. 5, 1996 at Duke L, 66-72 Dec. 22, 2002 N. Carolina L, 48-69

Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Maryland making an average of 8.6 3-point field goals per game. The Seminoles have made at least 10 3-pointers in four different games and made a season-high 13 in their victories over Nicholls State Nov. 28 and Wagner Dec. 18. The current school record for 3-point shots made per game in a single season is 7.8 during the 1994-95 season. Florida State made 6.4 3-point shots per game last season – an average that ranks as the second highest average in school history.

Florida State averages 7.1 3-point field goals made per game during the first 40 games of the Leonard Hamilton era. The Seminoles averaged 6.4 3-point field goals made during his first season and enter Sunday’s game average 8.6 made per game from long range.

Seminoles From Long Range In The Last Two Years
Year 3FGM 3FGA Pct. Notes

2003-04 95 242 .393 Tim Pickett leads team with 32 3-point FGM
2002-03 186 559 .332 Tim Pickett led team with 84 3-point FGM
Totals 281 801 .351 Tim Pickett has made 116 3-point FG in last 40 games

Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Maryland ranked among the ACC leaders in field goal percentage defense with a .356 mark. During his coaching career, field goals percentage defense for his teams has been Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton’s favorite statistic. Florida State ranked second in the ACC and seventh in the nation with a .391 field goal percentage defense mark last season. During Hamilton’s first 40 games as the head coach at Florida State, the Seminoles have held their opponents to a .382 shooting mark from the field with only four teams having shot better than 50 percent against the Seminoles.

A Lid On The Seminoles’ Defensive Basket
Season FGM FGA Pct. Notes

2003-04 211 601 .356 Ranks 2nd in ACC
2002-03 650 1662 .391 Ranked 2nd in ACC/7th in the nation
Totals 861 2,263 .380 Two consecutive years under 40.0% FG shooting

Florida State’s reserves scored 26 of Florida State’s 47 points (.553 percent) in its victory over Chicago State Dec. 20. It marked the sixth time in their first ten games the Seminoles’ bench had outscored their starting five. The Seminoles’ bench scored 50 of the team’s 81 points (.617 percent) in their Nov. 24 victory over Georgetown and 43 of the team’s 66 points (.576 percent) in their 66-60 victory over Ole Miss Dec. 3. Freshman Alexander Johnson led the Seminoles in scoring with 19 points against Ole Miss and Adam Waleskowski led the team with nine points against Chicago State.

Strength In Reserve Numbers
Opponent Starters Scor Bench Scor High Scorer High Rebounder

Maine 50 19 Pickett (S) Joiner (S)
Georgetown 31 50 Pickett (S) Rich (S)/Waleskow (B)
Nicholls State 49 50 Pickett (S) Rich (S)/Thornton (B)
S.C. State 38 43 Pickett (S) Rich (S)/Thornton (B)
Northwestern 51 20 Richardson (S) A. Johnson (B)
Ole Miss 28 38 A. Johnson (B) Richardson (S)
FDU 36 47 Pickett (S) Waleskowski (B)
Miami 38 29 Richardson (S) Rich (S)/AJ, Awal (B)
Wagner 43 40 Pickett (S) Waleskowski (B)
Chicago State 21 26 Waleskowski (B) A. Johnson (B)
Pittsburgh 28 28 Pickett (S) Pickett (S)
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