January 9, 2017 - by
Freshmen Accept Roles, Lead Bench

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) No. 9/10 Florida State, which has won a school-record tying 11 consecutive games, plays host to No. 7/7 Duke on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center.  The Seminoles enter Tuesday’s game with a 15-1 record, an undefeated 3-0 mark in ACC play and have won each of their last 11 games with its winning streak having started on Nov. 25, 2016 with a 72-61 win over Illinois in the final round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  In addition, the Seminoles have won 14 consecutive games at home (11 during the 2016-17 season and the final three of the 2015-16 season).  Florida State comes into Tuesday’s game fresh off a 93-78 victory over No. 21/23 Virginia Tech on Saturday in Tallahassee in which the earned their second consecutive victory over a nationally ranked opponent.  The Seminoles defeated No. 11/11 Virginia on December 31 in Charlottesville to gain their first ACC road victory of the season.  The Seminoles have now defeated three ranked teams so far this season – No. 21/21 Florida (83-78, December 11), No. 11/11 Virginia (60-58, December 31) and No. 21/23 Virginia Tech (93-78, January 7).  Following Tuesday’s night’s game against Duke, the Seminoles travel to play No. 14/16 North Carolina during its gauntlet of playing six consecutive nationally ranked teams.  The Seminoles are 2-0 in the first two games of its ACC schedule against six nationally ranked teams.

Members of Florida State’s coaching staff are wearing bright green wristbands and lapel pins in support of Coaching for Literacy, a program designed to raise awareness about illiteracy in America and also generate financial support for effective, local literacy programs. Florida State has joined forces with over 25 other NCAA schools and the Washington Wizards as a partner of the Coaching for Literacy and its Assistant Coach Program. The program achieves the mission of the organization by permitting individuals to receive an all-access fan experience in exchange for a donation to a local literacy initiative.  The Seminole men’s basketball program and the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region have joined forces to raise awareness about the number of people who are functionally or totally illiterate in the United States.

Florida State’s 15-1 start to the 2016-17 season matches the best 16-game start in school history.  The Seminoles have started two different seasons with 15-1 records (1988-89 and 2016-17).  The 1988-89 team, which played in the 1989 NCAA Tournament, won 16 of their first 17 games (16-1) before suffering their second loss.  Florida State’s 15-1 start under head coach Leonard Hamilton marks the best start for a Hamilton coached team at Florida State.

No. 9 Florida State, which is 6-1 while playing as a nationally ranked team this season, enters Tuesday’s game against No. 7 Duke with its highest in-season ranking since the 1992-93 season when it was ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation in finishing in second place in the ACC standings and advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.  Florida State is 15-1 for only the second time in school history – the Seminoles started out 16-1 during the 1988-89 season — and are 3-0 in ACC play for the first time since joining the league in 1991.  The Seminoles became the first ACC team to reach the 15-win plateau and sit on top of the standings entering their game against Duke.  Florida State won two conference games in the month of December for the first time in school history.

All-American candidate Dwayne Bacon scored 17 points in Florida State’s 93-78 victory over No. 21/23 Virginia Tech on Saturday in Tallahassee and has scored in double figures in a career-best and current ACC–best 25 consecutive games.  He has scored in double figures in each of the Seminoles’ games since Feb. 17, 2016 when he totaled 10 points against Georgia Tech in Tallahassee.  Bacon has scored 433 points during his streak (17.3 ppg) and scored his career-high of 29 points in Florida State’s victory over No. 11/11 Virginia – including three on a buzzer-beating game-winning shot with two seconds remaining in the game to give the Seminoles the win.

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