November 7, 2012 - by
Game Preview: Seminoles Vs. South Alabama

Nov. 7, 2012

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( – Head coach Leonard Hamiltonand the Florida State men’s basketball program will celebrate its 2012 ACC Championship by raising its championship banner to the rafters of the Donald L. Tucker Center prior to its season opening game against South Alabama on Friday November 9 at 7:00 p.m. The Seminoles won their first ACC Championship on March 11, 2012 with an 85-82 victory over No. 4 North Carolina at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. Florida State defeated Miami in the quarterfinals, No. 6 Duke in the semifinals and North Carolina in the championship game.

FLORIDA STATE PLAYS HOST TO SOUTH ALABAMA IN 2012-13 SEASON OPENERbr> Florida State, which has played in a school record four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, opens its 66th season of basketball as it plays host to South Alabama in the first round of the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament. Florida State has won four consecutive games against South Alabama including last seasons’ 80-39 win in Tallahassee over the Jaguars. Florida State’s game against South Alabama marks the first time the Seminoles will play a team from the state of Alabama in a season opening game.

Florida State opens its 2012-13 regular season schedule against South Alabama from the Sun Belt Conference. The game between the Seminoles and the Jaguars will mark the second consecutive season the two teams will face each other after Florida State took an 80-39 win in Tallahassee on Nov. 20, 2011. The Seminoles have a 10-2 all-time record against the Jaguars. Florida State has won four consecutive games against USA with all four wins coming since the 1988-89 season. The Jaguars finished with a 17-12 overall record and in second place in the east division of the Sun Belt Conference with an 8-8 record in conference play in 2012. South Alabama is coached by Ronnie Arrow who has coached against Florida State while the head coach at two different schools (South Alabama and Texas A&M Corpus Christi). The Seminoles defeated USA twice on their way to the NCAA National Championship game during the 1971-72 season. Florida State gained a 105-72 win at home on Jan. 19, 1972 and a 104-81win on the road on Feb. 7, 1972. Florida State went on to storm through the 1972 NCAA Tournament before losing to No. 1 ranked UCLA, 81-76, in the championship game.

All-American and preseason All-ACC First Team selection Michael Snaer, the Most Valuable Player in the 2012 ACC Tournament, heads a group of seven very experienced letter winners as Florida State enters the 2013 season looking to play in its school record fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles won the ACC Championship defeating Miami, No. 6 ranked Duke (62-59) and No. 4 ranked North Carolina (85-82) to win the ACC Tournament title, after finishing in third place in the ACC standings with a 12-4 record. The Seminoles earned the No. 3 seed in the East Region of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

All-American and ACC Player of the Year candidate Michael Snaer, who led Florida State with a career-high 14.0 points per game scoring average in 2012, is the Seminoles’ returning leader in five different statistical categories including scoring, steals, assists and minutes played. Snaer led the Seminoles in both scoring (489 points / 14.0 ppg) and minutes played (1,065 minutes played / 30.4 MPG). He finished in 10th place in the 2012 ACC statistics in scoring and is the fifth leading returning scorer in the ACC for the 2013 season. Junior Okaro White, who averaged a career high 4.4 rebounds in 35 games played as a sophomore, is Florida State’s leading returning rebounder from the Seminoles’ 2011-12 team that won 25 games and advanced to the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

…Defeat South Alabama and win its 11th consecutive season opening game. The Seminoles have won each of their season openers since the start of the 2002-03 season and have won every season opener (ten) during the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee; …Defeat South Alabama and win its fifth consecutive game against South Alabama. The Seminoles have won each of their games against the Jaguars since Dec. 14, 1988 and both of their two games against the Jaguars under head coach Leonard Hamilton.

All-American and ACC Player of the Year candidate Michael Snaer, who has started 77 of the Seminoles’ last 79 games, has played in a team high 101 career games and has started a team high 77 games entering the 2012-13 season. The Seminoles’ seven returning letter winners have played in a total of 327 games with a total of 107 career starting assignments spread out among three players – Snaer (77), Okaro White (25) and Terrance Shannon(five). The Seminoles are 70-31 overall (.693 winning percentage), 33-15 in the ACC (.688 winning percentage) and have played in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments with its current group of veterans on the roster.

Florida State is ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and is tied for 24th in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll to begin the 2012-13 season. It marks the first time in school history the Seminoles have been included in the preseason poll by both the writers and the coaches in the same season. Florida State is ranked 25th in the preseason men’s college basketball poll by the Associated Press marking the first time since the 1992-93 season that the Seminoles have been ranked nationally in the preseason writers’ poll. The Seminoles are one of three ACC teams — NC State (sixth), Duke (eighth) and North Carolina (11th) – to begin the season nationally ranked. The Seminoles were a combined 5-1 against the Wolfpack (1-0), the Blue Devils (2-1) and the Tar Heels (2-0) last season and defeated North Carolina, 85-82, in the championship game of the 2012 ACC Tournament on March 11 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga.

Florida State, which won the 2012 ACC Championship, was picked to finish fourth in the 2013 ACC standings by the attending media at ACC Operation Basketball on Oct. 17, 2012. The Seminoles received six first place votes and were placed behind NC State, Duke and North Carolina as they were picked to finish fourth or higher for the fifth consecutive. Senior Michael Snaer, who won the Everett Case Award as the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 ACC Tournament, was a pre-season All-ACC selection along with C.J. Leslie (NC State), James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina), Lorenzo Brown (NC State) and Mason Plumlee (Duke). Snaer was tied with Leslie as the two players who received the most votes (50 of 53 votes cast) in the voting for the pre-season All-ACC Team. Snaer averaged a career-high 14.0 points per game as a junior in 2012 and earned All-ACC Second Team Honors. Florida State was one of three teams to earn first place votes on the 53 ballots cast by the members of the media at the event. The Seminoles received six first place votes – the first time under Hamilton that the Seminoles have received first place votes in the preseason voting at ACC Operation Basketball. Only the Seminoles, the Wolfpack and Duke earned first place votes in the poll.

Senior Michael Snaer has been selected as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award – an award that focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. A total of 30 men’s basketball student-athletes who excel both on and off the court have been selected as candidates for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Final Four in Atlanta April 6. Snaer is one of three players from the ACC to be named to the prestigious list. He is joined by C.J. Harris of Wake Forest and Mason Plumlee of Duke and is the only player from a school in the state of Florida named to the list. The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one men’s finalist and one women’s finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. 
 Snaer is working towards his degree in family and child sciences and is scheduled to earn his degree in April of 2013. His current academic endeavor includes an externship at the local elementary school where he mentors students three days a week. He has also donated his time in the community to the American Cancer Society, the Tallahassee Boy’s and Girl’s Club and to diabetes awareness.

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