November 19, 2013 - by
Gameday: Florida State vs. VCU In Puerto Rico

Nov. 19, 2013

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Florida State, which is 3-0 under head coach Leonard Hamilton to begin the 2013-14 season, travels to play No. 10/10 VCU in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7:30 p.m. EST on November 21, 2013. The Seminoles are averaging 86.7 points scored and have won each of their first three games of the season by an average of 21.3 points per game. The Seminoles’ game against VCU is their second against the Rams and first since the 2011 NCAA Tournament when VCU took a 72-71 overtime win at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas to advance to the Elite Eight of the tournament. Following Thursday’s game against VCU, the Seminoles will play either No. 13/14 Michigan or Long Beach State in the second round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

Florida State will play VCU in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on November 21. It will mark the Seminoles’ second game against the Rams and the first game between the two teams since the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Florida State is 0-1 against VCU and has a 32-15 record against teams from the Atlantic 10. The Seminoles’ last game against an A-10 team came against St. Joseph’s in the championship game of the 2012 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Seminoles defeated the Hawks, 73-66, on the court of the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. VCU is coached by Shaka Smart. Smart has familiarity with the Seminoles and has coached against Florida State seven times — as an assistant coach at Clemson (2006-08) and as an assistant coach at Florida (2008-09). Florida State is 3-4 against Smart-coached teams (2-3 at Clemson, 1-0 at Florida and 0-1 at VCU). Florida State leads the all-time series against teams from the state of Virginia by a 56-44 margin and holds a 7-6 record against non-ACC teams from the state of Virginia.

Leonard Hamilton has led Florida State to the championship of four different tournaments since the start of the 2008-09 season when the Seminoles won the Global Sports Classic. Since their victory in the Global Sports Classic in November of 2008, the Seminoles have won championships at the 2009 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, the 2012 ACC Tournament Championship in Atlanta and the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Seminoles' Recent Tournament Championships
Season    Tournament                    Wins Over
2008-09   Global Sports                 Classic	Coastal Carolina, Western Illinois, Cincinnati, Cal (Champions)
2009-10   Old Spice Classic             Iona, Alabama, Marquette (Champions)
2011-12   ACC Tournament                Miami, Duke, North Carolina (Champions)
2012-13   Coaches vs. Cancer Classic    Buffalo, BYU, Saint Joseph's (Champions)

Senior Okaro White’s 17 points in Florida State’s victory over UT Martin on Sunday and enters the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off with 960 career points – he needs only 40 points to become the 43rd player in Seminole basketball history to score 1,000 or more career points.

…Scored at least 80 points in all three games and is averaging 86.7 points scored per game. The Seminoles scored 80 or more points four times during the entire 2012-13 season and averaged 67.0 points scored per game;
…Earned 11 steals in each of its first three games (11.0 spg) and blocked more than three times as many shots (22) as its opponents (seven) in holding its first three opponents to 65.3 points scored per game;
…Held its opponents to a .385 field goal shooting percentage – more than five percentage points lower than its field goal percentage in 2012-13 (.437). The Seminoles led the nation in field goal percentage defense in both 2010 (.377) and 2011 (.363).

…Defeat VCU and gain a win over a ranked team for the first time since March 11, 2012 when the Seminoles defeated the No. 4 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels to win the 2012 ACC Championship;
…Defeat VCU and gain a win over a ranked team (at least one) for the 23rd season in the last 24 years;
…Defeat VCU and up its record to 4-0. It would mark the first time since the 2011-12 season (when the Seminoles won their first five games of the season) and sixth time in Leonard Hamilton’s first 12 years in Tallahassee that Florida State has won at least their first four games of a season.

Florida State enters Thursday’s game against No. 10/10 VCU in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off with 27 wins over nationally ranked teams during the first 11+ years of the Leonard Hamilton era in Tallahassee. Included in those wins are five wins over nationally ranked Duke teams including two when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 in the country at the time (March 1, 2006, 79-74 and Jan. 12, 2011, 66-61). Florida State has defeated four top five and six top 10 ranked Duke teams under Hamilton with three of the Seminoles’ four all-time victories over the nation’s No. 1 ranked team coming against Duke.

For the 10th-seeded Florida State Seminoles their road to the Elite Eight was just 7.9 seconds away. After trailing for nearly the final 11:00 of the second half, Chris Singleton hit a three-pointer with 45 seconds remaining in regulation to send Florida State’s Sweet 16 matchup with VCU to overtime. Then with 7.9 seconds left in the extra period the Seminoles were in front 71-70. That is when VCU’s Bradford Burgess slipped away and hit the game-winner, ending the Seminoles magical run in a 72-71 loss on March 25, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Rams used one of the best shooting nights of any Seminoles opponent during the season to move into the Elite Eight. VCU connected on 12 three-pointers during regulation, tying the most that Florida State allowed in any game during the 2010-11 season, and the squad shot nearly 42% for the game. All this against a Florida State team that came in to the night allowing teams to connect on just 36% from the field and only 30% from behind the arc.

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