December 29, 2011 - by
GameDay: FSU Vs. Princeton

Dec. 29, 2011

Game Notes

Florida State, which has won 16 of its last 17 homes games, plays host to Princeton of the Ivy League in its first game after its holiday break on Friday, December 30 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles are undefeated at home this season (7-0) and have lost only once at home since Dec. 5, 2010 when it defeated Hartford. Florida State’s only loss at the Tucker Center since then was to then No. 13/13 ranked North Carolina on a buzzer beating 3-point shot by All-American Harrison Barnes. The Seminoles have won each of their seven home games by at least 12 points and hold an average margin of victory of +20.7 points – including a 41-point win over South Alabama on Nov. 20 – at the Tucker Center this season. Florida State’s game against Princeton marks the first time the Seminoles will play host to an Ivy League team in Tallahassee. Following Friday’s game against Princeton, the Seminoles play host to Auburn of the SEC on Wednesday, January 4 at 6:00 before beginning a string of 16 consecutive ACC games at Clemson on Jan. 7.

Florida State plays host to Princeton on Dec. 30 in its final game of the 2011 calendar year. The Seminoles’ game against Princeton will mark the first time a team from the Ivy League will travel to play at Tallahassee and marks the fourth time in the history of the program (and second time this season) the Seminoles will play a team from the Ivy League. Florida State played Harvard during the Battle4Atlantis tournament in November. The Seminoles’ game against Princeton will be the third against the Tigers in the history of the program. Both of Florida State’s two previous games against Princeton have come in regular season tournaments. The Seminoles fell to the Tigers, 61-59, in the first round of the Marshall Tournament on Dec. 15, 1972 and lost to the Tigers, 50-46, in the first round of the Rainbow Classic on Dec. 28, 1998 in Honolulu. Florida State is 8-3 all-time (.727 winning percentage) against teams from the state of New Jersey with its last game against a team from the Garden State came against Saint Peters on Dec. 23, 2006. The Seminoles took a 76-63 win over the Peacocks in Tallahassee.

Florida State enters Friday’s game against Princeton having won each of its seven home games this season (7-0, 1.000 winning percentage), with a 16-1 record (.941 winning percentage) in its last 17 home games (since Dec. 5, 2010), with a 13-1 record (.929 winning percentage) at home since the start of conference play in 2011 and a 19-3 record (.864 winning percentage) in this building since the start of the 2010-11 season.

All-American candidate Michael Snear enters Friday’s game against Princeton averaging a career-high 12.4 points and a career high 4.4 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games and is ranked in the top 20 in the ACC in three different categories – 18th in scoring (12.4 ppg), fourth in free throw shooting percentage and (.889), tied for eighth with 21 3-point field goals made.

…Defeat Princeton and gain its first ever win over the Tigers in the sport of men’s basketball;
…Defeat Princeton and win its final game of a calendar year for the seventh consecutive season. The Seminoles 8-1 in their final game of the month of December with its only loss under head coach Leonard Hamilton coming to LSU in the Sugar Bowl Classic on Dec. 30, 2004;
…Defeat Princeton and gain a win over an Ivy League team for the first time in school history. The Seminoles are 0-3 against two teams from the Ivy League (0-2 against Princeton and 0-1 against Harvard) since beginning the sport of basketball for the 1947-48 season.

Florida State is the third winningest program in the ACC in the last four years (since the start of the 2008-09 season) in total games played with 78 wins. The Seminoles averaged 23.3 wins per season with records of 25-10 (2008-09) and 22-10 (2009-10) and 23-11 (2010-11) in the last three seasons.

Florida State’s pair of graduate student point guards – Luke Locks and Jeff Peterson – has both been named to the Bob Cousy Award Watch list as released by the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday. Both Loucks and Peterson will now compete as two of the top point guards in the country for the award presented to the nation’s top collegiate point guard at the Final Four in April. This original list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final twenty by January 1st, final ten by February 1st and final five by March 1st. A premier Selection Committee will be appointed by the Hall of Fame to review the final five candidates in contention for the nation’s top collegiate point guard award. These Hall of Fame committees are made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the 2012 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Championship Monday in New Orleans as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.

Florida State – which led the nation in field goal percentage defense in both the 2009-10 (.377) and 2010-11 (.363) – is moving back into its familiar position as the nation’s best team against the most telling defensive statistic in college basketball. The Seminoles have continued to move steadily up the national rankings and enter Friday’s game ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the ACC in the field goal percentage defense category with a bullet.

…The Seminoles were a perfect seven of seven from the free throw line in the second half against Florida and shot 90 percent from the line (nine of 10) against the Gators. It marked the first time since its game at Maryland on Feb. 4, 2010 (11 of 11, 1.000 percent) that Florida State had shot 90 percent or better from the free throw line in a single game;
…Florida State totaled seven steals against the Gators and is currently ranked first in the ACC with an 8.8 steals per game average through the first 12 games of the season. The Seminoles have earned at least six steals in four consecutive and 11 of 12 games this season;
…Florida State scored 40 points in the second half against Florida marking the fourth time this season the Seminoles have scored at least 40 points in the second half of game this season.

Senior Bernard James has blocked as many shots through the first 12 games of the season (12) as the Seminoles’ first 12 opponents (30). He has nearly as many blocked shots by himself (30) as both Boston College (36) and Virginia (35) entering the Seminoles’ game against Princeton on Friday.

Florida State enters Friday’s game against Princeton averaging an ACC leading 8.8 steals per and 6.7 blocked shots per game. The Seminoles are looking to become just the fourth team in ACC history to lead the league in both steals and blocked shots in the same season. Led by seniors Bernard James (tied for third in the ACC, 2.5 blocked shots per game) and Xavier Gibson (eighth in the ACC, 1.8 blocked shots per game); the Seminoles are on school record pace with their 6.7 blocked shots per game average. With senior Deividas Dulkys (second in the ACC, 2.0 spg) leading the way, Florida State is currently averaging 8.8 steals per game – the fourth highest single season average in school history.

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