January 7, 2020 - by
Hamilton, Noles In The Midst Of Historic Stretch

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 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Aside from the ones on the scoreboard, Leonard Hamilton isn’t much interested in talking about numbers.

Take, for instance, the No. 10 next to Florida State’s name in the latest AP Top 25.

The Seminoles’ status among the nation’s elite is well deserved, particularly after their 78-65 romp over Louisville over the weekend.

Hamilton, though, feels the same about the national polls now as he did a few weeks ago, when they failed to so much as include FSU at the start of the season.

“We try to keep it in perspective,” said Hamilton, whose team will visit Wake Forest on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., RSN). “We haven’t really accomplished anything.”

In some ways, that’s true. After all, it’s only January and the Seminoles still have 16 games to play before embarking on the postseason.

But a closer look at some other numbers shows that the Seminoles over the last few seasons have accomplished quite a bit.

And, during a season in which games often come at a rapid-fire pace, it doesn’t hurt to take a step back and survey the big picture that those numbers paint. Among them:

  • The Seminoles are 15-2 in their last 17 ACC regular-season games, a stretch which dates back to a win over Clemson on Jan. 22, 2019. That’s the best record in the league over that span. Duke is next at 14-3. Throw in the 2019 ACC tournament, and FSU is 17-3 in its last 20 league games.
  • During that same stretch, FSU is 9-0 at home against ACC teams and 6-2 on the road.
  • Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, the Seminoles are 42-10.
  • In the last three seasons, the Seminoles have six wins over teams ranked in the AP Top 10. Only Duke (9), Michigan State (7) and Michigan (7) have more.
  • Hamilton ranks seventh all-time for most coaching wins in ACC history, and needs only one more to move into a tie with Maryland legend Lefty Driesell (348 wins) for sixth. And he’s well within striking distance of Georgia Tech’s Bobby Cremins (354) at No. 5.

No matter the number, they all lead to the same conclusion: that if this isn’t the best era in Florida State men’s basketball history – remember, the program has featured a few future Hall-of-Famers and played for a national title in 1972 – it’s awfully close.

With another ACC road game quickly approaching, Hamilton was hardly ready to reflect on the program’s recent accomplishments during a Monday media session.

But he did allow that it could be taken as a sign that the Seminoles are doing something right.

“The reason we are at that point is because we haven’t concerned ourselves with it,” Hamilton said. “So let’s just keep doing what we’re doing and focusing on the things we think are important.

“And if that means that the end results are those types of accomplishments, then I think our best approach is to keep doing what you’re doing.”

The Seminoles (13-2, 3-1 ACC) will get their next chance to do that on Wednesday when they visit a Wake Forest team that has shown signs of improvement in coach Danny Manning’s sixth season.

The Demon Deacons (8-5, 1-2) are on a three-game winning streak, won at Pittsburgh last week and are 4-1 at home, where they beat No. 23 Xavier a few weeks ago.

They’ve also got the league’s ninth-leading scorer (Brandon Childress, 15.7 PPG) and third-leading rebounder Olivier Sarr (9.3 RPG).

Sarr, a 7-foot center, has five double-doubles this season.

“We’re on to the next one,” third-year guard Anthony Polite said. “We had a big win, and now we’ve just got to focus on Wake Forest with the right mindset in practice.”

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