TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As it nears the end of non-conference play, the Florida State men’s basketball team is riding a six-game winning streak and is off to one of its best starts in recent memory. The Seminoles are ranked No. 23 in the nation – their highest ranking since finishing 15th in 2012 – and are also 23rd in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index.
Fresh off an 83-78 victory over Florida on Sunday, FSU is next in action on Saturday against Manhattan at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla. (1:30 p.m., Fox Sports Florida/Sun Sports)
Here’s a look at some numbers behind the Seminoles’ hot start:
10 – Florida State is 10-1, which is its best record through 11 games since the 2008-09 season. That was the year senior Toney Douglas led the Seminoles to their first ACC championship game appearance, as well as their first NCAA tournament berth in 11 years. It was the first of four straight Big Dances for FSU, which capped off that run with an ACC title and No. 3 seed in 2012.
11 – Florida State has 11 players averaging between 12.3 and 26.5 minutes per game (minimum of eight games played). FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said before the season that he felt the team’s strength would be its depth, and that’s proving true so far. As a result, no one on the team is playing more than 26.5 minutes per game (Dwayne Bacon), whereas three Seminoles were over that mark last year.
17.3 – Bacon is averaging 17.3 points per game, which is an increase of 1.5 points over his team-leading average from a year ago. Bacon has seen measured improvements virtually across the board. His shooting percentage is up (from 44.7 to 50.4), as is his 3-point percentage (28.1 to 37.5), free-throw percentage (71.4 to 77.3), rebounding (3.9 per game to 5.8) and assists (1.5 per game to 1.8).
51.8 – The Seminoles are shooting at a 51.8 percent clip from the field. That ranks sixth in the country and, if it holds, would be their highest shooting percentage of Hamilton’s tenure.
89.6 – FSU’s 89.6 points per game ranks ninth in the country and would also be the most of the Hamilton era.
68.8 – Florida State is allowing its opponents to score just 68.8 points per game, down from 74.0 last season. Granted, the Seminoles have yet to play an ACC opponent. But in 12 non-conference games, the 2015-16 Seminoles still surrendered 69.8 points per contest. So it’s at least a modest step in the right direction. The Seminoles are also limiting their opponents to 37.1 percent from the floor, which would be the second-lowest number under Hamilton.
.750 – Speaking of improvement, it’s hard to understate just how much better Michael Ojo is after returning from a redshirt season. It’s perhaps most evident in his free-throw shooting, where’s he converting 75.0 percent of his attempts. That’s nearly double his previous career best (42.6 percent as a sophomore in 2013) and an impressive rate for a player his size (7-foot-1, 304 pounds).