February 13, 2009 - by
No. 25 Seminoles Travel To Play At No. 7/8 Wake Forest Saturday At 4 P.M.

Feb. 13, 2009

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#25 Florida State Seminoles (19-5) (6-3 ACC)

#7 Wake Forest (21-3) (6-2 ACC)

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Florida State, which has won three consecutive ACC games, travels to play at No. 7/8 Wake Forest on Saturday, February 14, 2008 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against No. 7/8 Wake Forest in a tie for third place in the ACC standings and having won three consecutive games. Florida State has won as many games this season (19) as it did during the entire 2007-08 season (19). Florida State enters Saturday’s game ranked 25th in both major polls and is 1-0 with a victory over Virginia (Feb. 10, 68-57) as a ranked team this season. The Seminoles are ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time since the week of Jan. 18, 1998 (20th) and are included in the ESPN/USA Today poll for the first time since the week of Dec. 29, 2003 (25th). The Seminoles are playing a game as a ranked team against a ranked team when they face Wake Forest for the first since Jan. 24, 1998 when No. 2 North Carolina defeated No. 20 Florida State in a game played at Chapel Hill, N.C. Florida State’s 6-2 ACC record is their best start to a conference season since beginning the 1992-93 conference with an 11-2 mark. The Seminoles finished in second place with a 12-4 record in the ACC standings in their second season as members of the conference. Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Wake Forest having won three consecutive ACC games (victories over Georgia Tech, at Clemson and at home against Virginia) for the first time this season and for the second time in the last two seasons – the Seminoles defeated Clemson and Boston College at home and won at NC State in three consecutive games last season. Following Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, the Seminoles will play host to Miami (Feb. 18, 7:00 p.m.) before travelling to Virginia Tech (Feb. 21, 8:00 p.m.) and Boston College (Feb. 24, 9:00 p.m.).

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Senior All-ACC and National Defensive Player of the Year candidate and Bob Cousy Award finalist Toney Douglas enters Saturday’s game against No. 7/8 Wake Forest as the ACC leader in scoring in ACC games with a 23.3 points per game average. He is ranked third in the league statistics in scoring for the entire season with a career-high 20.3 points per game average and is the overall leader in total points scored with 486. Douglas is also ranked second in the league in total steals with 49, fifth in the league with 51 3-point field goals made and 10th in the league in total assists with 66. Douglas has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games and leads the ACC in 20+ point scoring games with 15.

…Defeat Wake Forest and win its 20th game of the season. The Seminoles won 19 games all of last season and most recently won 20 games (22-13) during the 2005-06 season;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its second consecutive road game against a ranked team for the first time since the 1997-98 season when it won at No. 15 DePaul (Dec. 31, 1997; 66-55) and at No. 15 NC State (Jan. 3, 1998, 68-55);
…Defeat Wake Forest and defeat a ranked Demon Deacon team for the first time since Jan. 18, 2005 when the Seminoles defeated then No. 3 Wake Forest (91-83 in overtime) in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its fourth ACC road game of the season for the first time since 1992-93 season when it won five conference road games on its way to a 12-4 league record;
…Defeat Wake Forest and win its third game against a ranked opponent this season. The Seminoles last defeated as many as three ranked teams in a year during the 2006-07 season.

Florida State, with its two victories last week, has been named the national team of the week by ESPN’s Andy Katz. Said Katz: “Florida State was a missed Ty Lawson 3-pointer away from going into overtime and possibly knocking off North Carolina at home on Jan. 28. The Seminoles had proven they were poised to make a run despite not being able to close out UNC. Last week, Florida State did what it had to in holding off a charging Georgia Tech at home, then coming back after trailing by 19 to win at Clemson. This was the same Clemson team that crushed Duke earlier in the week. Had Clemson won this game, it would have been hard to keep Clemson away from the tag of team of the week. But Florida State has positioned itself as a threat to finish in the top four in the ACC with a 5-3 record. And at 18-5 overall through Saturday, it could earn a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time under head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles have four home and four away games left. All the road contests will be extremely difficult — the Noles will travel to Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Duke. That’s why it was so critical to grab the win at Clemson. Protecting Tallahassee from Virginia, Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech will be must-win games, too. The wins over Cincinnati, Cal and Florida earlier in the season were no fluke. This team has arrived as a credible threat to earn a bid.”

Florida State will face its fourth team that has been ranked No. 1 this season when it faces Wake Forest on Saturday in Winston-Salem. The Seminoles have already faced Pittsburgh (Dec. 21, 56-48 Panther victory), Duke (Jan. 10, 56-48 Blue Devil win) and North Carolina (Jan. 28, 80-77 Tar Heel win). Florida State (Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh) and Miami (Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Connecticut) are the only two teams in the nation who will have played at least four of the nation’s No. 1 ranked teams this season.

Led by Do-It-All guard Toney Douglas’s seven assists in the Seminoles’ victory over Virginia, the Seminoles recorded 18 assists against the Cavaliers. It was the second highest number of assists for the Seminoles this season (they were credited with 19 in their victory over Western Kentucky on Dec. 28 in the Orange Bowl Classic) and the highest assist:basket ratio (18 assists on 23 baskets / .783) of the year. Florida State had five assists on six baskets in the first half and 13 assists on 17 baskets in the second half of their victory over the Cavaliers.

Florida State has won six ACC games so far this season with three coming by double digits. The Seminoles won at NC State by 13 (78-65), defeated Virginia by 11 in Charlottesville (73-62) and defeated the Cavaliers by 11 in Tallahassee (68-57). The Seminoles are 17 total points from being undefeated in ACC play with an eight points loss to Duke (66-58), a six-point loss at Miami (75-69) and a three-point loss at the buzzer to North Carolina (80-77).

Florida State enters Saturday’s game against No. 7/8 Wake Forest ranked second in the ACC as they allow 62.8 points per game. The Seminoles have allowed only two points more than Duke (1,506-1,504) through the first 24 games of the season for both teams. The Seminoles have allowed 55 points or less four times (and are 4-0 when allowing 55 points or less), have allowed 60 points or less 11 times (and are 10-1 when allowing 60 points or less) and have allowed 65 points or less 15 times in 24 games (and are 14-1 when they allow 65 points or less). The Seminoles only loss of the season when they allowed 65 points or less came in a 56-48 loss to then No. 3/3 Pittsburgh who ascended to the nation’s No. 1 ranking soon after defeating the Seminoles.

Florida State has played all season as one of the nation’s top defensive teams and is ranked among the national and ACC leaders in numerous statistics that illustrate how well it is playing on the defensive end of the court. The Seminoles are ranked second in the ACC in scoring defense (62.8 ppg), second in field goal percentage defense (.379), second in blocked shots (6.0 bpg) and tied for second in steals (9.1 spg).

…Florida State has as many wins this season (19) as it did during the entire 2008-09 season (19). The Seminoles won their 19th game of the season with a 68-57 victory over Virginia on Feb. 10 to mark the first time they have reached the 19-win plateau in the month of February since the 1992-93 season;
…Florida State’s victory over Virginia on Feb. 10 to give them 19 victories tied the school record for earliest date to reach 19 wins in a single season. The Seminoles’ 1969-70 team (which finished the season with a 23-3 record) won their 19th game with a victory over Florida Southern on Feb. 10, 1970.

F #31 Chris Singleton (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
F #41 Uche Echefu (8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg; 13 pts and 11 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 27, 2007)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (8.0 ppg, 2.1 bpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (6.9 ppg, 2.1 apg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
G #23 Toney Douglas (20.3 ppg, 2.0 spg; 28 pts and 2 stls vs. Wake Forest, Feb. 14, 2008)
G #3 Luke Loucks (4.0 ppg, 2.5 apg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
G #2 Jordan DeMercy (3.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg; 0 pts and 1 ast vs. Wake Forest, Feb. 14, 2008)
F #42 Ryan Reid (5.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg; 12 pts and 7 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 27, 2007)
F #1 Xavier Gibson (2.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest
G #4 Deividas Dulkys (4.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
G #21 Brian Hoff (1.0 ppg, 0.6 rpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)

F #1 Al-Farouq Aminu (13.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg; First game vs. Florida State)
F #12 James Johnson (13.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg; 26 pts and 9 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 14, 2008)
C #13 Chas McFarland (9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg; 9 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 14, 2008)
G #00 Jeff Teague (20.9, 3.8 apg; 15 pts and 3 asts vs. Florida State, March 13, 2008)
G #42 L.D. Williams (8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg; 6 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 14, 2008)

The Series: Wake Forest leads, 22-16
Last Game: March 13, 2008; Florida State 70, Wake Forest 60
Last Florida State Win: March 13, 2008; Florida State 70, Wake Forest 60
Last Wake Forest Win: Feb. 14, 2008; Wake Forest 78, at Florida State 70
Last Florida State Win In Winston-Salem: Jan. 24, 2006; Florida State 75, at Wake Forest 68
Last Wake Forest win in Winston-Salem: Jan. 20, 2008; at Wake Forest 74, Florida State 57
Current Streak: Florida State has won 1 (2008 ACC Tournament)

Jason Rich scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half to lead Florida State past Wake Forest 70-60 in the first round of the ACC Tournament at Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on March 13, 2008. Ralph Mims added 16 points for the ninth-seeded Seminoles who shot 45 percent to win their league tournament opener for the second straight year. Jeff Teague scored 15 points to lead Wake Forest which trailed almost the entire way after winning both regular-season meetings by an average of 12.5 points. Rich almost single-handedly put the game away by scoring 15 of Florida State’s 17 points – including 10 straight – during one 4 1/2 minute stretch midway through the second half. David Weaver added 12 points and James Johnson had 10 for Wake Forest. Florida State raced out to a 13-point lead in the first half, making it 28-15 during a 17-4 run that was capped by Douglas’ 3-pointer from with 6:10 left before the break.

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