November 13, 2008 - by
Seminoles Open 2008-09 Basketball Season At Jacksonville Saturday At 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 13, 2008

Game Notes

The Florida State men’s basketball team, which has made three consecutive post-season appearances, opens its 2008-09 season against the Jacksonville Dolphins looking to cement itself as one of the top teams in the ACC and as a team of significance nationally. The Seminoles finished with a 19-15 record during the 2007-08 season to mark the third consecutive season they had won at least 19 games. It also marked the first time since the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons that the Seminoles had won at least 19 games in three consecutive seasons. The Seminoles finished with a 7-9 record in ACC play to mark the third consecutive season they have won at least seven games in ACC play for the first time in school history. Additionally, the Seminoles defeated at least one ranked team (No. 24 Florida) for the 18th consecutive season

Senior guard Toney Douglas, the best defender in the ACC, enters the 2008-09 season looking to become the first player to lead the ACC in steals in consecutive seasons since Chris Paul of Wake Forest during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Paul earned 84 steals (2.7 spg) in 2004 and 76 steals (2.4 spg) in 2005. Only six players in league history have led the ACC in steals in successive years since the steal became an official NCAA statistic in 1977. Douglas’ 48 steals in ACC play last season are tied for the third best single season effort in league history.

Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton enters Saturday’s game against Jacksonville looking to improve his record in season openers as Florida State’s head coach to 7-0. He has led the Seminoles to season-opening victories over Savannah State (Nov. 24, 2002; 79-46), Maine (Nov. 21, 2003; 69-49), Texas Southern (Nov. 19, 2004; 71-62), Jacksonville (Nov. 19, 2005; 78-48), McNeese State (Nov. 12, 2006; 85-65) and Nicholls State (Nov. 9, 2008; 81-58).

Seminole Head Coaches In Season Openers
Coach                Years        Overall in Openers   Record in First 6 Years
Don Loucks           1947         1-0                  1-0
J.K. "Bud" Kennedy   1948-66      9-9                  3-3
Hugh Durham          1966-78      12-0                 6-0
Joe Williams         1978-86      8-0                  6-0
Pat Kennedy          1986-97      10-1                 5-1
Steve Robinson       1997-02      2-3                  3-3
Leonard Hamilton     2003-Pr.     6-0                  Game 7 vs. Jacksonville

Florida State plays its first two games of the regular season on the road for the first time since the 1989-90 season when the Seminoles opened the season at the Great Alaska Shootout against Kansas State (70-71, Nov. 24, 1989) and Alaska Anchorage (75-74, Nov. 25, 1989). It also marks the first time that the Seminoles will play two true road games to begin the season since the start of the 1967-68 season when they opened the season at Fla. Presbyterian (Dec. 2, 1967, 90-66) and at Ohio State (Dec. 4, 1967, 69-76). It is the ninth time in school history that Florida State begins its season with at least two games away from home.

…Defeat Jacksonville and win its seventh consecutive season opener. The Seminoles are undefeated in season opening games under Leonard Hamilton;
…Defeat Jacksonville and win its 15th consecutive games against the Dolphins. The Seminoles current winning streak against the Dolphins began on Jan. 6, 1988 and includes five wins in the city of Jacksonville;
…Defeat Jacksonville and win its fifth consecutive game against a team from the state of Florida. The Seminoles were 4-1 with a victory over then No. 24 ranked Florida and two wins against NCAA Tournament participant Miami during the 2007-08 season;
…Defeat Jacksonville and win its sixth consecutive game on the home court of an in-state opponent. The Seminoles have not lost a true road game in the state of Florida since Nov. 25, 2005. The Seminoles’ streak includes three victories at Miami and one at Florida.

Florida State has won 15 of its last 18 season openers dating to the opening game of the 1990-91 season. Entering Saturday’s game against Jacksonville, the Seminoles have won each of their last six season openers – every season opening game under head coach Leonard Hamilton. Florida State’s current streak of six consecutive season opening victories is it’s longest since the Seminoles won nine straight season openers from the beginning of the 1990-91 season through the opening game of the 1998-99 season.

…Florida State’s largest margin of victory in a season opener came in a 133-79 (+54) victory over UCF on Nov. 25, 1978. The 54-point victory stands as the seventh largest margin of victory in school history;
…The most points scored by a Seminoles’ opponent in a season opener is 97 by Georgia Southern in a 109-97 victory by Florida State to open the 1972-73 season on Dec. 1, 1973;
…The fewest number of points scored in a season opener was 39 against Spring Hill College in a 39-36 victory by Florida State to open the 1947-48 season on Dec. 10, 1947. That game was the first in the history of the Seminole men’s basketball program;
…Florida State has scored 100 points or more nine times in a season opener – most recently the Seminoles defeated Florida Atlantic, 110-59, to open the 1993-94 season on Dec. 1, 1993.

Seventh-year head coach Leonard Hamilton enters Saturday’s game against Jacksonville looking to win his 14th consecutive season opener. He guided Florida State to an 81-58 victory over Nicholls State to begin the 2007-08 season. Hamilton has a 15-5 record (.750) during his collegiate career in season openers.

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