Jan. 29, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State, which has won three consecutive ACC games at home and three of their last four games overall, plays host to Maryland on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. The Seminoles have won three consecutive conference games at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center with victories over No. 23 Virginia Tech (Jan. 17, 82-73), Miami (Jan. 20, 86-67) and Wake Forest (Jan. 27, 74-66). Florida State has won eight of its last nine ACC games at home with three victories this season and five straight conference wins to close out the 2005-06 conference schedule. Included in their victories to close out the 2005-06 season was a win over Maryland (Feb. 22, 2005, 71-60) and No. 1 ranked Duke (March 1, 2005, 79-74). Florida State’s game against Maryland is its fourth at home in their last five games with the Seminoles winning each of their first three games of the home stand. The Seminoles are 12-1 at home, 2-5 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral court this season. Florida State’s 12-1 record at home this season coupled with their 14-3 record at home in 2005-06 give the Seminoles a 26-4 (.867 winning percentage) record in the Donald L. Tucker Center in the last two seasons. The Seminoles are 9-3 (.750 winning percentage) at home in the last two seasons in ACC games played in Tallahassee. Following Tuesday’s game against Maryland, Florida State travels to play at Duke (Feb. 4, 2:00 p.m.) and at Clemson (Feb. 7, 2:30 p.m.) before returning home to play host to Boston College (Feb. 11, 3:00 p.m.).
THORNTON AMONG THE CREAM OF THE CROP IN THE ACC
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton, who has three double-doubles in seven ACC games this season, is one of the top players in the ACC. He leads the ACC in scoring in ACC games only (22.4 ppg), is shooting nearly 89 percent from the line in seven ACC games so far this season, is shooting a career-high .546 from the field for the season and has blocked a career-high 25 shots in the first 21 games of the season. Thornton also leads the ACC with 10 games of 20 or more points scored in a game.
THORNTON IN ACC PLAY
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton leads the ACC in conference games only scoring with a 22.4 points per game average and has scored at least 20 points in five of the Seminoles’ seven conference games this season.
SEMINOLES WITH WINS OVER NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS
Florida State, which defeated the nation’s No. 1 ranked team – Florida – on Dec. 3, is one of only two teams in the nation that has played the nation’s top three ranked teams in this week’s Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Polls. The Seminoles defeated the Gators, 70-66, at the Donald L. Tucker Center and have a 1-2 record against No. 1 Florida (Dec. 3, 70-66), No. 2 Wisconsin (Nov. 28) and No. 3 North Carolina (Jan. 7). The Seminoles also have victories over No. 23 Virginia Tech (Jan. 17, 82-73), which has defeated both No. 3 North Carolina and No. 10 Duke) and Providence of the Big East (Dec. 29, 92-62) which has earned victories over then No. 23 ranked Boston College, then No. 15 ranked Marquette and Connecticut this past Saturday on the Huskies home floor.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Maryland and even its record at 4-4 at the half-way point in the ACC. It would mark the second consecutive season the Seminoles under fifth-year Head Coach Leonard Hamilton were at the .500 mark after eight games in conference play;
…Defeat Maryland and earn its third consecutive victory over Maryland in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles defeated the Terps at home during the 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons (the teams did not play in Tallahassee during the 2004-05 season;
…Defeat Maryland and win its second consecutive game against the Terps. The Seminoles have defeated the Terps in consecutive games only once before in school history – during both the home and away meeting during the 1992-93 season.
FLORIDA STATE RANKS THIRD NATIONALLY IN FREE THROW PERCENTAGE
Florida State, which has shot better than 70 percent from the line in 18 of its 21 games this season, enters Tuesday’s game against Maryland ranked third in the nation and first in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage with a .780 mark. The mark, should it get better or stay the same during the reminder of the season would rank as a school record and the fifth best team free throw percentage in ACC history. The Seminoles are shooting better than 80 percent (.815, 128-of-157) in their first seven ACC games of the season.
MORE ON THE SEMINOLES SUCCESS FROM THE FREE THROW LINE
Florida State made 22 free throws in its victory over Wake Forest – the third time this season the Seminoles had made 20 or more free throws in a single game. The Seminoles are 3-0 when they make 20 or more free throws in a game and 9-2 when the make 15 or more free throws in a game. Florida State attempts 3.5 free throws more in their 15 wins as compared to their six losses.
SEMINOLES RALLY FROM DEFICIT TO DEFEAT WAKE FOREST
Florida State rallied from a two-point halftime deficit in its 74-66 victory over Wake Forest at the Donald L. Tucker Center. It marked the first time in four ACC games this season that the Seminoles trailed after 20 minutes and returned to win the game.
SEMINOLES INCREASE RATE OF BLOCKED SHOTS
Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Maryland with 75 blocked shots as a team (3.6 bpg). The Seminoles already have more blocked shots in 21 games this season (75) than they did in 30 games during the 2005-06 season (72). Florida State is ranked eight in the ACC this season after ranking 12th in the ACC last season.
SEMINOLES SCORING AT A STEADY RATE
Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Maryland ranked seventh in the ACC with a 76.2 points per game scoring average. It marks the second time in two seasons and fifth time since the 1991-92 season that Florida State has averaged 76 or more points per game. The Seminoles are averaging nearly as many points as they did during the 2005-06 season – a total which was the highest since the Seminoles averaged 77.0 points per game during the 1993-94 season.
FLORIDA STATE HEATING UP FROM 3-POINT LINE
Florida State enters Tuesday’s game against Maryland ranked fifth in the ACC with an average of 6.4 3-point field goals made per game and seventh in the league statistics with a .362 success rate from the bonusphere. The Seminoles made a season-high 13 long range shots in their victory over Miami (13-of-23, .565) and made eight more against Boston College (eight-of-17, .471).
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE F #12 Al Thornton (18.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg; 27 pts and 12 rebs vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006) F #41 Uche Echefu (7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg; 3 pts and 2 rebs vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006) G #3 Isaiah Swann (8.7 ppg, 3.3 apg; 12 pts and 4 asts vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006) G #23 Toney Douglas (13.4 ppg, 2.7 apg; First career game vs. Maryland) G #25 Jason Rich (10.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg; 9 pts and 4 rebs vs. Maryland, Dec. 19, 2004)
...AND TOP RESERVES G #10 Ralph Mims (5.2 ppg, 2.3 apg; 3 pts and 3 rebs vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006) G #11 Jerel Allen (5.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg; 7 pts and 1 3FGM vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006) F #15 Casaan Breeden (3.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg; 0 pts and 1 reb vs. Maryland, Feb. 22, 2006) F #42 Ryan Reid (2.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg; First career game vs. Maryland)
PROBABLE STARTERS FOR MARYLAND F #15 James Gist (12.1 ppg, 2.4 bpg; 11 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, Dec. 19, 2004) F #25 Ekene Ibekwe (10.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg; 15 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State. Feb. 22, 2006) G #2 D.J. Strawberry (15.2 ppg, 3.8 apg; 11 pts and 4 stls vs. Florida State, Dec. 19, 2004) G #21 Greivis Vasquez (9.2 pg, 4.0 apg; First career game vs. Florida State) G #23 Mike Jones (13.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg; 2 pts and 3 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 22, 2006)
FLORIDA STATE VS. MARYLAND -- A SERIES HISTORY The Series: Maryland leads, 24-8 Last Game: Feb. 22, 2006; at Florida State 71, Maryland 60 Last Florida State Win: Feb. 22, 2006; at Florida State 71, Maryland 60 Last Maryland Win: Dec. 19, 2004; at Maryland 90, Florida State 88 (OT) Last Florida State win in Tallahassee: Feb. 22, 2006; at Florida State 71, Maryland 60 Last Maryland win in Tallahassee: Feb. 12, 2003; Maryland 74, at Florida State 72 Current Streak vs. Maryland: Florida State has won 1 Leonard Hamilton vs. Maryland: 2-4
FLORIDA STATE VS. MARYLAND – THE LAST GAME
Al Thornton scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Florida State defeated Maryland 71-60 on Feb. 22, 2006 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Florida State jumped to an 11-4 lead and stayed in control throughout the game. Thornton’s 10 points and eight rebounds led Florida State to a 37-27 halftime lead, although the Seminoles were up by as many as 14. Maryland pulled within six at 37-31 early in the second half, but Thornton keyed 21-7 Florida State run that put the Seminoles into a 58-38 lead midway through the final half. The 6-7 Thornton hit 10 of 15 shots from the field and made both of his 3-point tries. Isaiah Swann joined Thornton in double figures with 12 points. Florida State’s win was its seventh in league play this season, its most conference victories in 13 seasons. Nik Caner-Medley led Maryland with 19 points and Ekene Ibekwe added 15.
THORNTON VS. MARYLAND
All-America, National and ACC Player of the Year candidate Al Thornton averages a double-double of 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in his last two games against Maryland. He earned the first double-double of his career with a 16 point / 13 rebound game against Maryland on Dec, 19, 2004 in College Park. He enjoyed a second double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds as the Seminoles defeated Maryland on Feb. 22, 2006 in Tallahassee. Thornton is shooting .600 percent from the field (15-of-25) and .667 from the 3-point line (two-of-three) in the last two games against Maryland.