SYRACUSE, N.Y (seminoles.com) — Florida State, which has won 14 of its last 16 games since a 72-61 victory over Illinois on November 25, travels to play its second of three consecutive ACC road games when it meets Syracuse on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 12 Noon at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The Seminoles’ game against the Orange marks the second of a three game swing which began in Atlanta against Georgia Tech on Wednesday night, continues Saturday at Syracuse and comes to a conclusion on Wednesday at Miami. It marks just the third time in their 26-year history as members of the ACC that the Seminoles will play three consecutive regular season games on the road in conference play. The Seminoles enter Saturday’s game against the Orange with a school record 12-game winning streak (November 25-January 10), six wins over nationally ranked teams (N0. 21/21 Florida, No. 11/11 Virginia, No. 21/23 Virginia Tech, No. 7/7 Duke, No. 15/15 Notre Dame and No. 12/11 Louisville), seven wins over teams who have been ranked this season (No. 23/23 Minnesota) and have not lost consecutive games. The Seminoles are 6-1 against teams in the top 25 of the RPI and a nation’s best 9-1 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI. Following Saturday’s game against Syracuse, the Seminoles will close out their road swing at Miami on Wednesday (February 1, 8:00 p.m.) before returning home to play host to Clemson (February 5).
SEMINOLES RANKED NO. 6 IN ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL
Florida State enters Saturday’s game at Syracuse ranked No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press Poll. It’s the Seminoles’ highest ranking in the AP poll since February 22, 1993 when they were also ranked sixth. The Seminole’s highest AP poll ranking came on December 5 and December 12 of 1972 when they began the season and spent the first two weeks of the regular season ranked as the No. 2 team in the country.
BACON NAMED TO MIDSEASON OSCAR ROBERTSON WATCH LIST
All-American candidate Dwayne Bacon, who enters Saturday’s game against Syracuse having scored in double figures in 30 consecutive games, has been named to the midseason watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy. The trophy is presented by the USBWA and is presented to the National Player of the Year at the conclusion of the season. Bacon is joined by Joel Berry II of North Carolina and Luke Kennard of Duke as the three players from the ACC on the 19-player list.
ISAAC NAMED TO MIDSEASON WAYMAN TISDALE AWARD WATCH LIST
Freshman sensation Jonathan Isaac, who with his 7.8 rebounds per game average is the leading rebounder among freshmen in the ACC, has been named to the Wayman Tisdale Award midseason watch list. The trophy is presented each year to the national freshman Player of the Year. Isaac is joined on the list by Dennis Smith, Jr. of NC State and Jayson Tatum of Duke – giving the ACC three players on the list.
HAMILTON NAMED MIDSEASON COACH OF THE YEAR
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton was named the Jim Phelan Midseason National Coach of the Year by collegeinsider.com – one of the country’s premier college basketball websites. Hamilton has led the Seminoles to an 18-3 record. Hamilton led the Seminoles through one of the toughest six-game stretches in the history of the ACC as Florida State played six consecutive nationally ranked opponents. The Seminoles finished 5-1 during the stretch with victories over No. 11 Virginia, No. 21 Virginia Tech, No. 7 Duke, No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 12 Louisville with their only loss coming to No. 11 North Carolina at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Syracuse and win its 19th game of the season. The Seminoles earned their 19th win of the 2015-16 season with a victory over Boston College – in the first round of the ACC Tournament on March 8, 2016;
…Defeat Syracuse and win its seventh ACC game of the season. Florida State won its seventh ACC game of the 2015-16 season against Notre Dame on February 26, 2016;
…Defeat Syracuse and gain a win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome for the first time as co-members of the ACC and for the first time since March 12, 1997 in the first round of the postseason NIT;
…Defeat Syracuse and win its second ACC road game of the season. The Seminoles defeated No. 11/11 Virginia, 60-58, at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville on December 31 in their first ACC road game of the year.
TIM PICKETT NAMED FLORIDA STATE’S ACC TOURNAMENT LEGEND
Tim Pickett, who was an All-ACC First Team selection as a Seminole as a senior in 2004, will represent Florida State as its legend at the 2017 ACC Tournament in Brooklyn. Pickett is remembered as one of the most exciting players in Florida State men’s basketball history and the preeminent building block in head coach Leonard Hamilton’s mission of making the Seminoles an elite college basketball program. Pickett joined All-American Bob Sura (1994) as only the second Florida State player to earn All-ACC first-team honors when he was selected in 2004. Pickett was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2003 and was a two-time All-ACC Defensive Team selection. He averaged 16.7 points per game over his two years as a Seminole and was a second-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets.
FLORIDA STATE CUTTING DOWN ITS TURNOVERS
Florida State has been charged with a total of 16 turnovers in its last two games – an average of 8.0 per game. The Seminoles’ lack of turnovers includes two in the first half of its victory over Louisville and three in their second half against Georgia Tech. Florida State led 41-35 at halftime of its victory over Louisville and outscored Georgia Tech by a 41-37 margin in the second half of its game against the Yellow Jackets.
FLORIDA STATE HAS SCORED WELL THROUGHOUT THE SEASON
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Syracuse ranked second in the ACC in scoring with an 84.2 points per game scoring average. The Seminoles scored a season-high 118 points in their victory over Nicholls State (December 8), have scored at least 80 points in 14 of their 21 games and scored their ACC season-high of 93 points in their victory over Virginia Tech (January 7, 93-87). The Seminoles have averaged at least 84.2 points per game this season after scoring 88 in its season opening 88-67 victory over Charleston Southern (November 12).
FLORIDA STATE WITH POSITIVE ASSIST:TURNOVER RATIO
Florida State totaled a positive assist:turnover ratio in its game against Georgia Tech and has earned a positive ratio in 12 of its 21 games this season. The Seminoles have a 1.2:1 ratio this season as compared to a 1:1 ratio last season.
SEMINOLES AMONG TOP 4 IN STEALS IN ACC
Florida State, one of the most active teams defensively in the ACC, totaled seven steals against Georgia Tech and enters Saturday’s game against Syracuse ranked fourth in the ACC in steals with a 7.7 steals per game average. The Seminoles have earned at least seven steals in 14 of its 21 games. Florida State totaled its ACC season-high of 11 steals in its victory over Virginia Tech (January 7).
SEMINOLES RANK NO. 3 IN ACC IN BLOCKED SHOTS
Florida State blocked five shots in its game against Georgia Tech and enters Saturday’s game against Syracuse ranked third in the ACC with a 5.5 blocked shots per game average. Led by Jonathan Isaac’s career-high seven blocked shots in Florida State’s victory over Notre Dame, the Seminoles have blocked at least five shots in 13 of their 21 games this season.
TWO TOP DEFENSIVE TEAMS AT CARRIER DOME ON SATURDAY
Florida State (third in blocked shots and fourth in steals) and Syracuse (fourth in blocked shots and first in steals) are the only two teams ranked in the top four in BOTH the blocks and steals categories in the overall ACC statistics. The Seminoles are fourth in field goal percentage defense (.397) and the Orange are ranked eighth (.409). Florida State led the ACC and the nation in field goal percentage defense in both 2010 and 2011 and played in the NCAA Tournament in both seasons.
FLORIDA STATE WITH A DOUBLE FIGURE MARGIN OF VICTORY
Florida State has earned three of its ACC wins by double figures (Wake Forest, +16; Virginia Tech, +15 and Duke, +16) and is ranked fifth in the ACC with a +13.1 points per game scoring margin. The Seminoles have earned 12 of its 17 wins by 11 points or more with wins coming over Nicholls State by 55 points (118-63) and by 49 points against Southern Miss (98-49) in back-to-back games in December.