Florida State, which has defeated Florida Gulf Coast and Georgetown in the first two rounds of the 2014 NIT, plays host to Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals of the event on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The winner of Wednesday’s game between the Seminoles and the Bulldogs will advance to the semifinals of the NIT on April 1 to face either Minnesota or Southern Mississippi at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Florida State shot an incredible.682 from the field, an outstanding .688 from the 3-pont line and a strong .789 from the free throw line in defeating Georgetown, 101-90, in the second round of the NIT on Monday night in Tallahassee. Florida State’s game against Louisiana Tech is a rematch of last season’s first round NIT game won by the Bulldogs, 71-66, in a game also played at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are in the quarterfinals of the postseason NIT for the second time in school history. Florida State won at West Virginia in the quarterfinals of the 1997 NIT before falling in the Championship game to Michigan.
Florida State shot an incredible .682 from the field in its victory over Georgetown – the highest single game shooting mark during in 12 seasons under head coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles shot .640 in the first half (16 of 25) and an even better .737 in the second half (14 of 19). The Seminoles shot .688 percent from the field – the fifth highest single game mark in school history and the second highest under Hamilton since he became Florida State’s head coach for the 2002-03 season. The Seminoles reached the 100 point mark on the scoreboard for the second time this season (they also scored 106 in a victory over Charlotte on December 17) with their 101 point ranking as the second highest point total in an NIT game in school history. Florida State scored 107 points in a 107-92 win over Rhode Island in the first round of the 1987 NIT.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Louisiana Tech and advance to the semifinals of the NIT for the second time in school history and for the first time since the 1997 season. The Seminoles advanced to the championship game of the NIT in 1997;
…Defeat Louisiana Tech and advance to the semifinals of the NIT – a game which will be played in April 1 – it would mark the first time the Seminoles had ever played in the month of April and the first time the Seminoles had played after March 27 of any given season. Florida State played on March 27, 1992 in the NCAA Tournament and on March 27, 1997 in the NIT;
…Defeat Louisiana Tech and gain a win over a team from the Conference USA since defeating Charlotte, 106-62, on December 17, 2013 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee;
…Defeat Louisiana Tech and win its 22nd game of the season – its most since winning 25 games in 2011-12.
Florida State is the third winningest program in the ACC in the last nine years (since the start of the 2005-06 season) in total games played with 194 wins. The Seminoles average 21.8 wins per season with records of 20-10 (2005-06), 22-13 (2006-07), 19-15 (2007-08), 25-10 (2008-09), 22-10 (2009-10), 23-11 (2010-11), 25-10 (2011-12), 18-16 (2012-13) and 21-13 (2013-14).
In the last six seasons (through the 2014 regular season), Florida State is 62-39 (.614 winning percentage) and has finished in third place in the league standings three times in regular season ACC play. The Seminoles average 10.2 ACC regular season wins per season and have finished in the top four of the ACC standings four times in the last six seasons. Florida State is third in the ACC in conference wins with 62 and third in winning percentage at .614.
The Seminoles’ selection to the 2014 NIT marks the school-record ninth consecutive postseason appearance for the Seminoles – all under 12th year Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. The Seminoles have appeared in the NIT in six seasons under Hamilton (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2014) and made a school-record four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2009-2012. With its appearance in the 2014 NIT, Florida State has made 23 postseason appearances with nine coming under the direction of Hamilton – the most of any coach in Florida State basketball history.
Florida State enters its game against Louisiana Tech looking to earn its 22nd win of the season. A victory over Louisiana Tech on Wednesday would give Florida State at least 22 wins in a season for the sixth time under head coach Leonard Hamilton. Prior to Hamilton’s arrival in Tallahassee for the 2002-03 season, Florida State had won at least 22 games only eight times in the history of the program. Hamilton currently holds the school record for seasons by a coach with at least 21 wins with five.
Sophomore Aaron Thomas, who enters Monday’s game against Georgetown averaging a team-leading 14.3 points scored per game, earned All-ACC Honorable Mention honors as voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. It marks the ninth consecutive season and 11th time in the 12 seasons under head coach Leonard Hamilton that the Seminoles have had at least one player earn All-ACC Honors. Thomas is ranked 12th in the ACC in scoring and fifth in steals.
Senior Ian Miller, who is Florida State’s second leading scorer coming off the bench in 23 of 30 games, was named the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year in a vote by the league’s 15 head coaches. Miller came off the Seminoles’ bench in his first 23 games of the season before being inserted in to the starting line-up and ranks 16th in the ACC in scoring (13.7) and third in the ACC in free throw percentage (.863).
Senior Ian Miller, who enters Monday’s game against Georgetown averaging a career-high 13.7 points scored per game, was named the ACC’s Sixth Man of The Year by CollegeHoopsDaily.com.
Senior Okaro White, who is averaging 1.0 blocked shots and 0.8 steals as a senior, was named to the All-ACC Defensive Team by the 15 ACC coaches. White earned 18 blocked shots in 18 ACC games and enters Monday’s game against Georgetown with 101 career blocked shots – he became only the 13th player in school history with 100 or more career blocked shots against Maryland on March 13 in the ACC Tournament. White is the anchor of Florida State’s defensive effort which has been ranked among the best in the ACC and nation throughout the season. The Seminoles are ranked second in the ACC in blocked shots, third in the ACC in field goal percentage defense and sixth in steals and scoring defense.
SOURCE: Florida State Athletics