FSU To Face ACC Newcomer Pittsburgh Sunday
Florida State travels north to Pittsburgh to play Pennsylvania at the Peterson Events Center on February 23, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU as part of its extremely successful ACC Sunday Night College Basketball television package. The Seminoles’ game against Pittsburgh is their first against the Panthers as members of the ACC and first against the Panthers since December 21, 2008 when the two teams met in Tallahassee. Florida State’s game against Pittsburgh marks the second of three games against the newest members of the ACC with a victory over Notre Dame (76-74, January 21) already in hand and a game remaining against Syracuse (March 9 in Tallahassee) still waiting to be played. Following Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh, the Seminoles will play host to Georgia Tech (March 2, 6:00 p.m.) as they begin a 3-game stretch to start the month of March and close out the ACC regular season schedule.
Florida State will travel to Pittsburgh on February 23, 2014 for the first time as members of the ACC and will play the Panthers for the 11th time in the history of the series. The Seminoles last played against the Panthers on December 21, 2008 – a 56-48 loss at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles are 16-16 against teams from the state of Pennsylvania.
Sophomore All-ACC candidate Aaron Thomas, who has scored in double figures in seven consecutive games (career-high 16.7 points per game), is one of the nation’s hottest players. He has scored in double figures in each Florida State game since totaling 12 at NC State on January 29 and is averaging 18.7 points scored per game as a starter in six different games (including the Seminoles most recent five games). Thomas has scored in double figures in a career-high three games as a sophomore (career-high 26 in a win over Charlotte, December 17; 20 in the Seminoles’ victory over Notre Dame, January 21 and 24 points in Florida State’s win over Virginia Tech, February 5).
Senior All-ACC candidate Aaron Thomas enters Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh ranked 18th in the ACC in scoring, fifth in steals (career-high 1.7 spg) and eighth in free throw shooting percentage (.824).
Senior Ian Miller has scored in double figures in three consecutive games and is averaging 20 points scored per game in his last three games. He scored 13 against Miami (February 10), his career-high 25 in the Seminoles’ come from behind win at Wake Forest (February 15) and totaled 22 against North Carolina on Monday night in Tallahassee (February 17). During that span of three games, Miller is shooting .619 from the bonusphere (13 of 21), .526 from the field (20 of 38) and has scored at least 20 points in consecutive games for the second time this season.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Pittsburgh and gain a victory over the Panthers for the first time since December 21, 1984 in a game played in Orlando, Fla. The Seminoles defeated the Panthers, 83-76, in a pre-holiday clash in the Sunshine State;
…Defeat Pittsburgh and gain a win over Pittsburgh which is ranked 29th in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll;
…Defeat Pittsburgh and gain a win over the No. 32 RPI ranked (NCAA.com) Panthers. It would be the Seminoles’ third victory over a top 50 RPI team after wins over both VCU and UMass.
In the last six seasons (through February 17, 2014), Florida State is 59-39 (.602 winning percentage) and has finished in third place in the league standings three times in regular season ACC play. The Seminoles average 10.4 ACC regular season wins per season and have finished in the top four of the ACC standings four times in the last five seasons. Florida State is third in the ACC in conference wins with 57, third in winning percentage at .602 and tied for second (with North Carolina) with four top-four league standing finishes in the last five seasons.
Florida State, which is ranked sixth in the ACC in free throw shooting percentage with a .711 mark, has shot the ball well from the line throughout the 2013-14 season and has shot particularly well in the last six games. The Seminoles are shooting .754 from the free throw line in the last six games and are even better in the second half of those six games as they are shooting better than 80 percent (.819, 68 of 83) from the line in the final 20 minutes of games.
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh ranked second in the ACC with a .465 shooting mark from the field. The Seminoles have shot 50 percent or better from the field in 11 different games – including ACC wins over Maryland (January 12) and Notre Dame (January 21) – and are the only team in the ACC which has shot 50 percent or better from the field 10 or more times. Duke, which ranks first in the ACC with a .469 field goal shooting percentage, has shot 50 percent or better from the field nine times. The Seminoles held Duke to a .305 shooting mark from the field in their only meeting of the regular season against the Blue Devils.
Florida State is ranked second in the ACC with a .465 field goal shooting percentage – its highest mark since a .481 mark from the field during the 2006-07 season. The Seminoles ranked third in the ACC during the 2005-06 season (with a .479 mark) and fourth in the ACC during the 2006-07 season with their .481 mark.
Florida State committed a season-low eight turnovers in its game against North Carolina on Monday night in Tallahassee. The Seminoles committed three turnovers in the first half – their season-low for a half – in jumping to a 15-point first half lead and a 36-33 halftime advantage over the Tar Heels. The Seminoles are 2-1 when they commit fewer than 10 turnovers in a game with wins over Miami (January 15, nine turnovers) and Charlotte (December 17, nine turnovers).
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh ranked second in the ACC with a 5.7 blocked shots per game average. The Seminoles are looking to lead the ACC in blocked shots for the school-record fifth consecutive season.
SOURCE: Florida State Athletics