SETTING THE SCENE
Florida State plays Clemson in the opening round of the 50th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. As the youngest member of the ACC, the Seminoles are making their 12th appearance in the event with their first year of participation coming at the end of the 1991-92 season. Florida State has won at least one game in three of its last four appearances in the tournament and advanced to the semifinal round in 1992. Florida State enters the ACC Tournament with three victories in the second half of its ACC season with victories coming against then No. 5 ranked Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia. The Seminoles defeated the Cavaliers, 74-59, March 1 in Tallahassee.
PICKETT EARNS ALL-ACC SECOND TEAM HONORS
Junior guard Tim Pickett earned All-ACC second team honors as named by the Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Association. It marked the first honor of its kind for Pickett who is playing his first season in the ACC as a member of the Seminoles. Pickett enters the 50th annual ACC Tournament as the league leader in steals and 3-point field goals made per game as well as ranking in the top 15 in six other conference statistical categories. Pickett is the first Florida State player to earn All-ACC honors (above honorable mention) since the 1999-00 season when Ron Hale and Damous Anderson earned All-ACC third team honors. Pickett is the second Seminole junior college player in two years to earn All-ACC honors. Guard Monte Cummings earned All-ACC honorable mention honors last season. Sam Cassell, another junior college transfer to star for the Seminoles, earned All-ACC second team honors in 1992 and 1993.
PICKETT NAMED TO ACC ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Junior Tim Pickett was named to the all-defensive team in a vote by the Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Association. Pickett, who leads the ACC in steals entering the ACC Tournament with 77, is looking to become the first Seminole to lead the league in steals since Charlie Ward in 1993. Pickett is also looking to become the first non-Duke or Maryland player to lead the league in steals since Ward in 1993. Ward and Sam Cassell (in 1992) are the only two Florida State players to lead the league in steals since the Seminoles entered the league in 1992.
FLORIDA STATE IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS
Florida State is ranked ninth in the nation in field goal percentage defense and 19th in the nation in steals. The Seminoles, who hold their opponents to .390 shooting from the field, have been ranked in the nation's top 10 throughout the season and were the nation's toughest team to shoot against during the first week in December. The Seminoles are averaging 9.4 steals per game in averaging more than nine steals per game for the fourth time since the 1977-78 season.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Win its opening round game in the ACC Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. The Seminoles defeated Clemson, 91-84 (OT), in the first round of the 2002 tournament; …Win a game in the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum for the first time in school history. The Seminoles are 0-4 in tournament games played in Greensboro; …Defeat Clemson for the second time in a season for the second consecutive season. The Seminoles defeated Clemson once in the regular season and in the ACC Tournament last season; …Play Clemson in the ACC Tournament for the fifth time in school history. The Seminoles are 2-2 against Clemson in ACC Tournament play.
SEMINOLES' FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Florida State enters the 50th Annual ACC Tournament ranked third in the ACC and ninth in the nation with a .390 field goal percentage defense mark. The Seminoles were ranked No. 2 in the ACC throughout most of the regular season until they were overtaken by Wake Forest. During the Seminoles 16-game ACC season, they held seven of the eight ACC teams below their season field goal percentage average. Only NC State and Clemson shot above their season average against the Seminoles defense.
Seminoles' Tough Defense
Opponent Season vs. Florida State
Difference Maryland .469 .457 -.012
Wake Forest .457 .408 -.049
Duke .452 .367 -.085
NC State .452 .480 +.028
Georgia Tech .449 .407 -.042
Clemson .449 .479 +.030
Virginia .446 .403 -.043
North Carolina .421 .365 -.056
SEMINOLES FIELD GOAL DEFENSE IN THE LAST THREE GAMES
Florida State has held its last three opponents (Wake Forest, Virginia and Duke) to a combined .380 field goal shooting percentage. The Seminoles held regular season league champion Wake Forest to 21 field goals and a .396 shooting percentage in falling just four points shy of defeating Demon Deacons Feb. 26. The Seminoles then held Virginia to .355 shooting from the field in defeating the Cavaliers March 1 and limited to Duke to .393 from the field in their final regular season game of the season in Durham.
IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME
Florida State enters the ACC Tournament holding its opponents to .380 shooting from the field. The Seminoles are looking to become the first Seminole team to hold its opponents under .400 shooting from the field since the 1956-57 Florida State team held its opponent to .396 shooting from the field. During the last 44 years, the Seminoles have shot above .400 each season, included at or above .500 percent four times. Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton led Miami to the nation's No. 1 ranking in field goal percentage defense during the 1998 season.
Florida State enters the ACC Tournament with 255 steals (9.4 spg) this season as compared to its 222 steals (7.7 spg) last season. It marks the fourth time in school history the Seminoles have averaged nine steals or more per game for the season. The Florida State school record for team steals in a single season is 9.5 during the 1977-78 season. Junior All-ACC second-team selection Tim Pickett leads the Seminoles and the ACC with a 2.9 steals per game average.