Previewing Florida State

North Carolina travels to Tallahassee for a mid-week clash against a big, defensive-minded Florida State squad. The game tips-off Wednesday at 9 p.m. and will be televised regionally by Raycom.

North Carolina (17-2, 3-2) vs. Florida State (16-4, 3-2)
Tallahassee, Fla. - Tucker Center (12,100)
9 p.m., Raycom


"You can't simulate that (height) in practice. You can't make your walk-ons (taller). Patrick Moody is 6-4, and I can't make him 7-1. You try to get better ball movement and quicker moves inside and see what can happen." – UNC head coach Roy Williams on dealing with Florida State's size

"In my opinion you've got to have a defensive scheme that stops North Carolina. If you give too much attention to one particular player, the other ones are just as capable of hitting you for big numbers. In Tyler's case, you've got to make him work for what he gets and hope that you can limit the help he gets and try to contain the other four players." – FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton


Season to Date: Florida State enters Wednesday night's contest with a 16-4 (3-2 ACC) record. The Seminoles The Seminoles, despite starting three underclassmen, picked up several key nonconference wins early in the season, knocking off Cincinnati, California and Florida in a 10-day span following Thanksgiving. Other than a head-scratcher against Northwestern, head coach Leonard Hamilton's squad has prevented the bad loss complex that has plagued other members of the ACC. The FSU lost to No. 3 Pittsburgh (56-48), No. 1 Duke (66-58) and at Miami (75-69). The Seminoles did not win their fourth ACC game of the 2007-08 season until Feb. 19.

Senior Baller: Toney Douglas will provide North Carolina with another viable scoring threat from the guard position on Wednesday, as the senior ranks third in the league in scoring at 19.6 points per game. The Jonesboro, Ga. product has scored over 20 points this season in 11 games, including both ACC games last week – dropping 30 points on Miami and 21 points at Virginia. His 2.1 steals per game are tied for second with Wake Forest's Jeff Teague in league play, and he is also pulling down 4.2 rebounds per game. On the negative side, however, Douglas has coughed up 54 turnovers on the season, which happens to equal his assist total.

Stingy Defense: Florida State's athleticism has allowed it to put the clamps on their opponents this season, ranking second in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.380). The Hurricanes (.490) are the only squad to shoot better than 44 percent from the field in the first 20 games. The Seminoles' 8.9 steals per game rank fifth in the league, while their 6.2 blocks per game currently resides in the third spot. FSU needs only seven block shots to match their total from the 2007-08 season.

No Margin for Error: The Seminoles have struggled in handling the ball effectively, as their 329 turnovers lead the ACC, while their 12.2 assists per game average ranks dead-last in the conference. As expected with those stats, FSU resides in the cellar spot with 0.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. Only two members of Florida State's squad, Derwin Kitchen (26 to 19) and Luke Loucks (47 to 34), have tallied more assists than turnovers on the season.

Hamilton Against Ranked Opponents: The Florida State head coach boasts 12 wins over nationally-ranked opponents during his first seven years in Tallahassee, with seven of those victories coming against top-10 adversaries.

Best Stat in the FSU Media Guide: Florida State is undefeated, 16-0, when it outscores its opponent.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Florida State, 82-70, in the ACC quarterfinals at Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on March 14, 2008. Tyler Hansbrough scored 22 points, while Wayne Ellington added 19 points for the Tar Heels, who shot 53 percent from the field for the game, including 59 percent after halftime.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series, 39-8, including having won the last nine games between these two programs. The Tar Heels are 12-4 against FSU in the Donald L. Tucker Center with losses in 2003-04, 2001-02, 1996-97 and 1991-92.

Projected Starters:
23 Toney Douglas (6-2, 200, Sr.) – 19.6 ppg, 2.7 apg, 2.0 spg
22 Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 180, So.) - 7.7 ppg, 2.4 apg
31 Chris Singleton (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 9.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg
41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 225, Sr.) - 7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
32 Solomon Alabi (7-1, 241, Fr.) – 7.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg

Key Reserves:
42 Ryan Reid (6-8, 235, Jr.) – 6.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
 3 Luke Loucks (6-5, 205, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.4 apg
 2 Jordan DeMercy (6-7, 208, So.) – 4.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
 4 Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 195, Fr.) – 3.9 ppg
 1 Xavier Gibson (6-11, 230, Fr.) – 2.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg

FSU Info
Roster & Bios

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Singleton ... Douglas

Echefu ... Alabi

Reid ... Hamilton

(Photos courtesy AP)

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