ON ZITANI: Was awarded a scholarship, started a career-high five games and played in a career-high 26 games as a graduate student during the 2007-08 season as he enjoyed the best season of his three-year Seminole career...his importance as a member of the Seminole men's basketball team came to the forefront in 2008 as he put team success ahead of individual success during his final season and his entire career...despite limited playing time during his first two seasons as a Seminole his spirit never wavered and he was one of the team's most important players during his third season...because he prepared himself to play in each and every game of his career he was as ready as any player on the Seminoles' roster to start five games including four in Atlantic Coast Conference play...earned the first start of his career in Florida State's victory over Georgia Tech (Dec. 30)...he played seven minutes and scored three points in the Seminoles' 66-64 victory over the Yellow Jackets on the road...he would start four more ACC games and the Seminoles' victory over La Salle in Tallahassee (Jan. 5)...scored his career-high of five points in the Seminoles' victory over Boston College (Feb. 14) during his senior season...was presented with the Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award at the 2008 ACC Tournament...the award is named in honor of the late Clemson University sports information director whose service to the ACC and the media will be forever remembered and appreciated...Bob Bradley passed away in October 2000 after a three-year battle with bone cancer that included more than 100 radiation treatments...throughout that period of time, he continued to serve as SID Emeritus at Clemson, working events at home and away, and representing the Tigers in his own unique style and grace...the Bradley Award is presented annually, in conjunction with the ACC Office, to a male or female basketball player, coach or team administrator who has overcome serious injury, illness or significant adversity in life to become a valuable contributor to his/her program and university...Zitani has recovered from surgery from a brain tumor in 2003 and has earned a scholarship to play basketball at Florida State...transferred to Florida State during the summer of 2006 and earned a spot on the team following campus-wide tryouts in October of 2005...played in a career-high 26 games during the 2007-08 season to bring his two-year career total of games played to 42...established career-high statistics in virtually every category during the 2007-08 season...one of the Seminoles' emotional leaders who was never afraid to lead by example... played at the same junior college and for the same coach as former Seminole All-ACC First-Team selection Tim Pickett...earned the Outstanding Student Athlete Award from the coaching staff at the Seminoles' annual Honors Banquet in 2007...earned his undergraduate degree in business management in 2007 and will earn his Master's Degree in Sport Management in December of 2008...earned the Tip of the Spear Award from the Seminole coaching staff at the Florida State basketball honors banquet in 2008...
AS A GRADUATE STUDENT (2008): Averaged a career-high 1.4 points (tied for 10th), a career-high 1.1 rebounds (11th) and a career-high 7.4 minutes played per game as he played in a career-high 26 games during the 2007-08 season...he earned the first five starting assignments of his career as he started games against Georgia Tech, La Salle, Clemson, Duke and Miami (Fla.) in helping the Seminoles to a 3-2 record as a starter...Zitani established career-high statistics in just about every statistical category during the 2007-08 season...he made a single-season career-high seven 3-point field goals this season - he made a total of zero during the first two years of his career...he earned a total of seven assists this season including one each in consecutive games against Maryland (Feb. 16), Clemson (Feb. 19) and Boston College (Feb. 27) - he had a total of zero during the first two years of his career...he earned a total of five steals including one against Wake Forest on Feb. 14 - he had a total of zero during the first two years of his career...made a total of five starts this season (in victories at Georgia Tech, La Salle and Miami and in games against Clemson and Duke) - he was not in the starting line-up for any games during the first two years of his career...he played 15 ACC games this season after playing in three ACC games during the first two years of his career...he played in 193 minutes (7.4 minutes per game) this season after playing in a total of 34 minutes during the first two years of his career....he more than quadrupled his playing time this season as compared to the first two seasons of his career...was presented with the Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award at the 2008 ACC Tournament...Zitani has recovered from surgery from a brain tumor in 2003 and has earned a scholarship to play basketball at Florida State...scored four points and pulled down a career-high tying three rebounds as a starter against La Salle (Jan. 5)...Florida State won the non-conference game to finish their home non-conference regular season schedule undefeated for the second consecutive season...averaged 0.8 points in eight games against teams that played in the NCAA Tournament during the 2007-08 season...averaged 1.0 points in three games played against teams that participated in the NIT...(vs. Boston College): scored five points and pulled down one rebound in 11 minutes of play in the Seminoles' only game against Boston College during the 2007-08 season...his five points against the Eagles ranks as his career-high for a single-game during his career...he made two of four shots from the field including one of three from beyond the 3-point arc...Florida State never trailed during the game which was played in Tallahassee (Feb. 23)...his 3-point shot against the Eagles came in the first half and put the Seminoles up 26-20 on their way to a 31-27 halftime lead...a second-half lay-up gave Florida State at commanding lead, 53-39, with 8:42 left in the game...the Seminoles won the game, 66-63, for their first ever victory over Boston College...(vs. Clemson): averaged 1.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in two games played against NCAA Tournament participant Clemson...was a starter in the Seminoles' game at Clemson (Jan. 12) and came off the bench when the Seminoles played host to the Tigers in Tallahassee (Feb. 19)...earned the third starting assignment of his career as the Seminoles played at Clemson...totaled two points and two rebounds in 13 minutes played as Clemson forced a first and a second overtime time before winning in that second extra period, 97-85...scored Florida State's fourth basket of the game to give the Seminoles an early 8-3 lead at the 16:37 mark of the first half...earned nine minutes of playing time in the first half and four minutes in the second half...Florida State was taken into the first overtime on a prayer of a 3-point bank shot at the end of regulation and a second prayer of a put-back at the end of the first overtime...(vs. Duke): scored zero points and pulled down one rebound in four minutes of play in the Seminoles' only game against NCAA Tournament participant Duke during the 2007-08 season...in the starting line-up and pulled down one rebound in four minutes played in the first half of the nationally televised game (Jan. 16)...Duke rallied after being behind the Seminoles with three minutes remaining to gain the 70-57 win...(vs. Georgia Tech): scored three points and pulled down one rebound in seven minutes of playing time as the Seminoles' opened the ACC season with a victory on the road in Atlanta (Dec. 30)...was in the starting line-up for the first time in his career because of the leg injury to Solomon Alibi, the medical condition of Julian Vaughn and the violation of team rules suspension for Ryan Reid...his first half 3-point shot proved vital in the two-point (66-64) victory...was unafraid as a starter for the first time as he launched and connected on the first 3-point shot in an ACC game in his career...his shot went in a gave the Seminoles a 32-29 lead with 4:27 remaining before intermission...earned two minutes of playing time in the second half as the Seminoles' gained the league victory...(vs. Maryland): scored three points and was credited with one assist as Florida State traveled to play NIT participant Maryland in College Park for the only game between the Seminoles and the Terps during the 2007-08 season...his lone basket came on a made 3-point shot in the first half to help the Seminoles gallop to a 40-32 lead at the intermission...his long range shot with 7:41 left in the first half gave the Seminoles a 27-23 lead and began a 17-10 Florida State run at the end of the half...the run allowed Florida State to take the eight-point lead into the locker room...an assist on a Ralph Mims 3-point shot early in the second half gave the Seminoles a two-point lead at the 17:36 mark (42-40)...(vs. Miami): averaged 1.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in two games against NCAA Tournament participant Miami...averaged 10.5 minutes played and had two steals during the Seminoles' second consecutive regular season sweep of the Hurricanes...scored zero points and pulled down two rebounds as the Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes, 62-55, in Coral Gables (Feb. 6)...his presence was once again magnified in the game as Florida State was without Isaiah Swann for the second half of the game after he injured his knee in the first half of the victory...he would be lost for the season because of the injury...his two offensive rebounds led directly to five points and came at the end of each half...his first came with eight seconds left and led directly to a 3-point shot by Toney Douglas and a 30-25 halftime lead...his second came at the tail end of the second half and led the a pair of free throws by Douglas to give the Seminoles their final margin of victory...(vs. North Carolina): averaged 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds in three games against NCAA Tournament and ACC Tournament No. 1 overall seed North Carolina...averaged 8.7 minutes played in the three game series against the Tar Heels...scored two points, pulled down one rebound and added one assist in 11 minutes of playing time as the Seminoles played host to North Carolina in Tallahassee (Feb. 3)...scored two first half points as Florida Stat worked earn the lead late in the first half...the Tar Heels won the game in overtime, 84-73, after Zitani helped Florida State outscore North Carolina in the second half to send the game into overtime...totaled zero points and zero rebounds in 12 minutes played as the Seminoles traveled to play at North Carolina (March 4)...the Tar Heels won the game, 90-77, thus breaking the Seminoles' three-game ACC winning streak...scored zero points and added one assist in the Seminoles' game against the Tar Heels in the ACC Tournament at Charlotte Bobcats Arena (March 14)...North Carolina won the game, 82-70, and went onto win the ACC championship with a victory over Clemson in the championship game...(vs. NC State): averaged 0.0 points and 0.5 rebounds in two games against NC State...averaged 8.5 minutes played as the two teams split the season series with each team winning on its opponents' home court...totaled zero points and zero rebounds in four minutes played as Florida State played host to NC State in Tallahassee (Jan. 26)...the Wolfpack won the game, 69-66...scored zero points and pulled down one rebound in seven minutes of playing time as Florida State traveled to play at Raleigh (Feb. 27)...the Seminoles won the league game on the road, 72-62...(vs. Virginia): scored 0 points and pulled down zero rebounds in three minutes of playing time in the Seminoles' 69-67 victory over Virginia in the only meeting of the season between the Seminoles and the Cavaliers (Jan. 23)...earned three minutes of playing time in the first half as the Seminoles took a 31-28 lead at the intermission and rallied once again to gain the ACC victory at home...(vs. Virginia Tech): scored zero points and pulled down two rebounds in seven minutes of playing time as the Seminoles traveled to play at Virginia Tech (Jan. 29)...two rebounds in the second half to help Florida State outscore the Hokies, 56-47, in making a valiant comeback attempt on the road...Florida State trailed, 42-24, at halftime and rallied to bring the score to within five late in the second half...(vs. Wake Forest): averaged 1.0 points and 0.0 rebounds in two games against Wake Forest...played in a total of 27 minutes in the two games in which he earned playing time against the Demon Deacons...did not see any playing time as the Seminoles traveled to play at Wake Forest (Jan. 20) in a 74-57 Demon Deacon victory...scored two points and had one steal in his career-high of 20 minutes played as Florida State played host to Wake Forest in Tallahassee (Feb. 14)...two points in the first half as the Seminoles recovered from an early deficit and gave themselves a chance to win the game in the second half...after being outscored 42-26 in the first half, the Seminoles outscored the Demon Deacons, 44-36, in the second half...though the Seminoles never led the game, they brought the deficit back to as little as three midway through the final period...Wake Forest won the game, 78-70...totaled zero points and zero rebounds but was credited with one assist and one steal in seven minutes of action as Florida State defeated Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC Tournament at Charlotte Bobcats Arena (March 13)...his steal in the first half led directly to a 3-point shot by Ralph Mims and a 25-15 lead at the 6:44 mark of the first half...the Seminoles never trailed and won the game 70-60 for their first win over Wake Forest in four tries in ACC Tournament play...(vs. Akron in the NIT): totaled zero points and zero rebounds in seven minutes of play as Florida State played Akron in the first round of the NIT (March 18)...Akron rallied to win the game in overtime, 65-60...(vs. Florida): did not play in Florida State's 65-51 victory over No. 24 Florida in Gainesville...
AS A SENIOR (2007): Averaged 0.8 points (11th on the team), 0.5 rebounds (11th), and shot .667 from the line as he played a total of 24 minutes while playing in a 12 games...earned playing time three ACC games - against Miami, Georgia Tech and NC State - at home to earn playing time in ACC play for the first time in his career...also earned playing time in two games during the 2007 MasterCard NIT - against Toledo and Michigan - to see playing time in a postseason national tournament for the first time in his career...tripled his single-season total of games played in 2006-07 season (12) as compared to his first season (three), more than doubled his field goals attempted totals (14) when compared to his first season total (six), made and attempted the first two free throws of his career (tow of three), quadrupled his offensive rebound total as a junior (four) as compared to his sophomore season (one), pulled down the first two defensive rebounds of his career (two), more than double his playing time as a junior (24 minutes) as compared to his first season as a Seminole (10)...single-game career-highs came the points (four against Michigan), field goals made (two against Michigan), free throws made and attempted (two and two against Southeastern Louisiana) and rebounds (two vs. Southeastern and Providence)... totaled two points in one minute of play in the Seminoles' victory over Stetson (Dec. 5)...(vs. Miami): totaled zero points and zero rebounds in four minutes played as Florida State played host to Miami in Tallahassee (Jan. 20)...was zero-of-two from the field in the Seminoles' 86-67 win over the Hurricanes...(vs. Georgia Tech): scored zero points and pulled down zero rebounds in one minute of play as the Seminoles' played host to Georgia Tech in Tallahassee (Feb. 13)...earned playing time in the first half of a game for the first time in his career because the Seminoles' forward (Uche Echefu and Ryan Reid were both tagged with three first half fouls...Georgia Tech earned the road win, 63-57, as the Yellow Jackets limited the Seminoles to .261 shooting from the field and 22 total points in the second half...(vs. NC State): scored zero points and totaled zero rebounds in one minute of play as the Seminoles played host to NC State in Senior Day in Tallahassee (Feb. 24)...his play allowed Florida State to send seniors Al Thornton and Jerel Allen to go out in style in their final regular season home game...(vs. Toledo, Michigan and Mississippi State in the NIT): averaged 2.0 points and 0.0 rebounds in two games during the 2007 MasterCard NIT...scored zero points and pulled down zero rebounds in two minutes of playing time as Florida State defeated Toledo in the first round of the NIT in a game played in Tallahassee (March 13)...his playing time helped the Seminoles earn the 77-61 win to advance to the second round of the event...tied his career-high with four points in Florida State's 87-66 victory over Michigan in the second round of the NIT in Tallahassee (March 15)...scored his four points as he made a career- high two field goals in the win...scored four of the Seminoles' final five points of the game on a lay-up with 44 seconds reaming to push Florida State's advantage to 84-64 and closed out the scoring in the game with a second lay-up to bring the game to its final margin of victory...
AS A JUNIOR (2006): Averaged 1.5 points (tied for 12th on the team) and 0.3 rebounds (13th) while playing in four of the Seminoles' 30 games during the season...earned playing time for the first time as a Seminole against Jacksonville in the season opener (Jan. 19)...scored the first basket of his career against Purdue in a game nationally televised on espn2 (Nov. 29)...was one-of-one from the field with one rebound in two minutes of playing time...helped Florida State set an ACC/Big Ten Challenge record for margin of victory (+40 points) in the 97-57 win over the Boilermakers...scored his career-high of four points in five minutes of playing time in the Seminoles' victory over Campbell (Dec. 22)...made two of four shots from the field in a career-high five minutes of playing time.
AT INDIAN RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Earned his Associates Degree from IRCC in 2005 in business and transferred to Florida State for the fall 2005 semester...helped lead IRCC to the state junior college tournament in 2005 as a sophomore...scored his career-high of 26 points against South Fork as a sophomore.
AT LINCOLN PARK ACADEMY: Graduated from Lincoln Park in 2003...a starter and team captain as both a junior and senior...averaged a near double-double of 10 points and 9.6 rebounds as a senior and 6.0 points and 7.0 rebounds as a junior...also averaged nearly five assists per game as a senior...led the team in rebounding as a senior and ranked second as a junior...ranked second in rebounding on the Treasure Coast his senior season...scored 18 points in a victory over Sebring as a senior...added 15 points against Pahokee as a senior as he played against Virginia Tech's Zabian Dowdell during his senior season...led the Lincoln Park baseball team to its first ever district championship as a senior...batted .313 and had a 4-2 record as a pitcher for the baseball team his senior season.
PERSONAL: Born May 18, 1985...Matt is the son of Kim and Chris Zitani...earned a 3.8 grade point average and was named to the honor roll in high school...named to the Florida Community College All-Academic Team during his career at IRCC...a brother, Shaun, is an assistant swimming coach at the University of Kentucky...Shaun finished .1 second from qualifying for the 2000 Olympics in the 50 meter freestyle event and coached at Indian River while Matt played basketball there...an avid surfer who lists all water sports on his list of hobbies...had surgery to remove a brain tumor on Oct. 2, 2003 and has now recuperated to play athletics on the collegiate level...majoring in business and plans on opening a water sports store in the future.