Jan. 31, 2011
The Florida State men's basketball team will look to try and climb back into the top spot in the ACC tonight when the squad faces the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-13, 1-5).
The Seminoles (15-6, 5-2) have won four of their last five ACC games but are coming off a loss for the first time since January 8. Head coach Leonard Hamilton thinks that the Clemson loss can turn out to be a good lesson in the long run.
"Sometimes the University of Hard Knocks is one of the best teachers, you get a hard knock and you learn from it, "said Hamilton.
Tonight's game gives the Seminoles a chance to bounce back against a Wake Forest team that has struggled this year, especially in conference play. The Deacons are 1-5 in the ACC. Florida State, meanwhile, currently sits at 5-2 in conference play behind only Duke and North Carolina.
For the Seminoles to get a win tonight, they need to come out strong on the defensive end. Known for their defensive prowess, that trademark suffocating D was not as clearly in evidence in the road trip to Clemson on Saturday.
However, the Seminoles also need to find an answer on offense as well after shooting 32 percent against the Tigers.
"We have to execute our offense. We have to do a lot better in terms of what we've done. We were much more efficient on the offensive end during that four game winning streak and we have to get back to it," said Hamilton.
Point guard Derwin Kitchen is a key ingredient to the offense's success and he knows he needs to play aggressively in order to give his team the best shot to win. In the wins over Duke, Miami and Boston College, Kitchen was all over the court creating plays in every way for the Seminoles.
Against Clemson's smothering defense Kitchen accounted for six points, six rebounds, one assist and no steals. Compare that to FSU's big win over Duke, where the senior racked up 22 points, 10 rebounds, three assists as well as three steals.
"I'm just gonna try to get back to what I've been doing the past few games," said Kitchen in regards to how he can push the Seminole offense down the stretch.
The Seminoles will see a Demon Deacon team tonight that has already allowed 90 plus points four times this year. However, Hamilton says that fact doesn't change how the Seminoles will come out with their offensive game plan.
"We still are who we are. We are the same team. We're going to play as aggressively as we possibly can to our strengths. We would love to average 100 points a game, but that's not who we are," said Hamilton.
Hamilton also noted Wake Forest's strengths and talent and claims the Demon Deacons deserve their share of credit as they did hang with Duke for much of the game in their recent match up with the Blue Devils.
"You have to give them a lot of credit, because they just now seem like they're starting to figure out how they need to play with the talent they have," said Hamilton. "We have to be able to defend their strengths, and still take advantage of our strengths."
Junior forward Chris Singleton knows how important this game is for his team.
"It's very important if we want to continue the way we're going. We've won the last four out of five games, and we thought that was a turning point, but we just have to keep doing more and staying at it," said Singleton.
NOTES - FSU Sports Information
Florida State, which has won four of its last five ACC games, plays host to Wake Forest on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2001 at 7:00 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are a perfect 4-0 at home this season in the ACC with wins over Clemson (Dec. 12, 75-69), No. 1 Duke (Jan. 12, 66-61), NC State (Jan. 15, 84-71) and Boston College (Jan. 22, 67-51) and are 9-3 at home in conference play in the last two season. In addition, the Seminoles enter Tuesday's game against the Demon Deacons having won 10 of their last 13 ACC games dating to a Feb. 14, 2010 win over Boston College and have won seven of their last eight ACC home games dating to a Feb. 6, 2010 victory over Miami at home. Florida State's game against Wake Forest is its first of two games against the Demon Deacons this season as they will travel to play them in Winston Salem on Feb. 19. Florida State's game against Wake Forest is one of only three home games for the Seminoles during the month of February as they play three games at home and four games on the road (all in conference play). Following Tuesday's game against Wake Forest, the Seminoles travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. for a Super Bowl Sunday game at North Carolina on Feb. 6, at 2:00 p.m.
THE SINGLETON CAMPAIGN
Chris Singleton AND THE ACC STATISTICS
FLORIDA STATE CONTINUES TO HOLD ITS PLACE AS TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM
Florida State's National and ACC Defensive Rankings Category Statistic NCAA Rank ACC Rank Field Goal Pct. Defense .351 1 1 Blocked Shots Per Game 6.9 8 1 3-Point Field Goal Defense .293 11 1 Scoring Defense 60.6 23 2 Steals Per Game 8.7 31 2
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO...
FLORIDA STATE'S SUCCESS IN THE ACC
Last 3 Years (ACC Regular Season + ACC Tournament) Team W L Notes Duke 36 9 Three ACC Championship game appearances Florida State 27 16 One ACC Championship game appearance North Carolina 24 18 Zero ACC Championship game appearances
FLORIDA STATE'S WINNING PERCENTAGE IN THE LAST THREE SEASONS
SEMINOLES AGAINST RANKED TEAMS THIS SEASON
FLORIDA STATE ON THE ROAD IN ACC PLAY