The Seminoles (7-6, 1-1 ACC) are riding a two-game streak, looking to make it three victories in a row for the first time since March 2022 — a 46-game stretch.
FSU’s win over Georgia Tech, one where the Seminoles led for more than 35 minutes and were never seriously challenged, saw Chandler Jackson set a career-high with 14 points, the FSU bench scored 42 points and a defensive effort that included seven steals from the ACC’s leader in takeaways.
Florida State’s game against Virginia Tech also serves as Military Appreciation Day, with active duty and former service men and women eligible for discounted tickets. It’s a meaningful day for both assistant coach Steve Smith and guard Josh Nickleberry, with the former having served in the Army and the latter’s mother also an Army veteran:
Smith played college basketball at Morgan State for two seasons before enlisting in the United States Army. While in the Army, he served various assignments from 1994-2000 at Ft. Gordon (Ga.), Ft. Hood (Texas) and Ft. Meade (Maryland). While in the Army, he specialized in computers, gaining invaluable training in that discipline.
“Being raised in a military family I’ve always had a profound respect and appreciation for the armed forces and their service members,” said Smith. “When I myself joined the US Army it was a pivotal moment in my life that has largely shaped who and where I am today. I continue to try daily to live by the Army Core values of: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Courage.”
For Nickelberry, who is in his first season at Florida State, his mother Meredith McKinney is an Army veteran. He is a member of Florida State basketball team after earning his bachelor’s degree in communication from La Salle University in May of 2023.
“Growing up in a military family shaped me in many ways,” said Nickelberry. “I’m very proud to have parents that served in the military. One reason it that it shows the heart they have for fighting for a country that is bigger than them. They’re not worried about themselves. They are worried about the well-being of others. Being a child in that family, it just shows me the love that my mom has for me. I know she has that compassion for the country as well.”
The Hokies saw a four-game win streak snapped on December 30 in a 23-point loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, one of several blowout losses (84-50 vs. FAU, 74-57 vs. Auburn) suffered by Virginia Tech in its fifth season under head coach Mike Young.
From our SB Nation sister site, Gobbler Country:
Wake came out hot against the Hokies, and every time it looked like Tech may get close, the Demon Deacons went on a run. Wake Forest finished the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 20-point lead into intermission.
It was another tough day offensively for junior point guard Sean Pedulla. Pedulla made just one of seven shots from the field in the first half, including missing all three attempts from 3-point range, and turned the ball over five times — in the first 20 minutes.
Pedulla’s struggles continued in the second half, and he finished the game with five points and six turnovers. Pedulla has been battling a foot injury since the Louisville win earlier this month, which cost him two games.
The Hokies fought back in the second half, but Wake’s hot start proved too much. All five Wake Forest starters scored in double figures, and the Deacs shot over 50% from the field in the first half. Virginia Tech was much better overall in the second half, but it proved to be too little, too late.
Hunter Cattoor and Lynn Kidd led the Hokies with 14 points each. As a team, VT shot 46% from the floor, which was impressive considering it was such an ugly start in the first half.
FSU vs. Virginia Tech tips off at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 6, with the game set to be broadcast on ACC Network from Tallahassee.
According to DraftKings, Florida State is a one-point underdog to the Hokies, with the over/under set at 145.
FSU vs. Virginia Tech: How to watch, stream, TV info
Saturday, January 6
Seminoles Radio Network, SiriusXM RADIO FSU Broadcast: CH. 119 or 193
Game notes, via FSU Sports Info
SEMINOLES PLAY HOST TO HOKIES IN ACC BATTLE
Florida State, which has won three of its last four games, plays host to Virginia Tech on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 4:00. The Game will be televised on the ACC Network. The Seminoles’ game again the Hokies is there sixth of seven consecutive homes games and the second and three consecutive ACC gams at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Florida State plays host to Wake Forest on Tuesday, January 9 at 7:00 p.m. to close out its homestand. The Seminoles begin their game against the Hokies fresh from an 82-71 win over Georgia Tech on Wednesday at home in the Donald L. Tucker Cetner. The win was the Seminoles’ sixth straight home victory over the Yellow Jackets and evened their ACC record at 1-1. Florida State has won 11 of its last 12 home games against Virgina Tech – a streak that began with a 91-79 win on February 23, 1991.
HAMILTON RANKS FIFTH IN ACC HISTORY FOR WINS
Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton enters Wednesday’s game against Georgia Tech as the fifth winningest coach in ACC history with 411 wins. He is also the fifth winningest coach in ACC history for ACC regular season victories (182), ACC regular season and ACC Tournament wins combined (197), sixth in the ACC record book for ACC road wins (65), and eighth in ACC history for NCAA Tournament wins as an ACC Head Coach (18).
FLORIDA STATE WITH AN 80 PERCENT WINNING MARK SINCE 2015
Florida State is 106-26 at home in the last nine seasons (.803 winning percentage) at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles have won 109 of their last 154 games since February 27, 2015. The Seminoles won their final three home games of the 2015-16 season (Notre Dame, Syracuse, Davidson) and have won 95 home games since the start of the 2016-17 season when they finished with a perfect 18-0 record at the Tucker Center.
GREEN JR. REWRITING THE FLORIDA STATE RECORD BOOK
In just 45 games as a Seminole, Darin Green Jr. has already become a prominent member of the Florida State Basketball record book and has already inserted his name 10 times in nine different statistical categories. He enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech ranked 15th in career 3-point field goal percentage (126 of 337), 16th in career 3-point field goals made (126) and tied for 18th in career 3-point field goals attempted. Green’s eight 3-point field goals made against St. John’s on December 17, 2022 is tied for third in a single game in school history while his 17th 3-point field goals attempted at Syracuse on February 8, 2023 is tied for the most 3-point field goals attempted in a single game in school history.
SEMINOLES’ WARLEY ONLY FOUR STEALS FROM 100
Florida State junior Jalen Warley enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech with 96 career steals and needs just four steals to reach 100 for his career. He has 18 steals in the first 13 games of the 2023-24 season including his career-high of five steals against Florida on November 17, 2023.
FLORIDA STATE CONTINUES TO LEAD THE ACC IN STEALS
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech as the ACC leader in steals with a 9.2 steals per game average. The Seminoles earned their season-high of 17 steals in the 77-71 overtime victory over No. 18 Colorado in the championship game of the Sunshine Slam on November 21. Florida State’s 17 steals stands as the watermark for each of the 15 ACC teams during the first two months of the 2023-24 season.
SEMINOLES APROACHING PROGRAM WIN NO. 1,300
Florida State enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech with a program record of 1,296-910 for a after earning its 82-71 win over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
FLORIDA STATE FROM THE 3-POINT LINE
Florida State made seven 3-point field goals – including its first two made shots of the game – in defeating Georgia Tech on Wednesday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have now made 19 3-point shots in their first two ACC games of the season as they tied their season-high of 12 in their ACC opener at North Carolina (December 2, 2023). Florida State averages 9.3 3-point field games made in their first two ACC games of the 2023-24 season.
Florida State totaled 12 assists on 31 field goals made in its victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles have earned 10 or more assists in nine of their first 13 games and average 16.0 assists ((112 assists in seven games) in their seven victories.