Florida State Seminoles basketball, after a close loss to the Syracuse Orange, are looking to bounce back and get in the win column in a nonconference matchup vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The game will be part of the inaugural No Room for Racism Classic, which features six other teams in addition to FSU and South Carolina (South Carolina State, High Point, Winthrop, Carver College, Clinton College and Edward Watters.)
“It was brought to my attention the emphasis placed on this tournament, (and) I became more and more excited,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said during media availability Friday. “I’m hoping that there is something that we can do or say that will help move the needle in terms of the climate that we’re dealing with.”
South Carolina, coming off a big win vs. Georgetown is 6-2 on the season with a relatively easy schedule, dropping its season opener in a close game to Princeton and getting blown out by Coastal Carolina earlier this month. Its best win this season, according to NET rankings, was a 66-63 win over UAB in mid-November.
FSU vs. South Carolina tips off at 12 p.m. at the Rock Hill Sports and Event Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina and is set to be broadcast on ESPN2.
Game notes, via South Carolina Sports Info:
- South Carolina prepares for its third neutral-site game of the season when it travels just 70 miles to the North to face Florida State in the No Room For Racism Classic. The meeting between the Gamecocks and Seminoles is the first since the 2006 Postseason NIT.
- Gamecock head coach Frank Martin and longtime Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton have known each other since Martin was a high school coach in Miami and Hamilton was then the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes. Sunday’s matchup is the first time the longtime friends and colleagues will share the same sideline.
- Carolina is 1-1 in neutral-site matchups this season after falling to Princeton, before a win vs. Western Kentucky at the Asheville Championship in mid-November. South Carolina is 26-20 (.565) in neutral-site matchups under the direction of Martin.
- In that 2006 NIT matchup between the Gamecocks and Seminoles, Tarence Kinsey sank three free throws in the final 26 seconds of the contest to secure the OT win for Carolina. The Gamecocks would go on to win the NIT title, their second-straight NIT crown becoming the first team since St. John’s (1943, ‘44) to capture the title in back-to-back campaigns.
Game notes, via FSU Sports Info:
Florida State enters Sunday’s game against South Carolina as one of the top defensive teams in the ACC. The Seminoles are ranked first in the ACC in steals (82 steals / 10.3 spg), second in blocked shots (40 blocked shots / 5.0 bpg) and fifth in field goal percentage defense (.407). The Seminoles are the only team in the ACC to rank in the top five of each of those defensive statistics. Florida State is ranked ninth among the ACC’s 15 teams in scoring defense (66.8 points allowed per game).
Redshirt sophomore Caleb Mills enters Sunday’s game against South Carolina as the Seminoles’ leader in scoring (101 points / 12.6 ppg) and steals (19 steals / 2.4 spg). He has scored in double figures in five of Florida State’s first eight games with his season-high of 22 points coming at Purdue. Mills enters the No Room for Racism Classic against South Carolina as the ACC leader in steals with a career-high 2.4 steals per game average. He has earned at least two steals in seven of Florida State’s first eight games of the season with his career-high of five steals coming in Florida State’s victory over Boston University on November 24.
Florida State faces South Carolina in the No Room for Racism Classic in Rock Hill, S.C. on December 12, 2021 at the Rock Hill Sports and Event Center. The Seminoles’ game against South Carolina marks the first game between the two teams since a 69-68 overtime win for the Gamecocks in the second round of the NIT on March 21, 2006. Prior to that, the two teams meet at least twice each season from 1980 through 1991 when both teams were in the Metro Conference. South Carolina is coached by Frank Martin, who is in his ninth season as the Gamecocks’ head coach. Martin, a native of Miami, will coach against the Seminoles for the first time in his career. Will Bailey, an assistant coach on the South Carolina staff, will coach against Florida State for the second time in four seasons. He was an assistant coach at Saint Louis when Florida State took an 81-59 win over the Billikens at the Orange Bowl Classic on December 22, 2018. Douglas Edwards, one of the greatest players in Florida State history, is the Director of Student-Athlete Development for the Gamecocks, a position he has held for the last 10 seasons. Edwards played in three NCAA Tournaments and is ranked sixth in school history in scoring with 1,604 points. He was a player at Florida State during the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons and was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008