Alabama A&M-Florida St. Preview

Florida State has a good opportunity to make its current stint

in the Top 25 last at least one week longer than its first

appearance this season.

The 22nd-ranked Seminoles, hoping their offense has finally come

around, look to take advantage of a matchup with an opponent from a

lower-tiered conference as they host Alabama A&M on


After moving into the Top 25 at No. 21 the week of Nov. 30,

Florida State (11-2) fell out in the next poll following a 77-64

loss to No. 15 Ohio State on Dec. 2.

The Seminoles have since won five straight, including a 66-59

victory over then-No. 22 Georgia Tech on Dec. 20, and are ranked

again entering their final two tune-ups before the bulk of their

ACC schedule begins. Their only game this week is their first

matchup with the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Bulldogs (3-4),

who have lost three of four.

Florida State then faces Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Monday

night before continuing ACC play at Maryland on Jan. 10.

Playing for the first time in nine days, the Seminoles hope

their offense has remained sharp after beating Tennessee-Martin

95-68 on Dec. 22. Florida State topped 90 points for the first time

since a 95-55 victory over Maine on Dec. 8, 2007, and reached 80

for the second time in 10 games.

Defense is the Seminoles’ strength, but coach Leonard Hamilton

liked the energy he saw from his offense and believes it still has

room to grow.

“I feel that’ll give us the chance to reach the offensive

potential we have,” Hamilton said.

Freshman Michael Snaer continues to play a larger role for

Florida State. He’s coming off a season-best 18-point effort off

the bench.

Snaer has reached double figures in scoring in five of six games

after averaging 5.6 points in his first seven.

Snaer went 6 for 11 from the field and Florida State shot 54.4

percent (37 for 68) overall for its best performance since making

59.3 percent (32 for 54) in an 89-50 victory Nov. 21 over


Defensively, the Seminoles were strong yet again, holding the

Skyhawks to 36.8 percent (25 for 68) shooting to extend their home

winning streak to 11 games. It was the ninth time Florida State has

limited an opponent under 37 percent.

Florida State, allowing 58.9 points per contest, is led by

7-foot-1 Solomon Alabi. The sophomore has 16 blocks over his last

four games and is averaging 2.2 in 49 starts.

Alabi is posting a team-high 12.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per

game this season, both career highs.

Most teams have a tough time matching up with Alabi, but Alabama

A&M may find it especially difficult. The Bulldogs’ tallest

regular contributor is 6-8 freshman Adam Young, who is averaging

4.3 points and 6.3 rebounds.

The only Alabama A&M player taller than Young is 6-10 Alfred

Frayer, who has played 11 combined minutes in four games and has

not scored.

The Bulldogs got 19 points from senior guard Cornelius Hester in

his 19 minutes off the bench in an 80-77 loss to Tennessee State on

Dec. 15.

Hester is Alabama A&M’s second-leading scorer, averaging 9.7

points. Sophomore swingman Casey Cantey leads the Bulldogs with

17.4 points per game, but was held to seven on 1-of-10 shooting

against Tennessee State.