The Daily Nole

Seminole Saturday Summary: FSU Hoops Vaults Into Top 5, Noles’ 2020 Football Schedule Unveiled

Jeff Romance/FSU athletics

An outstanding 18-game start led Florida State basketball to a place that it had not been in nearly half a century — the Associated Press top 5.

After a 16-2 start to the season and a 9-game winning streak, the Seminoles rose to No. 5 in this week’s AP Poll. That’s the highest ranking for FSU since appearing at No. 2 in December 1972. That season under Hugh Durham, the Seminoles were coming off a national championship appearance where they fell to the buzzsaw that was John Wooden’s UCLA team.

Since then, the highest that FSU had been ranked prior to Monday was No. 6. FSU hit that plateau in late-January 2017 and before that in late-February 1993.

During FSU’s winning streak, it rallied from second-half deficits to beat Clemson, South Florida, Wake Forest, Virginia and Miami. In its first game as a top-5 team in more than 47 years, FSU defeated Notre Dame on Saturday night, 85-84.

Florida State will look to put two straight losing seasons behind them in 2020. (Damon Herota/FSU athletics)

After consecutive losing seasons, Florida State football now knows what its 2020 slate will look like under first-year head coach Mike Norvell.

The 2020 schedule was unveiled earlier this week. FSU’s first three contests against West Virginia on Sept. 5 in Atlanta, at home against Samford on Sept. 12 and at Boise State on Sept. 19 had been known, but the Seminoles will open ACC play on Oct. 3 at NC State.

The first ACC home game will come on Oct. 10 against 5-time reigning ACC champion Clemson. The Seminoles remain home to take on Wake Forest the following Saturday. After heading to Louisville on Oct. 24, FSU will face Pittsburgh on Halloween.

For the second straight season, FSU will open November against rival Miami — this time in South Florida on Nov. 7. On Nov. 14, FSU will play its final ACC home game as it aims for a third straight win over Boston College.

The Seminoles wrap up ACC play on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Syracuse. It is FSU’s first Thursday game since topping Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 2012. FSU played Boston College on a Friday night in 2015, 2016 and 2017 before opening 2018 on Labor Day at home against Virginia Tech.

As usual, the regular season will conclude against rival Florida. The Seminoles will try to avoid a third straight loss to the Gators when they meet in Tallahassee on Nov. 28.


Recognitions: None
Weekly Commitments: Joshua Farmer, Unranked 2021 DE (Unranked)*
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 21 nationally, fourth in ACC (19 total commitments)*

Men’s Basketball

Record: 17-2 (7-1 ACC)
Ranking: No. 5 AP Poll; No. 6 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (1-0), defeated Notre Dame, 85-84
Upcoming: at Virginia (Tuesday); at Virginia Tech (Saturday)
Recognitions: Devin Vassell, G/F (ACC Co-Player of the Week, Naismith Defensive Player of the Year midseason watch list)
Weekly Commitments: None
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 26 nationally, sixth in ACC (3 total commitments)*
Big Picture: Florida State somehow staved off Notre Dame on Saturday night to run its winning streak to 10 and remain atop the standings in the ACC.

Weekly Review

Notre Dame 84, (5) FSU 85
Saturday, Jan. 25

Florida State shot 12-for-18 from deep, but Notre Dame nearly pulled off the stunning victory after forcing two consecutive turnovers on inbounds plays. The Fighting Irish raced to a 15-4 lead, but FSU responded with a 22-3 run and never trailed again. The Seminoles led by as many as 14 in the second half, but Notre Dame closed the game on a 23-10 run. After a 3-pointer, a steal and layup on an inbounds pass and a 5-second violation, Notre Dame had four shots to go ahead late, but could not convert. Wyatt Wilkes shot 5-for-6 from deep en route to a career-high 19 points for FSU. Trent Forrest and RaiQuan Gray each scored 13 points in the win while Devin Vassell added 11. Prentiss Hubb led the Fighting Irish with a game-high 24 points. John Mooney and Juwan Durham each scored 16 points in the loss.

Women’s Basketball

Record: 16-3 (5-3 ACC)
Ranking: No. 14 AP Poll; No. 14 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (1-0), defeated Wake Forest, 70-65
Upcoming: vs. Miami (Sunday); vs. Boston College (Thursday); at Pittsburgh (Saturday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: After a week off, Florida State got a nice win at Wake Forest on Thursday night. The Seminoles are now in a 3-way tie for third place in the ACC.

Weekly Review

(14) FSU 70, Wake Forest 65
Thursday, Jan. 23

Florida State held off Wake Forest on Thursday night to run its ACC record to 5-3 and earn its first road win in 18 days. FSU led by as many as 21 early in the third quarter, but Wake Forest got as close as three in the final period. From there, Nausia Woolfolk scored four straight points to create some breathing room in the victory for the Seminoles. Kiah Gillespie and Nicki Ekhomu each scored 14 points to pace FSU. Ivana Raca led the Demon Deacons with a game-high 27 points.

Men’s Tennis

Record: 6-0
Ranking: No. 21 ITA
Past Week: (1-0), defeated Mississippi State, 5-2
Upcoming: at Texas (Sunday, ITA Kick-Off Weekend); vs. Florida (Saturday, Lake Nona)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: With two wins in one week over SEC teams, FSU stayed undefeated. The Seminoles will take on defending national champion Texas on Sunday.

Weekly Review

(21) Mississippi State 2, FSU 5
Sunday, Jan. 19

After losing the doubles point, Florida State won five of six singles duals to stun a ranked Mississippi State team. Juan Martin Jalif clinched the match for FSU with a 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Mississippi State’s Florian Broska. Loris Pourroy, Sebastian Arcila, Rana Roop Bhullar and Alex Knaff all scored singles victories for the Seminoles. Gregor Ramskogler defeated Marcus Walters for the Bulldogs’ only singles victory.

Vanderbilt 2, (21) FSU 4
Saturday, Jan. 25 (ITA Kick-Off Weekend)

After taking the doubles point, Florida State won three of five singles duals to open its trip to Austin with a win. Sebastian Arcila clinched the match for the Seminoles with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win over Vanderbilt’s Max Freeman. Also collecting singles victories for FSU were Rana Roop Bhullar and Marcus Walters, who each won in straight sets. Panu Virtanen and George Harwell each won in straight sets for the Commodores.

Women’s Tennis

Record: 3-0
Ranking: No. 14 ITA
Past Week: (1-0), defeated UC-Santa Barbara, 4-1
Upcoming: Texas A&M (Sunday, ITA Kick-Off Weekend); at UCF (Friday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Florida State women’s tennis had another strong showing to kick off ITA Kick-Off weekend. The Seminoles will have a tough slate of matches upcoming.

Weekly Review

UC-Santa Barbara 1, (14) FSU 4
Saturday, Jan. 25 (ITA Kick-Off Weekend)

After winning the doubles point, Florida State took three of the four singles matches from UC-Santa Barbara and was leading in the other when it clinched the victory. Emmanuelle Salas clinched the match for FSU with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Amit Lev-Ari. Nandini Das and Victoria Allen each won in straight sets for the Seminoles. Elizaveta Volodko beat Petra Hule in straight sets for the only singles win for the Gauchos.

Track and Field

Ranking: Men No. 1 USTFCCCA; Women No. 11 USTFCCCA
Past Week: FSU participated in the Vanderbilt Invitational
Upcoming: Texas Tech Invitational (Friday and Saturday); University of Indiana Relays (Friday and Saturday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: FSU came away with four victories in Clemson over the weekend. FSU will take part in two events next week.

Weekly Review

Bob Pollock Invitational
Friday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 25

In two days at Clemson, FSU came away with four victories. Sprinter Ka’Tia Seymour kicked off Friday night with a win in the women’s 60 meters. The other winner on the women’s side was Maudie Skyring in the 1-mile. In the men’s 60-meter hurdles, Trey Cunningham, Caleb Parker and Braxton Canady took the top three spots for FSU. The Seminoles also won in the men’s distance medley.

Swimming and Diving

Ranking: Men No. 15 CSCAA; Women No. 25 CSCAA
Past Week: FSU swept Florida Atlantic while the women also topped Miami
Upcoming: Auburn Invite (Feb. 7-9)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Florida State ended its home slate on a positive note. The Seminoles will have next weekend off before heading to Auburn.

Weekly Review

Men: Florida Atlantic 53, (15) FSU 247; Women: Florida Atlantic 62, (25) FSU 234; Women: Miami 64, (25) FSU 230
Saturday, Jan. 25

It was a dominant Senior Day performance for FSU as the Seminoles took the top three spots in 14 different events. Notable winners for FSU on the men’s side included Balazs Berecz (200-yard individual medley and 200-yard breaststroke), Vladimir Stefanik (500-yard freestyle) and Aziz Ghaffari (1,000-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle). Notable winners on the women’s side included Nina Kucheran (200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke), Lizzie Harris (200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle) and Aryanna Fernandes (100-yard butterfly).

Other News

FSU basketball signee Scottie Barnes was named a McDonald’s All-American this week.

Former Auburn assistant Marcus Woodson has been hired by FSU as defensive backs coach. He replaces T.J. Rushing, who left for Texas A&M.

FSU baseball pitcher C.J. Van Eyk was named a second-team preseason All-American by

FSU baseball is ranked No. 12 by Baseball America.

FSU baseball began fall practice on Friday.

FSU hoops guard Trent Forrest became the 48th player in program history to record 1,000 career points in Saturday’s win over Notre Dame.

*247Sports Composite rankings

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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