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Posts Tagged ‘Florida State Seminoles’

Weekend Roundup: 12/6 & 12/7

Posted by Tommy on December 8, 2008

Saturday, 12/6: Saturday’s slate was highlighted by a couple Top 10 teams getting toppled by unranked opponents. The first upset came from the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, where the Wolverines avenged their loss to Duke in the 2K Sports Classic. Michigan picked up their second win against a Top 5 team behind a career-high 28 points from DeShawn Sims. The Blue Devils shot 7-33 from deep, which wasn’t enough to shoot the Wolverines out of their 1-3-1 zone. Outside of Sims’ 28, Manny Harris provided 17 and Zack Novak had 14 off the bench. For the Dukies, this loss shows that they can’t rely on the three as much as they have been if they want to make it to the Final Four. Singler was 1-9 from deep and Paulus and Elliot Williams were a combined 0-7 from the field.

The second upset came from another Big 10 team. Ohio State’s Evan Turner led the 5-0 Buckeyes in five categories with 28 of OSU’s 67 points, 10 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and 40 minutes. Despite the return of Harangody’s presence in the paint, Turner drove to the hoop time and time again, testing the big men of Notre Dame and scoring at will. Harangody had a great first game back on the offensive end with 25 points to go along with 16 boards. Kyle McAlarney came back down to earth after going 3-11 from the field and 0-6 from deep. B.J. Mullens cracked the double digit mark with 11 points in 18 minutes of play. Thad Matta had his team playing great defense and shutdown everybody but Harangody and Tory Jackson. The Irish shot 38.1% from the field and 53.8% from the stripe, not encouraging stats for a team that usually doesn’t shoot itself in the foot.

Staying in the midwest, Wisconsin was also looking for a resume quality win against Marquette. The Badgers pulled out to a 6 point halftime lead, but saw it vanish in the last 6 minutes of the game. Jerel McNeal carried the Golden Eagles with 19 of his 26 points in the second half. McNeal was 10-18 from the field and 4-7 from deep, including the go-ahead three with 5:26 to go.  Both teams struggled shooting the ball from deep and from the free throw line. The win over Wisconsin was a huge one for Marquette, who needed a pick up after their loss to Dayton.

Other Notes:

  • Stephen Curry does it again. His 44 points lifted Davidson over NC State.
  • Big East darkhorse Cincinati, led by Mike Williams, picked up a nice win over UAB.
  • Boston College took down UMass despite 35 from Ricky Harris
  • Baylor continues to impress as they took down Washington St despite the difference in style of play.

Top 25 in Action:

  • #3 Pittsburgh’s Sam Young stays hot with his 28 point performance in Pitt’s 80-51 rout of Vermont.
  • #5 Gonzaga took care of Indiana 70-54 in Indianapolis, Heyvelt led the Zags with 17.
  • #10 Purdue forced 35 turnovers in their 90-42 win over winless Arkansas Pine-Bluff.
  • #11 Louisville jumped out to a 50-17 halftime lead in their win over Indiana State.
  • #17 Wake Forest stays undefeated after crushing Buknell 81-52, Teague had 26.
  • #18 Georgetown dismantled American 73-49. Wright led all scorers with 22.
  • #22 Miami withstands a late comeback vs. Kentucky and holds on to win 73-67.
  • #24 Davidson beat NC State 72-67 thanks to Curry’s second 44 point performance of the year.
  • #25 Kansas scored 50 points in the second half of their 86-62 win over Jackson State.

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: DeShawn Sims, Michigan

Sunday, 12/7: Sunday had nowhere near the action Saturday provided, but another Top 25 team went down. Florida State took down the #21 Florida Gators at home despite shooting just 31% from the field. The Seminoles’ leading scorer Toney Douglas was limited to just two points and was 1-9 from the field. It’s tough to win games when your leading scorer was completely shut down and your team shoots 31 percent, but Leonard Hamilton had his squad playing great defense. The ‘Noles forced Florida into 16 turnovers. Role players like Ryan Reid, Solomon Alabai and Jordan DeMercy stepped up for FSU in Toney Douglas’ absence from the scoring column. This is a big win for Leonard Hamilton, who’s been on the hot seat for some time now.

In the Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Classic, Oregon improved their record to 4-4 with a 75-70 win over Kansas State. Tajuan Porter was locked in, shooting 8-13 from the field and 6-9 from deep. The Ducks, who shot 48% from the field, got nice contributions from guards LeKendric Longmire and Garrett Sim. Kansas State outscored Oregon 39-10 from the bench and out-rebounded the Ducks 34-24 but allowed Oregon to shoot 31 free throws, 22 of which were made.

Liberty gave the Clemson Tigers all they could handle at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Flames, led by Seth Curry’s 24 points, had a 7 point halftime lead on the road but K.C. Rivers proved to be too much for Liberty to handle. Rivers had 32 points, 11 boards and a pair of steals. His nine points in the final 2 and a half minutes put the Tigers over the top after trailing a large portion of the game. Both teams shot right around 50% from the field and were 80% from the line, but Clemson had five more rebounds, eight more assists and 6 less turnovers than the Flames, crucial stats in a close game like this. I know people like to say there isn’t such thing a good loss, but this game shows that Liberty is a contender to win the Big South.

Other Notes:

  • Indiana State picked up their first win against Lamar, who was 6-1 going into the matchup.
  • Virginia Tech overcomes a six point halftime deficit to Navy in their 79-70 win in the BB&T Classic.
  • Maryland’s Landon Milbourne scored a career-high 20 points in the Terps’ 76-53 win over George Washington.

Top 25 in Action:

  • #6 Oklahoma rolls over Tulsa 69-44 thanks to a 43-19 halftime lead.
  • #9 UCLA shot 58% from the field in their 85-67 win of Cal State Northridge.
  • #11 Louisville’s Earl Clark had 17/14/8 in their 91-56 win over Ohio.
  • #12 Michigan State was 9-19 from deep in their 75-59 win against Bradley.
  • #19 Arizona State handled Nebraska 64-44, Harden had 20/9/6.

NW Wins Horse Trailer Player of the Day: K.C. Rivers, Clemson

Posted in The Day After | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

ACC Preview Roundup

Posted by Tommy on November 10, 2008

Here are my preseason rankings and the links to the preview articles for each team. 1. North Carolina 2. Duke 3. Wake Forest 4. Miami 5. Virginia Tech 6. Clemson 7. Maryland 8. Boston College 9. Georgia Tech 10. North Carolina State 11. Florida State 12. Virginia

First Team
G- Tyrese Rice, Boston College
G- Jack McClinton, Miami
G/F- K.C Rivers, Clemson
F- Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
F- Kyle Singler, Duke

Second Team
G- Ty Lawson, North Carolina
G- Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
G- Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
F- James Johnson, Wake Forest
F- Jeff Allen, Virginia Tech

Third Team
G- Toney Douglas, Florida State
G- Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
G/F- A.D Vassallo, Virginia Tech
F- Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech
F- Brandon Costner, North Caolina State

Honorable Mention
G- Nolan Smith, Duke
G/F- Jon Scheyer, Duke
F- Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
F- Trevor Booker, Clemson

All-Freshman Team
G- Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech
G- DeQuan Jones, Miami
F- Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
F- Miles Plumlee, Duke
C- Ty Walker, Wake Forest

Player of the Year: 1) Tyler Hansbrough 2) Tyrese Rice 3) Jack McClinton
Defensive Player of the Year: Toney Douglas
Breakthrough Player: Gani Lawal
Freshman of the Year: Al-Farouq Aminu
Coach of the Year: Dino Gaudio, Wake Forest
NCAA Teams: 6
NIT Teams: 4
CBI Teams: 1

Top Five Games:
1) North Carolina @ Duke: 2/11
2) North Carolina @ Wake: 1/11
3) Duke @ North Carolina: 3/8
4) Miami @ Duke: 2/7
5) Duke @ Wake: 1/28

That’s all folks. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Should be a exciting year in the ACC! Stay tuned for up-to-date ACC Reports all season long.

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ACC Preview #9-#12

Posted by Tommy on October 23, 2008

The ACC has been the heart of East Coast basketball for as long as any of us can remember. Until recently, that is. The ACC has taken a slight back seat in terms of overall strength to the new and improved Big East after its expansion in 2005. It still has college basketball’s best team as well as the sports best rivalry and is probably the deepest conference in the land. Most of the teams like to play a fast-paced, explosive style and have the athletes to do so.

There are three or four teams that have separated themselves from the pack, but below them is a group of teams with pretty even talent levels. Just like Zach is doing for the Big East and Pat will do for the Pac-10, I’ll do an in-depth preview of each team, starting with the bottom and eventually ending with the best team in the conference. Here are the bottom four teams of the ACC:

12. Virginia Cavaliers– Coach: Dave Leitao (4th season)

Backcourt: The Cavs have been driven by their backcourt play over the past couple of years with players like J.R. Reynolds and Sean Singletary. Now that they’re gone, Leitao is going to have to find production from other guards. The primary threats from this year’s backcourt are versatile G/F Mamadi Diane and athletic junior guard Calvin Baker. Diane has several tools to beat defenders but needs to become more consistent if he truly wants to be the leader of this squad. Baker really came on towards the end of last season as a two guard but will probably end up running the point this season. Even though the loss of Singletary was a big blow to the backcourt, they’re probably going to have to provide most of the scoring again this season. Grade: C-

Frontcourt: As I said before, the backcourt is going to have to make up for the lack of productivity from the frontcourt. Well that was an understatement. The leading returning scorer for the frontcourt is 6-9 forward Jamil Tucker who averaged 5.2 PPG last season. After him the next leading scorer is 6-9 F/C Jerome Meyinesse with 1.9 PPG last year. Other than these two, nobody from last year’s frontcourt averaged more than 1 PPG. 6-11 freshman John Brandenburg (#16 Center according to is going to have to step in right away and contribute, perhaps even start for Leitao. Overall, there is minimal game experience in this frontcourt but Brandenburg is a promising freshman. Grade: D-

Bottom Line: UVA has been in the basement of the ACC the past couple of seasons and things aren’t looking too bright in Charlottesville in 08-09. Diane is the only senior with major game experience on the roster and is going to have to shoulder the load the entire year. It’s a shame for Leitao, the winner of the 2007 ACC Coach of the Year, to keep going downhill. He certainly has some rebuilding to do to bring the Cavaliers back to the top of the ACC.

Starting Lineup:
G- Calvin Baker (JR)
G- Mamadi Diane (SR)
F- Mike Scott (SO)
F- Jamil Tucker (JR)
C- John Brandenburg (FR)

Key Non-Conference Games: 11/28 @ Syracuse, 12/2 @ Minnesota, 1/3 vs. Xavier
Key Conference Games: 1/10 @ Va. Tech, @ Maryland 1/20, 2/18 Va. Tech, 2/26 Miami
Most Valuable Player: Mamadi Diane
Projected Postseason Tournament: none

11. Florida State Seminoles– Coach: Leonard Hamilton (7th season)

Backcourt: Guard Toney Douglas is one of the most dangerous guards in the conference. He averaged 15.4 PPG and 2.6 SPG last season, showing that he not only has the ability to score but takes pride in his defense and knows how to put his hands on the ball. Douglas is going to be a one-man show in the backcourt considering the other five guards on the roster consist of four underclassmen and a rarely used senior. JUCO transfer Derwin Kitchen is the likely candidate to start alongside Douglas but until somebody proves themselves capable of playing a large part of the game there will probably be somewhat of a rotation at the two guard. Grade: C

Frontcourt: Although young, this frontcourt is going to be quite explosive. 6-11 F/C Xavier Gibson and 6-9 F Chris Singleton, both incoming freshmen, are going to get big chunks of playing time whether they’re starting or coming off the bench. They’ll experience some growing pains when going up against the stronger frontcourts of teams like North Carolina and Wake Forest, but once these two get experience in ACC play they’ll be one of the better frontcourt tandems in the ACC over the next couple of years. Last year’s leading rebounder (7.3 RPG) Uche Echefu along with junior Ryan Reid, who shot 53.1% from the field last year, will be the experienced leaders of this frontcourt. Grade: C+

Bottom Line: Hamilton and the Seminoles are in a period of rebuilding and have some nice freshmen to do so. As for this year, seniors Douglas and Echefu are the only returning double-digit scorers from 07-08 and are going to have to carry Florida State until these freshmen acclimate themselves. This team will be explosive with their abundance of athleticism, making them an upset threat in the ACC, but they lost a lot of talent from a team that went 7-9 in the ACC last year.

Starting Lineup:
G- Toney Douglas (SR)
G- Derwin Kitchen (SO)
F- Ryan Reid (JR)
F- Uche Echefu (SR)
F/C- Xavier Gibson (FR)

Key Non-Conference Games: 12/7 vs. Florida, 12/21 vs. Pittsburgh
Key Conference Games: 1/10 vs. Duke, 1/21 @ Miami, 2/28 vs. Clemson
Most Valuable Player: Tony Douglas
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI

10. North Carolina State Wolfpack- Coach: Sidney Lowe (3rd Season)

Backcourt: In December of last season, point guard Farnold Degand went down with an injury and the whole Wolfpack team seemed to go down with him, losing their last nine games. Degand will be back running the point this season as a junior and will likely get some help from sophomore Javier Gonzalez, who was sparatic during his time at the point as a frosh. There is plenty of hype on campus around the incoming freshmen for Sidney Lowe. Although they’re not overly heralded, guard Julius Mays, who could potentially run the point, and forward C.J. Williams look to get significant minutes. G/F Courtney Fells will be playing either in the two or three spot for Lowe. No matter where he is, this team is going to look for him to provide much of the offense. Grade: C-

Frontcourt: Last season there was an interesting dynamic amongst the big men of NC State. Brandon Costner looked like he was going to be one of the ACC’s premier big men after his phenomenal freshman campaign. However, the arrival of stud freshman J.J. Hickson not only hurt Costner’s numbers, but it seemed as though he just wasn’t emotionally in the game on every possession. Now that Hickson is gone, it’s going to be interesting to see how Costner plays. If he improves on the numbers he put up freshman year, which I think he will, he could be the explosive ACC forward most thought he was going to be. As for the other big men, Ben McCauley has always been a tough but undersized post player. He put up decent numbers last season, but will have to improve on those numbers to solidify this frontcourt. The tallest players on the roster are 6-9 and none of them have much shot-blocking ability at all. This lack of a big presence in the paint will definitely hurt them on the defensive end, but both McCauley and Costner can step out and hit the jumper, making them pretty tough to guard. Grade: C+

Bottom Line: If the Wolfpack gets good play from their point guard and if Costner improves on his numbers from his freshman season, they’ll probably be better than a tenth place team. With that said, the Wolfpack’s lack of size, depth and a proven point guard are going to hinder them all season. It’s going to take a couple of years for Lowe and the Wolfpack to become a quality ACC team.

Starting Lineup:
G- Farnold Degand (JR)
G- Courtney Fells (SR)
G- Tracy Smith (SO)
F- Brandon Costner (JR)
F- Ben McCauley (SR)

Key Non-Conference Games: 12/6 @ Davidson, 12/22 vs. Marquette, 1/3 @ Florida
Key Conference Games: 1/17 vs. Ga. Tech, 1/24 @ Boston College, 1/8 @ Va. Tech
Most Valuable Player: Courtney Fells
Projected Postseason: CBI

9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets- Coach: Paul Hewitt (9th season)

Backcourt: I really like the structure of the Ramblin’ Wreck’s backcourt this season. They have three guards who all specialize in different facets of the the game. D’Andre Bell is the epitome of a lock-down defender and is arguably the best perimeter defender in the country. Lewis Clinch has a well-rounded offensive game and can score in many different ways. Maurice Miller is a solid young point guard and will improve on his run of the mill numbers from his freshman year at the point. Then there’s the emotional spark from Matt Causey off of the bench. Causey has a knack for the big shots and is scrappy guard who isn’t afraid of anybody. He’ll provide a change of pace at the point from the quiet Mo Miller. If Miller doesn’t hold up at the point, look for Causey to take control of Hewitt’s offense. In addition to these returning players, incoming freshman Iman Shumpert gives this backcourt plenty of depth. Grade: B

Frontcourt: The losses of Jeremis Smith and Ra’Sean Dickey from a team that already struggles rebounding is really going to hurt Georgia Tech’s frontline. However, the Yellow Jackets still have plenty of solid big men. Sophomore Gani Lawal is an athletic specimen with a huge wingspan and enormous leaping ability who should get increased playing time, increasing his numbers. He just needs to add some muscle and get tougher down low in order to become a better rebounder, and if he realizes his potential he can be a First Team All-ACC player. Another key player on Hewitt’s frontline is Zack Peacock. Although somewhat less talented than Lawal, Peacock will do all of the little things correctly and has a versatile offensive game. If either of these two get into foul trouble, which is a very likely scenario, Alade Aminu is a very capable post player off of the bench. Sophomore 7-footer Brad Sheehan provides a big presence in the paint for this frontline. No matter who is in there, this unit needs to rebound better and block some more shots than they did last season. Grade: B-

Bottom Line: The Yellow Jackets always seem to have a great squad on paper but underperform their expectations. This roster has plenty of talent in their starters and first couple of reserves, but after that there isn’t much. It’ll be interesting to see how Hewitt’s squad does this season. They have the potential to reach as high as fifth or sixth place, but if this team gets in a hole early in the season, they’re not likely to climb themselves out. Also, they have to learn how to win on the road. The Yellow Jackets are a dangerous team on their homecourt, but until they learn to play on the road it’ll be tough to succeed in the ACC.

Starting Lineup:
G- Maurice Miller (SO)
G- D’Andre Bell (SR)
G- Lewis Clinch (SR)
F- Zach Peacock (JR)
F/C- Gani Lawal (SO)

Key Non-Conference Games: 12/6 vs. Vanderbilt, 12/22 @ USC, 1/3 @ Alabama
Key Conference Games: 1/10 @ Maryland, 1/20 vs. Boston College, 2/22 vs. Clemson, 3/4 vs. Miami
Most Valuable Player: D’Andre Bell
Projected Postseason: NIT (2nd or 3rd round)

Numbers 7 and 8 should be up on Saturday afternoon.

Posted in ACC Report, Conference Previews | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Summer ACC Report: Part 1

Posted by Patrick on August 1, 2008

To build on what Zach did for the Big East, I decided that I would do a report on another major east coast conference. The ACC is always in the top 3 for Conference RPI, and this year shouldn’t be any different as they hoist top teams in Duke, Wake Forest, and North Carolina (ranked number one in almost every preseason poll).

NC State- Probably the biggest letdown team of the ACC last season was NC State, and the losses of J.J. Hickson and Gavin Grant will certainly hurt, but three of the top five scorers from last season are returning in: Courtney Fells (10.6 PPG), Brandon Costner (8.5 PPG), and Farnold Degand (6.9 PPG). Sydney Lowe got two good recruits, the best being Julius Mays who will probably see some major time at point guard this season. Although a lot of the pieces are returning, nothing can be expected yet from the Wolfpack at this point. As for non-conference games, NC State is the sole team left out of the B10/ACC Challenge, but could possibly have a game with Marquette at home.

Wake Forest- I still can’t give enough credit to Dino Gaudio for what he has done at Wake Forest after Skip Prosser’s tragic death. It looked like a terrible situation that may drive recruits away but Gaudio got one of the best classes in the nation for the Demon Deacons. Al-Farouq Aminu (small forward) is projected to be the best player in the class but fellow freshman Tony Woods (center) and Ty Walker (center) are not at all far behind. James Johnson and Jeff Teague will be one of the best forward-guard combos in the conference and will do a lot of the scoring, taking a lot of the weight off of the freshmen.

Maryland- Gary Williams job is certainly in jeopardy this upcoming season, and the losses of Bambale Osby and James Gist (Gist is now with the San Antonio Spurs) will hurt a team that has little size. They will have to use the quickness of Greivis Vasquez to score points. Eric Hayes will be an experienced outside threat, and they also got a great driving guard in recruit Sean Mosley. Maryland plays in the Old Spice Classic and drew Michigan State in the first round which probably means an early exit for the Terps, but there is some good news in the non-conference portion of Maryland’s schedule: they will take on Michigan at home for the B10/ACC challenge.

Georgia Tech- I really thought this team was back on the right track when they got big time recruits Thaddeus Young and Javarris Crittenton, but they both were “one-and-done’s” and for the first time in my memory Tech was the second best team in Georgia. Zack Peacock will be expected to lead this team along with freshman point guard Iman Shumpert. The Yellow Jackets lost their two leading scorers but just got a transfer from St. Francis University (PA) that was granted immediate eligibility; his name is Bassirou Dieng and he averaged 10.7 PPG and 6.6 RPG for the Red Flash last season. Don’t expect much from this year’s Georgia Tech squad, but it is the ACC and you could see them pull a couple of upsets at home.

Miami- When was the last time the Miami basketball team was picked to do better than their football team? After a great run last year and a win in the NCAA tournament over Saint Mary’s, Jack McClinton and the Miami hoops team have given basketball fans in southern Florida something to look forward to (they certainly can’t be looking forward to South Florida’s season). Other key players like James Dews, Brian Asbury and Dwayne Collins return and are expected to be a great supporting cast for McClinton who averaged 17.7 PPG last season while earning himself first team All-ACC honors. This season Miami should be in the top three in the ACC and somewhere around the top 15 in the national polls. If McClinton’s supporting cast can play better than expected you could see a 3/4 seed for Miami in next year’s NCAA tournament.

Florida State- Once again, Florida State got a great recruiting class but the problems lately haven’t been getting good freshmen, it’s been transferring over that talent to winning games on the court. Last year wasn’t terrible as they finished 7-9 in ACC play and had a good showing against Akron in the NIT. Toney Douglas will lead this team once again, along with Uche Echefu and the stellar recruits Chris Singleton and Xavier Gibson. The Seminoles are a dark horse to make the NCAA tournament, but they have to have consistent play in the ACC. For instance, they took UNC to overtime, but also lost to NC State on their home court. If FSU plays with more consistency you could see a top six finish in the ACC.

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