Leonard Hamilton

South Alabama upsets No. 25 Florida State on the road

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An hour after No. 14 Michigan State was upended by UConn, No. 25 Florida State, the defending ACC champions, suffered an 76-71 upset at home against South Alabama.

With 26 seconds left, South Alabama guard Freddie Goldestein was fouled on a three-point attempt by Terrance Shannon with the score tied 69-69. Goldestein calmly sank the trio.

Florida State brought the ball over halfcourt and called timeout. The sideline play started with star, Michael Snear inbouding the ball. The Seminoles tried to free him up with a back screen, but the Jaguars defense was able to recover. Instead of taking a quick two, Snaer launched a contest three that didn’t even hit the rim.

South Alabama was able to sink the free throws down the stretch to leave Tallahassee with a season-opening victory.

The 6-foot-5 Snaer shot only 2-for-11 and 0-for-6 behind the arc, ending the night with 11 points.

South Alabama was hot from the perimeter, connecting on 60 percent from three (9-15), led by Antoine Allen’s 21 points (four three-pointers).

More importantly, the 6-foot-1 Allen was cleared by the NCAA just hours before the game. Allen missed South Alabama’s last scrimmage due to eligibility issues.

FSU and USA combined for 36 turnovers.

Florida State plays Buffalo Tuesday at home. South Alabama takes on William Carey on Wednesday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Stanford loses key veteran guard to stress fracture

Marcus Allen
AP Photo
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Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.

“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”

The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.

What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.

The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.