Shane Larkin, Michael Ojo

No. 25 Miami remains in control of ACC race, whipping Florida State


In the aftermath of their emphatic win over No. 1 Duke, the question for No. 25 Miami was whether or not they would suffer a letdown against in-state rival Florida State.

After navigating early foul trouble for both Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji, Jim Larranaga’s team put away the Seminoles in a manner befitting of a team atop the ACC standings.

Trey McKinney-Jones led three starters in double figures with 15 points and Shane Larkin accounted for eight points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Hurricanes blew out Florida State 71-47 at the Bank United Center. The win keeps Miami (15-3, 6-0) two games ahead of No. 18 NC State and No. 1 Duke in the loss column with games at Virginia Tech and NC State this week.

Ian Miller led the Seminoles with 12 points off the bench but he was the lone player in double figures despite each of the 11 Florida State players who saw action managing to score at least one point.

For the game Florida State shot 30.8% from the field and 3-of-17 from beyond the arc, and Sunday’s offensive showing was simply another in a long line of rough nights for the Seminoles this season.

“I thought they guarded us very well [over the first 18 minutes of the game],” said Larranaga following the game. “We were able to pick up our defensive intensity, we trapped the ball screen and forced a turnover and were able to push the lead back to nine.

“At halftime we talked about how hard they were playing and how good of a defensive team they are, and how we had to step up defensively and we obviously did.”

Miami has yet to allow an opponent to shoot 50% or better from the field this season, with Florida Gulf Coast’s 49% effort being the best for a Hurricane opponent this season. Miami entered Sunday’s game ranked third in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and three-point percentage defense, as they’ve done a good job of limiting their opponents’ quality looks.

With four seniors in the rotation and multiple offensive options the Hurricanes are going to be a factor in the ACC race, and as it currently stands they have to be considered the favorite.

But for a program that hasn’t experienced a great deal of success over the years (Miami had never started conference play 4-0 before this season, much less 6-0), Sunday’s game was key in regards to seeing how Miami would deal with prosperity.

It’s safe to say that Coach Larranaga’s team revealed itself capable of not allowing their good fortune to get to their heads.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.