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

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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.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.

 

N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

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A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.