AP Photo/Alan Diaz

No. 15 Florida State back on track with win at Miami, 75-57

Leave a comment

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — The Florida State Seminoles knew they were back on track in the final minutes Wednesday night when they nursed a big lead with the arena mostly deserted, aside from clusters of maroon-clad spectators cheering for the visitors.

The Seminoles had sent Miami’s fans home early.

Jonathan Isaac scored 15 points and No. 15 Florida State held the Hurricanes scoreless for more than 6½ minutes in the second half to snap a two-game skid by winning 75-57.

The sellout crowd was raucous until coach Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles pulled away.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to do that, to come on the road and silence an amazing crowd like that,” guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes said. “That’s something Coach L talks about — there’s nothing better than going on the road and silencing the fans.”

The win was a bounce-back game for the Seminoles (19-4, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who lost to unranked teams twice last week after going 5-1 during a stretch against opponents that were all ranked.

“We don’t get down when we falter, because you can’t have a pity party,” Hamilton said. “You’ve got to understand life in the ACC. You’re not going to win them all.”

The Seminoles also snapped a streak of three consecutive losses against Miami (14-7, 4-5).

“Their effort and intensity and execution in the second half kept us from scoring,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said. “And we were never able to get stops enough to make a run on our own.”

Florida State shot 52 percent and went 14 for 15 from the free throw line.

The Hurricanes were outscored 44-23 in the second half and lost for only the second time in their past 25 home games. Bruce Brown had 17 points to lead the Hurricanes, who went 2 for 11 from 3-point range and had trouble finding room to maneuver against the taller Seminoles.

“We weren’t getting to the rim and were taking rushed shots,” Brown said.

Florida State held Miami without a point for 6:37 early in the second half, forcing five turnovers while scoring 13 consecutive points to take a 47-36 lead. The Hurricanes were never closer than seven the rest of the way.

Dwayne Bacon had 15 points for the Seminoles. Rathan-Mayes added 13, including three 3-pointers.

RARELY MISSING

Isaac shot 5 for 7 and added seven rebounds and three steals in 25 minutes. The freshman made an acrobatic layup, a 3-pointer and two free throws on consecutive possessions to put the Seminoles ahead 58-46.

“The ball was just finding me, and I was a little more aggressive,” Isaac said.

“When you’re that efficient, that makes you really hard to guard,” Larranaga said.

DROUGHT

Florida State trailed by seven points in the first half and was down 34-31 at halftime. Miami took a 36-34 lead a minute into the second half but didn’t score again until the 12:20 mark.

“The second half, our defense tightened up a little bit,” Hamilton said.

BIG PICTURE

Florida State: Hamilton projects that 10 or 11 ACC teams will make the NCAA Tournament. “The quality of our league is at an all-time high,” he said. “I’m not real sure the nation has caught up to what is happening.”

Miami: The young Hurricanes are at the halfway point in their conference season and in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. “It puts us in a position where we need to be very, very hungry from now on,” Larranaga said.

UP NEXT

Florida State plays at home Sunday against Clemson.

Miami plays at North Carolina State on Saturday.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

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

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

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

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

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

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

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.

 

UNC Wilmington transfer C.J. Bryce follows Kevin Keatts to N.C. State

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

N.C. State landed an impact transfer on Saturday as UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce will be following former head coach Kevin Keatts to the Wolfpack, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com

The 6-foot-5 Bryce averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last season as he helped the Seahawks to an NCAA tournament appearance. Bryce will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out one season.

With N.C. State getting center Omer Yurtseven back for next season, and with the addition of Bryce, it means that Keatts has retained, or added, some talented players for the next few seasons. The Wolfpack still have to fill a lot of roster spots from last season’s team, but Keatts seems to be having a really good week.