oe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP

Isaac scores 21 to lead No. 14 Florida State past NC State

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac has been overshadowed a bit when it comes to discussing who the top freshman is in the Atlantic Coast Conference. On Wednesday night he took his place in the spotlight.

Isaac led the 14th-ranked Seminoles with 21 points as they defeated North Carolina State 95-71.

The 6-foot-10 forward, who had only two points in last Sunday’s 48-point win over Clemson, scored the first seven points as FSU (21-4, 9-3) led throughout. It is his third game of 20 points or more this season.

“This game I feel like I came out a little more aggressive and my teammates found me early. It makes the game a lot easier and gets the nerves out of the way,” Isaac said.

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton added that Isaac is more of a student of the game, which sometimes overshadows his ability to score.

“Tonight he got into a nice flow there early. He was extremely confident and got us off to a good start,” Hamilton said.

North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr., who is considered the favorite for Freshman of the Year, matched a season-low with eight points and was held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season.

“They had a great scheme to get the ball out of my hand early. That threw off the flow of our offense,” Smith said. “We still have to make plays when they double me. It’s 4-on-3 when the ball is out of my hands.”

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said he was pleased with the Wolfpack’s (14-11, 3-9) shot selection – they were 28 of 60 from the field – but thought the difference in the game was inside. The Seminoles had a 49-25 edge in rebounds, including 21 on the offensive end, and outscored the Wolfpack 48-28 in the paint. Ten of Florida State’s two-point baskets were either a dunk or tip-in.

“Today they just whipped us on the glass,” Gottfried said. “They’ve got length and depth, especially at the perimeter.”

Dwayne Bacon added 19 points and Michael Ojo had 11 for FSU, which has won 18 straight at home and at one point led by as many as 26 points in the second half.

Terry Henderson led the Wolfpack with 17 points while Maverick Rowan and Abdul-Malik Abu added 16 apiece.

BIG PICTURE

N.C. State: With losses in five of their last six games, the Wolfpack are in danger of playing on the first day of the conference tournament for the second straight season.

Florida State: After road losses to Georgia Tech and Syracuse two weeks ago, FSU has won its last three games by an average margin of 30 points. However, four of their last six games are on the road.

STREAKING

Bacon has scored in double figures in 34 straight games, which is the longest in program history since Alton Lee Gipson in 1984-85. It is also the longest current streak in the ACC.

SHORT BENCH

North Carolina State was missing senior center BeeJay Anya, who did not make the trip due to a “coach’s decision.” Sophomore forward Shaun Kirk also did not play due to the school’s concussion protocol.

HE SAID IT

“I wanted to take a challenge tonight. He’s one of the top scorers in our league. We had a solid defensive effort tonight,” Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes said of guarding Smith, who came into the game fifth in the conference in scoring and averaging 19.2 points per game.

UP NEXT

N.C. State: The Wolfpack are at Wake Forest on Saturday. The Demon Deacons won the first meeting 93-88 on Jan. 21.

Florida State: The Seminoles travel to Notre Dame on Saturday. FSU beat the Fighting Irish 83-80 on Jan. 18.

More AP college basketball at http://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Follow Joe Reedy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/joereedy

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.