Saturday, May 26, 2018
Sports

'Noles motivated to slow rival's roll

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has every reason to lose tonight's home game against third-ranked Miami.

Losing, particularly in big games at home, has been part of the Seminoles' lackluster personality this season. In three previous games against ranked teams at the Tucker Center, they have lost every time.

Add to the mix that Miami (19-3, 10-0 ACC) is scorching hot, and it becomes painfully evident that FSU (13-10, 5-5) faces a big challenge.

Still, the Seminoles are talking about winning.

"Why not?" FSU guard Ian Miller said Tuesday. "Why not go out and do something special?"

If the Seminoles can secure an upset, they will split the season series. Miami beat FSU in Coral Gables, 71-47.

"We're kind of wanting to get — I don't want to say — 'payback' for how poorly we played," FSU junior Kiel Turpin said. "We're just wanting to play well and win any way that we can. I don't think a lot of us have thought about us being the underdog. Yeah, they're ranked third in the nation, but to us, it's just another game that we have to win."

As more NCAA Tournament projections begin excluding the Seminoles, every game becomes increasingly important, Turpin said.

When the 7-foot center and his teammates take the floor tonight, a seemingly incongruous mix of youth and experience, inefficient defense and proficient offense will tiptoe onto the court, too.

Hampered by injuries and attrition, the Seminoles are vastly inferior to the team that captured the country's attention ahead of last winter's ACC championship run. They lack the size, length and leadership that made the 2011-12 group a defensive force.

Helped by age and adept ball movement that begins with sophomore point guard Shane Larkin, the Hurricanes are built on scoring quickly and often. Miami's veteran post players can bang in the paint or make long-range jump shots.

"They're playing as well as anybody that I've seen," said FSU coach Leonard Hamilton, who once coached at Miami.

Hamilton doesn't believe the Hurricanes will fall into the trap of being upset in a rivalry setting.

"They have the experience and also some wisdom and understanding of the pain that they've had to endure in the past by not making the NCAA Tournament. It's motivating to them," he said. "So they don't have that lack of focus that some teams may have because they're trying to get that monkey off their backs."

Miami coach Jim Larranaga said the Hurricanes can't be overconfident: "It's rivalry week. Florida State's our biggest rival. All the previous games we've played, they played, are meaningless when it comes to the Miami-Florida State game."

"They're going to have a chip on their shoulder because we beat them pretty solidly at home," Larkin said. "They probably want to do the same thing to us."

Miami played spoiler late last season when it beat the Seminoles by 16 at home. This year, FSU finds itself trying to sour the Hurricanes' run. Miller said his team will have to play 40 minutes of high-energy ball to make that happen.

"Your pride starts kicking in," Miller said. "If we have pride, we'll come out and play. … I'll be juiced up. I just hope the guys follow my lead."

Comments
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Andre Dawson’s new and sometimes awkward career: funeral home owner

Andre Dawson’s new and sometimes awkward career: funeral home owner

By DAVE HYDESun Sentinel (TNS)The first time Andre Dawson drove a hearse, he turned to the woman in the casket and said, completely serious, "I'll do my best to make sure this isn't bumpy."The first time he told Hall of Fame baseball friends Tim Rain...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Published: 05/25/18
Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

Steve Yzerman’s summer plans: Make the Lightning better

TAMPA — Captain Steven Stamkos said the Lightning's window for contending for a Stanley Cup championship is not closing."I think it's wide open," he said Thursday, one day after the Lightning lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final to the C...
Published: 05/25/18
The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Bucs’ influence inside the Vegas Golden Knights’ runaway success

The Stanley Cup final begins Monday in the unlikeliest of places: a city new to major pro sports and suddenly the center of the hockey world, Las Vegas, whose Golden Knights could become the first first-year expansion team to win a championship.And t...
Published: 05/25/18
Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Did the NFL really need a national anthem policy?

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Published: 05/25/18
Stand down on anthem, NFL

Stand down on anthem, NFL

Before we even get going, let me be clear about something.This is not a column making an argument about whether or not NFL players should be able to kneel in protest during the national anthem.That topic has been debated repeatedly, loudly and passio...
Published: 05/25/18
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Published: 05/25/18
Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy welcomes Vita Vea to his rookie school

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has always been generous with his time, staying after practice to work with younger players. That should be a real added benefit for first-round pick Vita Vea.RELATED: More Bucs coverage"That's my M.O.'' Mc...
Published: 05/25/18