TALLAHASSEE — The Florida State assistant who was knocked over the team's bench after a collision with Grayson Allen said he's certain there was no malice in the Duke guard's efforts.
Assistant Dennis Gates posted on Twitter on Wednesday: "I know what a dirty play is and I was not the victim of one" during the game Tuesday night.
With about six minutes left in the No. 9 Seminoles' 88-72 victory over No. 7 Duke — Allen's first road game since returning from a one-game suspension for tripping an opponent — the guard leaped into the FSU bench while chasing a rebound and his right hand made contact with Gates, who tumbled onto his back.
Gates said Allen made "a great hustle play" and that he "did not in any way feel attacked (or) disrespected" by the player.
The junior from Jacksonville received an indefinite suspension from the team — which wound up being one game — after tripping an Elon player on Dec. 21, the third time he had tripped an opponent in an 11-month period.
BULLS FALL INTO CELLAR: USF returned home to play Tulane, eight days after the firing of coach Orlando Antigua, with maybe its best chance to earn a conference win.
Instead, the Bulls turned in another dud against the Green Wave, committing 19 turnovers without mustering any offensive consistency in an 82-67 drubbing.
The loss, before an announced 2,608 at the Sun Dome, was the fourth straight for USF (6-9, 0-4 AAC) — and its sixth in seven games — dropping it into the conference cellar. "I'm disappointed," interim coach Murry Bartow said. "I thought in the SMU game (an 84-65 loss Sunday), we competed and fought. We just didn't have maybe quite the same zip."
USF's issues started from the opening tip as Tulane (4-12, 1-3) took an 11-2 lead. The Bulls chipped away, taking the lead on a basket by Troy Holston with just more than 15 minutes left.
But Tulane went on a 10-0 run and opened its largest lead at 15 points. USF got a team-high 16 points from Geno Thorpe.
EX-GATOR TROUBLE: Former Florida guard Orien Greene was arrested after being accused of breaking into two homes and fondling a woman. The 34-year-old was taken into custody Monday on battery and burglary charges in Pembroke Pines.
WOMEN: Brionna Jones tied the school record with 42 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help No. 3 Maryland (16-1, 4-0 Big Ten) beat visiting Penn State 89-83.
Football: Clemson receivers leaving early
As expected, Clemson receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, a former East Lake High standout, said they will forgo their final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft, two days after helping the Tigers win the national championship at Raymond James Stadium. Williams was the team's top receiver with 98 catches this season for 1,367 yards and 11 TDs. Scott was second with 76 receptions. He had 614 receiving yards and five TDs.
BULLS STAFFING: USF formally announced three additions to Charlie Strong's staff. Matt Mattox, who has worked with new Bulls offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert the past four years (at four schools), will coach the offensive line and run game. Miami native and former Florida Atlantic assistant Corey Bell will serve as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator. Former Louisville and N.C. State QB Justin Burke, on Strong's staffs the past six seasons, will coach tight ends and special teams.
MISS. STATE: Todd Grantham has been hired to be the team's fourth defensive coordinator in as many seasons.
NEBRASKA: Coach Mike Riley fired defensive coordinator Mark Banker, who had coached with Riley for 20 years, including the past two with the Cornhuskers.
NEW DEAL: Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, has been given a three-year contract extension through June 2020.
Times staff writer Joey Knight and correspondent Jeff Odom contributed to this report.