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Uncertainty hangs over strong Florida State football recruiting class

National signing day is still 20 days away, and Florida State's class is shaping up nicely, even though the coaches are working under a cloud of uncertainty.

The school will soon learn what, if any, additional sanctions it will face as a result of an academic misconduct scandal.

FSU already has said it will give up two football scholarships for 2009 and three for 2010, but what happens if the self-imposed penalties fall short, which wouldn't be a shock? What if the Division I Committee on Infractions forces the Seminoles to vacate games or hits them with television limitations?

"We all know where we stand," coach Bobby Bowden said recently. "We all know what could happen. I think we know pretty good what could happen because our university has tried to handle this thing exactly how they think the NCAA would handle it based on cases before us. I haven't (heard) any coaches that are alarmed. We'd like to have full count, but I think I know where we stand."

The Seminoles have 17 commitments and are tied for 12th in the national rankings. Bowden conceded that the unknown could be used against FSU by its rivals down the stretch.

"I'm sure that if there's any way they can, they will," he said of possible negative recruiting tactics. "That's how this game works. We think we get a pretty good reception" from prospects.

Making a point: Men's basket­ball coach Leonard Hamilton has said that junior college PG Derwin Kitchen, who missed the opening eight games while waiting to be cleared academically, is the floor leader his team needs.

But might Kitchen's scoring ability be just as vital?

He put up 13 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, second to senior G Toney Douglas' 17, and 16 points against Duke on Saturday, again second to Douglas.

"I'm not real sure he'll be the No. 2 scoring threat because he's a passer first type of guard who has the ability to score," Hamilton said. "We've got to get the ball inside more to Solomon (Alabi). We've got to get Uche Echefu back into the scheme of things, and we've got to get Chris Singleton a little bit more involved in the offense. His ability along with (freshman) Luke Loucks' ability to find people and move the ball and make the pass and create for his teammates will give us more of an opportunity to do that."

Kitchen started for the first time against North Carolina State on Tuesday and had nine points and three assists. Interestingly, Alabi and Echefu both had 12 points and freshman G Deividas Dulkys added nine, and those three were pivotal down the stretch when FSU went on a decisive 12-0 run.

Lineup shuffle: The women's basketball team (14-4, 2-0) largely can trace its five-game winning streak, which includes a 60-53 upset of then-No. 3 Texas A&M, to tweaking its starting five.

For the past four games, coach Sue Semrau has moved quick, tenacious and experienced G Alysha Harvin into the lineup for freshman C Cierra Bravard. That has not only made FSU stingier at the start but has allowed Bravard to be more comfortable offensively.

"She was trying so much to prove that she belonged, she was maybe pressing some," Semrau said as her team prepared for tonight's game at North Carolina State. "Now she knows she belongs and she's just able to play harder without worrying so much."

Bravard was just named the ACC rookie of the week.

Talent infusion: Not only did track and field coach Bob Braman welcome twins Kevin and Jonathan Borlee, who ran for Belgium in the Beijing Olympics, but he also added a couple of standouts to further raise the bar for the women's team: Candyce McGrone, a stellar sprinter from Indianapolis; and long jumper Amy Harris, a national juniors champion from Great Britain. Braman said both should make a "big splash" for the women, who, like the men, begin the indoor season ranked No. 5 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason poll.

Uncertainty hangs over strong Florida State football recruiting class 01/14/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 9:13pm]
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