Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Florida State seeks lessons for next season

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State hopes the lessons learned by freshmen Dwayne Bacon, Malik Beasley and other Seminoles this season will pay off next season.

After missing the postseason last year, the Seminoles made the second round of the NIT this week before losing 81-69 to Valparaiso on Thursday. Florida State finished 20-14, the eighth time in coach Leonard Hamilton's 14 seasons the Seminoles had 20 or more wins.

The Seminoles started 10-2 and were in position for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012 but lost five straight in February. It was also the second straight year they were 8-10 in ACC play.

"It was a good year. In some respects, we could have made the tournament if we had won one or two more games," Bacon said.

Bacon and Beasley combined to average 31.4 points, second-highest for a freshmen duo in conference history. Both made the ACC's all-freshman team and are the first freshmen in school history with more than 500 points in a season.

Bacon led FSU in scoring (15.8 points a game) and rebounding (5.8); Beasley averaged 15.6 points and scored in double figures in his first 24 games.

Whether they will be back is unclear. Both could take advantage of a new rule that lets underclassmen attend the May 10-15 NBA draft combine to get feedback from teams, then decide. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is May 25.

Illinois: Kendrick Nunn pleaded not guilty to domestic battery regarding a dispute with a woman near campus, his attorney said. The junior guard made the plea to two counts of the misdemeanor charge in Champaign County Court.

Memphis: Josh Pastner is remaining as coach after missing the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season. Pastner is 167-73 in seven seasons. Had the school fired him, he would have been owed $10.6 million.

Oklahoma State: Travis Ford is out as coach by mutual consent, the school said. "I like Travis Ford and his family," athletic director Mike Holder said. "…Unfortunately, we have to move on." Ford was 155-111 in eight seasons but with just one NCAA Tournament win.

More coaching moves: Delaware fired Monte Ross, who was 132-184 in 10 years including 7-23 this season. … Wright State fired Billy Donlon, who reached the Horizon League conference tournament final for the third time in four years but lost each time.

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