« March 19, 2013 | Main | March 21, 2013 »

4 posts from March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013

Florida State Injury Report: Spring Practice


FSU has its first official injury report out at the start of Spring practice. A few guys are nicked up and will miss the next several weeks as they rehab those injuries. Some like DB Tyler Hunter and WR Scooter Haggins just need time before the players will be full able to return. Others are a little more worrisome.

As I mentioned in the quick hits earlier today, OL Henry Orelus graduated and is no longer on the team. S Justin Bright and OL Garrett Faircloth were both medically disqualified. Bright will be a student assistant coach next season.

The one guy whose injury could linger on into the season is CB Ronald Darby's. Darby has the dreaded sports hernia, which which has become one of the most common injuries in the last few years. RB Mario Pender ended up missing the season with one last year and oftentimes they require surgery after they fail to heal on their own. Jimbo Fisher hasn't said much yet about Darby, but I'm sure we'll get more info in the coming days.

Spring Injury Report – Out for Spring Practice

CB Ronald Darby (sports hernia)

CB Tyler Hunter (knee)

WR Jarred Haggins (knee)

DT Demonte McAllister (shoulder)

OL Jacob Fahrenkrug (left shoulder)

OL Daniel Foose (lower back)

CB Nick Waisome (leg)


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Florida State Knocks Around Stetson 14-1, Sweeps Two-Game Series



Florida State had little difficulty getting to their 20th win on Wednesday afternoon as they knocked around Stetson 14-1 behind a solid outing from Billy Strode and a big 6th inning. 

Bill Strode was excellent for the Seminoles on Wednesday, pitching six solid innings, giving up just three hits and striking out nine. 

“It definitely felt good out there,” said Strode. “My slider was really working well today which is what I attribute a lot of my strikeouts to but spotting the fastball was a big thing as well.

“I have always been a pitcher that likes to work fast. I’ve been a rhythm pitcher my whole career.  It helps the whole team out to go out there and get three quick outs to keep the game rolling.”

His lone run of the day was unearned and came in the top of the 4th inning when an error and a wild pitch allowed OF James Rasmussen to score Stetson's lone run of the ballgame.

“I was very pleased with the effort,” said head coach Mike Martin. “The way we came out and got after it. Their starting pitcher was extremely impressive. Credit him for keeping us from scoring until he left the game after the fourth inning.”

Opposite Strode, Stetson starter Tyler Warmoth was excellent working four-plus innings, giving up four hits and striking out three while not surrendering a run. But once again, the Stetson bullpen let its starter down. Once again it was Cameron Griffin, who on Tuesday faced two, walked two and gave up two earned runs to take the loss.

Josh Delph tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when he flew out deep to right field and brought Seth Miller in from third. The next batter Marcus Davis broke out of his slump when he crushed a ball well over the right field wall and nearly nailed a bus in front of the circus tents to make it 3-1. 

Davis had not homered in a couple of weeks since Florida State beat UF 4-1 in Gainesville on March 4, he had cooled off consderably after a very hot start to the season. He finished the game 1-4, but also scored after reaching on a walk in the 6th.

“Anytime the whole team can put it together is definitely rewarding just because we have some guys, myself included, that are struggling a little bit at the plate,” said Davis. “It was good to have an offensive explosion like that today.”

The Seminole 6th proved back-breaking for the Hatters. They plated 9 runs and broke a 4-1 game wide open as they batted around.

After loading the bases on a walk and two hit batters, Delph turned the carousel with an RBI single to right. Two more runs came in on walks before McGee brought in one more lining out to right to make it 8-1. After Jose Brizuela loaded the bases again with a single, John Nogowski cleared them with a triple. A few batters later Josh Delph added two more on another single to right to make it 13-1 and all but close the book on the hatters.


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Quick Hits: FSU Spring Practice Kicks Off With a New Feel

SG1L3787 (2)

With their brand new indoor practice facility still under construction, the Florida State Seminoles are being forced to resort to the school's old intramural fields in order to hold Spring practice.

But as the Seminoles take the field to start their preparation for the 2013 campaign, the different vibe around FSU's football team extends well beyond the change of practice venue.

Just the way the defense lines up in the opening period is dramatically different from in years past. Whereas there seemed to be a good deal of standing around under former defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, Jeremy Pruitt's defense was broken into groups and moving at a rapid pace from the initial outset.

You could tell a good number of the players are not yet used to the brisk new pace and are still unsure exactly where they're supposed to be headed with each new drill, that's a growing pain that will likely iron itself out as the coaches and players acclimate to one another. The process already began, as Jimbo Fisher reminded us after practice, back with the 4th quarter drills the team just completed.

Either way, the increase in reps and workload was unmistakable.

It even sounded different.

Sal Sunseri could be heard barking orders in drills on one end of the defensive field while Pruitt drilled his DB's on the other. The whole defense was flying around and as Jimbo Fisher would say, "doing some things."

Here are some other quick hits from the opening practice:

-Number changes for the Seminoles are here, and much as is the case every Spring, there's plenty of old faces with new digits on the backs of their jerseys. Ronald Darby switches from 13 to 3, with both Justin Bright and EJ Manuel done, he is the only three on the roster. Reggie Northrup is now number 5, opposite Jameis Winston who grabbed it last year. 

-We'll see if number four is really jinxed. Last year both Chris Thompson and Brandon Jenkins switched to it and suffered season ending injuries. This year it will be worn by Marvin Bracy and Freddie Stevenson. 

-There were six quarterbacks lining up behind just five centers at the start of practice. Clint Trickett was lined up under Bryan Stork at the beginning before switching with Jacob Coker and taking some reps under Austin Barron. Jameis Winston was dressed for the first Spring practice after picking up his first career win as a pitcher less than 24 hours earlier.

-Not much more of an update on the QB's besides that though, Fisher said they rotated a lot and all four got plenty of reps with the ones and threes working and the two's and four's working, but as for any early separation, not much to report...

-I didn't get to see much of Roberto Aguayo, but from what I did see he has more of that kicker build than his predecessor, Dustin Hopkins, and seems to boom it off his foot with just as much brutality. FSU is going to need to rethink where on their intramural fields they're kicking though. Where they were lined up today, provided Aguayo has the leg Jimbo Fisher claims he does, they'll be putting a lot of footballs into Gaines Street traffic.

-Chad Abrams looks like he's going to be an absolute monster clearing out the hole for Florida State this year. He hasn't gained weight, but has bulked up and changed his body type some in the weight room over the past few months per Jimbo Fisher.

-OL Henry Orelus has graduated and is no longer on the team.

-Dan Hicks is back at DE after a year at TE.

-Lamarcus Joyner drew great reviews from Fisher. He's been moved back to corner in Jeremy Pruitt's defense and made a very good play on a ball thrown to the slot receiver for a pick today. Fisher said the QB made the right read but Joyner beat the receiver to the spot.

I'll have more football for you later tonight...


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...

Montay Brandon Gives Seminoles Fans a Glimpse of What Could Be


Last night was frustrating for Florida State basketball fans. As the team squared of with 26-6 Louisiana Tech in the first round of the NIT, Seminoles fans bore witness to their team succumbing to a full court press while their beloved senior captain was ushered out of the Tucker Center one final time with a loss.

But there were moments to hang on to once the disappointment fades.

The team had nine blocks, including seven in the first half. They played extremely good defense all evening. And perhaps most intriguingly, Montay Brandon seemed to remember he was 6-7 220 with excellent ball skills and started to drive to the hoop like it and throw down hard.

Brandon finished the night with ten points, but what was eye catching, bordering on completely frustrating for the FSU faithful were the two monster dunks he threw down in the second half.

Almost like, 'where has that been all year?'

"Unfortunately you would like for those guys to unpack their bags, put their shoes on and take a maturity pill and all the sudden manifest themselves into solid, fundamental players making great decisions," joked Leonard Hamilton after the loss. "I thought Montay showed some glimpses of what he’s capable of doing [on Tuesday night]."

That was never more visible than on the two dunks.

His first was a Sportscenter-worthy kind of throwdown– had it not come in the NIT.

His second coming with just 40 seconds remaining, down five, drew a foul and ended with another emphatic finish. Brandon then showed some of his youth by missing the plus-one on the back end, but the athleticism to split the defense and penetrate to the hoop when the Seminoles needed it– and the aggression to finish strong– was eye-opening.

"You've see Montay go through the growing pains and the last three weeks you’ve seen him play extremely aggressive," said Hamilton. "His defense has really improved, he’s making much better decisions, he’s much more aggressive, but that’s the learning process that sometimes youngsters go through."

"I started to know what was expected each time I started walking on the court," said Brandon when asked what's clicked for him lately. "At the beginning of the season I was kind of at a loss a little bit, but towards the end I talked to the coaches and once I started stepping up my defense my offensive game started coming around too.

"I would say it’s more the mental part of the game. Especially playing at the one most of the year that was definitely a big adjustment mentally and then the defensive part of the game, just being mentally checked in at all times that was a definitely a big change."

A lot of that isn't Brandon's fault either.

Out of high school in Greensboro, NC, Brandon was touted as one of the top small forwards in the nation. His highlight video showed him jumping over defenders left and right and making all kinds of athletic plays all over the court.

Then he got to Florida State and they changed things up on him.

"We started him out at the point guard early in the year, that was a tremendous transition for a guy who played small forward and two guard all his life," said Hamilton.

"All the sudden he comes to Division I and we give him the ball and tell him to run your team and you don’t have really a backup because Devon [Bookert's] not ready and Ian [Miller's] hurt. So that’s it. So that was a pretty challenging situation for him to go into."

As the season wore on Brandon had his ups and downs, but with the emergence of Bookert in his role at the one, and with the confidence gained throughout the course of the season, Brandon ended the year trending in the right direction.

"I think you can just see a little bit of the confidence that’s grown in him," said Hamilton. "But more than anything else, the aggressiveness, the confidence, the instinctive movement on the court now where I can attack the basket and I can contest shots and I can fight screens and I’m quick enough to contain these smaller quicker guards.

"If you notice even as far back as the Virginia game he was guarding their best player for long periods of time. And even with the Wake Forest game, those games where he’s learning how he has to play, but he’s kind of learning on the job without a whole lot of veterans around to show him the way.”

As Hamilton pointed out, this has been a unique situation where the Seminoles have had to play a lot of young players with very few veteran leaders on the team. 

It's been a trial by fire in the truest sense for a lot of those guys, Brandon included. And a lot of that has just been the shell-shock from the change in tempo between the college game and what it was like in high school.

They play defense in college, there's a lot of emphasis put on things that star high schoolers never spend much time on. As Okaro White joked late last summer, they actually watch film. 

It's a big adjustment, and one many players have the luxury of making during their first year behind closed doors in practice, away from cameras and fans.

Not Montay Brandon. But that may not be a bad thing.

“He’s learning and growing and sometimes if you can learn and grow from your shortcomings and you have a defeat and you can learn and grow from it, it challenges you to go out now and work out harder so you don’t see it happen again," said Hamilton.

"Sometimes that’s a learning experience that sticks with them a little longer than some of the other ones.”


For all the latest Florida State news and updates follow Patrik Nohe on Twitter...



Powered by TypePad