Category Archives: College

FAMU OPENS UP MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAY

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattlers’ new head coach Robert McCullum made his first appearance in Monday night’s home opener against the Johnson University Suns.

McCullum is a former University of Oregon men’s basketball assistant and a head coach at the University of South Florida and Western Michigan University.

Jason Merry | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

The Rattlers had yet to have a game until Monday night while the Suns came into the contest with a 0-2 record.  FAMU standout small forward Desmond Williams, a senior from Alpine, Ala., averaged 16.2 points per game while shooting 48% from the field during the 2016-17 season.

Williams continued his high scoring with 14 points in the first half alone but had four turnovers. Turnovers were the main story for the Rattlers during the first half, as they committed 13.

“We talked about it at halftime. Some of them were unforced on our part, but yet that pace lends itself to that. Quite frankly, we didn’t want to turn it over a single time in the second half, but it feels good knowing we only turned it over six times in the second half,” McCullum said.

At halftime, the Rattlers led the Suns 44-35, with Williams leading in scoring. Isaiah Martin led the team at the half with five rebounds. Marcus Barham also scored seven points and tallied five assists.

In the second half, the Rattlers began to pull away from the Suns. Williams continued his scoring outburst in the second half with 10 more points bringing his total to 24 for the game. He also led the team in rebounds with 10 as the FAMU defeated the Suns 107-71.

“I got to take it one game at a time. I scored a couple points tonight.  It felt good mentally to be in a groove, but now this game is behind me. Times, feelings and vibes change as the season goes so I just have to stay humble and approach it one game at a time and one possession at a time,” Williams said.

The win gives the Rattlers a 1-0 record as they head to Phoenix, Arizona to play the Grand Canyon Antelopes on Nov. 10.

 

 

Lady Seminoles open season against North Florida

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –The Florida State Lady Seminoles basketball team will host North Florida in their season opener on Friday at the Donald Tucker Center at 7 p.m.

The Seminoles enter this season No. 18 in the woman’s basketball AP rankings.

In last week’s exhibition game, Florida State took on Columbus State and won by a score of 102-49. Senior forward Shakayla Thomas had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Nikki Ekhoma was 8-of-13 with 17 Points and eight rebounds. Redshirt senior guard Imani Wright contributed with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Redshirt guard AJ Alix, who is a transfer, also contributed with eight assists and 12 points and senior center Chatrice White had 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

The Lady Noles shot 56.3 percent and 46-of-71 from the floor, including 8-of-17 from 3-point range.

The Lady Seminoles advance in the NCAA Tournament

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State University Seminoles headed into the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament’s first round on Friday. The Seminoles started the tournament 12-6-1 as a number 4 seed.

The Seminoles ended up advancing in the NCAA Championship Tournament by defeating Ole Miss 5-0 at home.  This allows the Seminoles to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will take on the University of Arizona WildCats on Nov. 10 at a neutral site.

Deyna Castellanos scored two goals in Friday’s contest, including a quick goal scored within the first four minutes.  These two goals increase her goal total for 2017 to 17, which is the most goals by a Seminole since 2012 when Tiffany McCarthy did the same.

The 5-0 shutout was also goalkeeper Cassie Miller’s 47th in her FSU career.

Arizona defeated Texas Christian University in the first round by a score of 2-1 also on Friday.

 

FSU No. 8 in preseason poll

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State men’s basketball is projected to finish eighth in the Atlantic Coastal Conference for the 2017-18 season, based on a preseason media poll conducted as part of ACC Media Day
this week in Charlotte.

This projection is coming on the heels of their winningest regular season in program history at 26-9. Last year, the same poll also had FSU finishing eighth. They wound up finishing second in the ACC, behind a 12-6 conference record.

The Noles return only one starter from last year’s team, junior Terrance Mann. FSU lost five total players from last year, including three key contributors to the draft. They look to bolster their lineup with fresh faces, including five-star freshman guard M.J. Walker. Walker finished fourth in ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year voting, earning two first-place votes.
Here is the complete poll:
1. Duke
2. North Carolina
3. Notre Dame
4. Miami
5. Louisville
6. Virginia
7. Virginia Tech
8. Florida State
9. Georgia Tech
10. Syracuse
11. Wake Forest
12. NC State
13. Clemson
14. Boston College
15. Pittsburgh

Eagles beat Rattlers in Preseason Tune-Up

Chrystal Fernandes, Correspondent (@CFernadesFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University baseball team (FAMU) took on the Tallahassee Community College Eagles (TCC) in their annual exhibition game to start off the season.  

With very few mistakes from the players, the Rattlers took a 4-0 lead.

“We had to keep going, and not think about it,”  TCC’s Kyle Bensen said.

 

In the next two innings, both teams had difficulty scoring due to all the mistakes being made. At the top of the third inning, the Eagles scored five runs to take the lead. 

At the top of the fifth inning, Bensen hit a two-run homerun, giving the Eagles a lead of 7-4.

“It was a great feeling,” Bensen said.

The Rattlers struggled to get a good hit off the bat or to catch any balls hit from the Eagles the rest of the way. The Eagles added another run to seal the game.

With a final score of 8-4, the Eagles took home a win giving them motivation for what this new season has in store.

Rattlers take on Eagles in preseason warmup

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –Softball is back in season and what a better way to welcome it back than with a healthy preseason game between the Lady Rattlers of FAMU and the Eagles of Tallahassee Community College.  It was a game of back and fourths, as these two very talented teams battled it out.

TCC struck early in the top of the first with two runs scored by Alyssa Rosenbaum and Elisa Cecchetti. FAMU answered quickly with run of their own to tightened up the score at 2-1 to finish the first.

 

The second inning was purely defensive as neither team scored which kept things close until an explosive third inning which saw FAMU score two runs to take the lead at 3-2.

 

It looked as if FAMU finally had control of the game until TCC scored early in the fourth to tie up the score, setting it back to an even 3-3. FAMU had an answer and scored off of a double that gave them a 4-3 lead until the sixth inning.

 

In the sixth inning, TCC scored off of a single. A player was pegged in the face with a wild pass to first that allowed two of her teammates to steal home.

TCC rode that lead home as FAMU had an opportunity to win the game at the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t capitalize.

 

“This game shows us where we’re at. I’m really pleased with how we performed,” TCC head coach Patti Townsend said.

 

 

FSU Soccer Notebook

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles women’s soccer team head into game number 15 this season against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at The Seminole Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

 

The Seminoles (10-4, 4-3) and the Fighting Irish (7-5-3, 3-3-1) last faced each other in 2016 at Alumni Stadium where Florida State defeated the Irish 1-0. This season, the game will be a close matchup with Notre Dame scoring a total of 29 goals this season and the Seminoles totaling 28 goals.

 

However, Florida State has dominated their previous opponents this season, averaging 16 first-half goals, compared to opponents total of five first-half goals. Notre Dame has gone into halftime tied nine times this season, forcing them to fight for their wins in the second half.

The Seminoles and Fighting Irish both have similar average shots per game. FSU averages 15.6 shots per game while Notre Dame attempts 15.9 shots per game. The Florida State defense doesn’t allow as many shots on goal as the Irish. Seminole opponents average 7.4 shots per game, Notre Dame opponents average 10.5 shots per game.

Seminoles forward, Deyna Castellanos, has had an outstanding season, more than doubling the goals scored by the Florida State’s next highest scoring player, with 12 goals this season.

 

Florida State goalie Cassie Miller will be another key factor in the upcoming matchup. This season Miller has made 35 saves and only allowed 11 goals total by Seminole opponents.

All-time the Seminoles have gone 5-3 against Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish, but this season the Fighting Irish have gone 2-0-1 on the road.

Florida State will face the Pittsburgh Panthers on Oct. 22  in the Seminole Soccer Complex.

 

Sports Brief: FAMU vs. Hampton

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Today, FAMU (2-5) will travel to Hampton, Va. to play conference rival Hampton University (4-2). 4 p.m.

FAMU is coming off a heart-wrenching homecoming lost to North Carolina A&T and Hampton is riding high on top of a two-game win streak over Norfolk State and Savannah State.

FAMU’s passing attack will be tested early and often against Hampton’s suffocating secondary. The Pirates defense boasts a staggering 170 yards allowed through the air per game. This may trouble FAMU who averages, the majority of their yards through the air, with 190 per game.

Through six games, Hampton’s defense has given up 3,162 yards on the ground, which may serve as something FAMU can exploit in the game.

On the flip side, FAMU’s Achilles heel is their lackluster rush defense who has given up 1,230 yards. Opponents average155 yards per game on the ground against the Rattlers.

 

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a devastating loss on its homecoming, the Florida A&M Rattlers football team is on a three-game losing streak.

In his weekly press conference, FAMU head coach Alex Wood would only take questions about the team’s next game against Hampton University.

Defense remains the same

Throughout the Alex Wood era, the best part of his team has always been his tough and rugged defense.

This year, the FAMU defense ranks in the top-50 in the FCS in the following categories: #No. 10 in Pass Defense, #No. 27 in Total Defense, #No. 33 in Pass Efficiency Defense and #No. in Red Zone Defense.

“We just are playing better, and playing more inspired defense,” Wood said. “I think our personnel is a little bit older, stronger, faster, and more explosive. Our guys are playing hard. Defensive coaches are doing a good job implementing schemes that are geared towards stopping the opponents.”

Despite the high praise, Wood said his team still needs to work on stopping the run.

“We said that we wanted to stop the run, but we are not quite there yet.”

Stanley’s Progress

In the middle of season, quarterback Ryan Stanley, a redshirt freshman, has struggled with turnovers. He has thrown five interceptions midway through the season.

Facing Another Giant

Hampton is 3-0 in the MEAC. This will be the second week in a row the Rattlers face a team with a winning record.

“We got some common opponents, and different results,” Wood said. “It will be tough up there. We are really looking for to the matchup.”

Hampton averages 20.4 points per game and runs the spreads offense. He credits a big portion of that to the Pirates’ offensive line.

“They have bigger and thicker guys up front, and then zone you up defensively,” Wood said.” The running back gets behind them and pops out because no one can find him.”

Defensively, Hampton runs an efficient zone defense and only allows 18.2 points per game.

 

 

 

 

Sports Brief: FSU Soccer

Sean Bin, Correspondent (@SeanBinFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – 

The Florida State women’s soccer team is  10-3-0 two months into their 2017-18 season. The team started the season strong with three straight wins before losing to Alabama by a goal. With the other two losses coming from Duke and North Carolina, the team is looking to have another solid season.

The spotlight is on sophomore forward Deyna Castellanos. Through 13 games, she has11 goals and two assists. Castellanos is also a candidate for FIFA goal of the year. She played for the Venezuelan national U-17 women’s soccer team in Jordan, scored seven goals last season (team-high), and scoring a game-winning goal against Miami.

The team’s next game is against Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday, Oct.19 in Tallahassee. You can watch the game live at the Seminole Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. The team has two more games to conclude this month against Pittsburgh Panthers and Clemson Tigers. The game against Pittsburgh is on Sunday at 1 p.m. at home while the Clemson game is away on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

Season Preview: Florida State Basketball

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team are coming off its winningest regular season in school history at 26-9. They were also the first FSU team to ever go undefeated at home. However, with a disappointing early 2nd round tournament exit, they’re looking to build off last year and get back to form.

 
With five players either graduating or declaring for the draft, it’ll be no easy task. Freshman Jonathan Isaac, sophomore Dwayne Bacon, and redshirt junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes all left to go to to the NBA. Seniors Michael Ojo and Jarquez Smith both graduated and went undrafted. With the three drafted players gone, they lose an average of 39.2 points per game. They also lose three guys who could create plays on the court for the offense that was third best in points per game in the ACC.

Perhaps the biggest addition for this Florida State team is shooting guard M.J. Walker. Walker is a five-star freshman out of Jonesboro, Ga, and will likely make an immediate impact on the perimeter. He was the fourth-ranked shooting guard in the nation according to 247 Sports. At 6’5 and 205 lbs., he already has the frame to match up against the defenders of the ACC.

The Seminoles are also bringing in four four-star recruits, center Ikechukwu Obiagu, power forwards RaiQuan Gray and Wyatt Wilkes, and shooting guard Anthony Polite.

Although the Seminoles lost a few key players, they return some that could keep the offensive firepower strong. Junior shooting guard P.J. Savoy, who led the team in 3-point field goal percentage last year with 40 percent, looks to be the main shot-taker this season. Savoy played limited minutes, but was extremely efficient on offense, scoring .68 points per minute. This was more efficient than either Isaac, Bacon, or Rathan-Mayes.
With the loss of long-time center Michael Ojo, the Seminoles look to plug the post with junior Christ Koumadje. Although Koumadje isn’t as wide as Ojo, he’s 7’4″, three inches taller than Ojo. Koumadje is another efficient scorer who looks to get more shots this year, as he led the team last year with a .654 field goal percentage.

If there is one thing the Seminoles need to improve, it’s their free-throw percentage. Last year, they made only 69 percent of their free-throws, which ranked 217 in the nation.
The Seminoles begin their season at home on Nov. 14 against George Washington University.

Fisher is still optimistic as Game 5 approaches

Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@BriBiancardiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –The Florida State-Miami rivalry continued last Saturday at Doak
Campbell Stadium, as the two teams squared off for the 62nd time.

The Miami Hurricanes (4-0, 1-0 in the American Coast Conference) trailed by three points in the fourth quarter, but the Seminoles (1-3, 1-2 in the American Coast Conference) were unable to hang
on for the win.

With only six seconds remaining in the game, the Hurricanes’ redshirt junior QB Malik Rosier threw a
23-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior WR Darrell Langham to put an end to Florida State’s seven-game winning streak against the Hurricanes.

“It was a great physical football game,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Unfortunately, they made one more play than we did.”

After scoring three touchdowns in the final quarter, the Hurricanes came out victorious, defeating the Seminoles 24-20.

“Miami is a good team,” Fisher continued. “I give them credit, but at the same time we had opportunities and we just have to do things a little bit better.”

The Seminoles continue their ACC season on Saturday, as they head North to take on Duke (4-2, 1-2 in the American Coast Conference) at Wallace Wade Stadium at noon

Duke enters the game having lost back-to-back games and two of their three in-conference matchups. Despite their record, the Blue Devils rushing defense ranks seventh in the NCAA.

“They are a good football team,” Fisher said. “They are right on the verge of winning all of their games defensively.”

Meanwhile, the Seminoles have increased their rushing totals with each game, posting 203 yards in last Saturday’s contest. Going into this weekend’s matchup, Fisher hopes to lead his team to
victory after their 1-3 start to the season.

“It’s about us,” Fisher said. “We’re all in this together.”
Things to know about this game:

● James Blackman became the first true freshman starting quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles. Blackman has completed 50 of his 87 passes so far this season for the
Seminoles, leading to 602 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes in last week’s game, which was a career-high for the young quarterback.
● It is not often that these two teams face one another, but the Seminoles have won all 17 of their previous matchups against the Blue Devils.
● Most famously, in 2013, Florida State defeated Duke 45-7 in the ACC Championship game thanks to three touchdown passes from Jameis Winston.