#1 pionship but encouraging for all that. At the von sxx123 16.07.2019 09:05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State accomplished something on Sunday that hasnt happened in Leonard Hamiltons 29 seasons and 879 games as a college coach -- hit triple digits in consecutive games.The Seminoles rolled to a 100-71 victory over Detroit Mercy as they were 40 of 70 from the field and had five players in double figures.It is the first time since December of 1996 -- against Jacksonville and Tennessee State -- that FSU has scored 100 or more in back-to-back gamesPart of our plan is to play a lot of guys and hopefully wear our opponents down, Hamilton said. We took them out of their rhythm, got some stops and got out in transition.It is the 15th time -- and seventh in 15 seasons at Florida State -- that a Hamilton team has reached the century mark. He accomplished it six times in four seasons at Oklahoma State and twice in 10 years at Miami.Dwayne Bacon led the Seminoles (4-0) with 22 points and freshman Jonathan Isaac got his first double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Terrance Mann (11), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (10) and Trent Forrest also scored in double figures.FSU scored 100 points despite making just 1 of 14 3-pointers. They were 39 of 56 inside the perimeter and had a huge 78-26 advantage on points in the paint. A lot of the Seminoles paint points came in the transition game as they had 20 fast-break points.Florida State led 48-35 at halftime before Detroit Mercy closed within eight (64-56) with 13:13 remaining on a Chris Jenkins jumper. The Seminoles then put it out of reach with a 32-4 run over an eight-minute span. At one point it was a 22-2 run as they hit 11 straight from the field.Were a pretty good offensive team. We like to get out and run. Thats what weve been preaching along with defense, Rathan-Mayes said. These games we have shown we can play at a really high pace. Were doing what we want to and getting wins while doing it.Jenkins led the Titans (1-3) with 16 points and Jaleel Hogan added 14. The game was part of the NIT Season Tip-Off.We knew that at some point their length and depth can have the propensity to wear you down and we saw that today. Our group has been battle tested against athletic teams but not as much as today, said Detroit Mercy coach Bacari Alexander.BIG PICTUREDetroit Mercy: The Titans, who were picked in the preseason to finish sixth in the Horizon League, came into the game shooting 40.3 percent on 3-pointers but were 8 of 22 (36.4 percent) against FSU. They made just two of their last seven.Florida State: Going into the week, Hamilton said facing Iona, Winthrop and Detroit Mercy -- who are consistently good mid-major programs -- would be a good early indicator of his teams progress. Hamilton has to be pleased as the Seminoles averaged 99.7 points in the three wins and won by an average margin of 21.3 points.STAT OF THE NIGHTFlorida State is 4-0 for the fourth time in Hamiltons tenure but this is the first time it has happened since 2013-14, when it started 6-0.FRESHMAN STANDOUTIsaac had some jitters during his first game against Charleston Southern and scored just 10 points with three rebounds. In the past five games he is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds.Hes a guard at 6-foot-11 that plays very much like Kevin Durant, Bacon said. If youre looking at Kevin Durant right now, hes averaging almost a double-double every game. Jonathan can do that too for us. Hes a guy that can easily get 10 boards just because of how long he is. Hes a guy that can easily score just because of his abilityUP NEXTDetroit Mercy: The Titans finish a four-game, 3,484 mile road trip against New Hampshire on Wednesday.Florida State: The Seminoles travel to Brooklyn, New York, for two games in the NIT Season Tip-Off. They face Temple on Thursday and either West Virginia or Illinois on Friday.---More AP college basketball at http://collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25---Follow Joe Reedy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joereedy Ronald Guzman Rangers Jersey .C. -- Todd Fiddler scored a hat trick, including the overtime goal, as the Prince George Cougars survived an 8-7 win against the Kamloops Blazers in Western Hockey League play Sunday. Logan Forsythe Rangers Jersey .com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward James Neal on injured reserve Tuesday. http://www.texasrangersshop.com/rangers-nolan-ryan-jersey/ .Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has drawn on his Syracuse connections once again by hiring Rob Moore to take over as receivers coach. Logan Forsythe Jersey .Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Kevin Porter and defenceman Chad Ruhwedel from the minors as part of a five-player roster shuffle made by the NHLs worst team. Ronald Guzman Jersey . LOUIS -- Heading into the final stretch of the season, the issues for the Chicago Bears banged-up defence only seem to be getting worse. Whatever else one might say about the present sublime-to-ridiculous-and-back-again waywardness of the England team, however much those shuddering odds of 4-1 on India finally wreaking vengeance for 1959 by taking the Tests 5-0 over the coming weeks depress those of us hunkering down for winter, they assuredly dont do dull or predictable with any competence.No passage of play this year, for this observer, matched the second morning at Newlands when Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow butchered their way to a Test sixth-wicket record, but even then, such are this columns treacherous traits, the feeble response of the bowlers induced a measure of queasiness. The see-saw nature of the summer series against Pakistan was more rewarding, producing a result as just as it was almost impossible to forecast from one match to the next. Then came that palpitating rubber in Bangladesh, and especially the Mirpur Test, where the advantage swung between sessions like a pendulum on steroids and the final day was akin to a prolonged cocaine trip. Nor did the Perth Test lose much by comparison. Never mind the quality, feel the tension, the suspense and the human frailty.Why do we watch sport? To be stimulated, roused, distracted from quotidian matters, yes, but ultimately we want it to lift our hearts and make us smile. For those with a strictly vested interest, granted, the nature of the contest takes a distant second place to the result, but the sheer length of time we are exposed to the skills of the opposition makes cricket unique. Admiration for anyone who is doing their utmost to destroy your day might not come easy, but come it can. Home crowds may not applaud visitors boundaries as respectfully or politely as they once did, but applaud they do.How intriguing, then, to follow the recent Mirpur Test in tandem with baseballs World Series, the finale of which was hailed as one of the greatest games the sport has ever witnessed. For all its hypnotic theatrical qualities and historical subtext (the Chicago Cubs had not won the trophy for 108 years, the Cleveland Indians for 68), this widespread appraisal seemed a trifle hyperbolic because the game lacked one crucial ingredient: there was no true ebb and flow. The Cubs, who won 8-7, opened their account in the first inning and never trailed, completing a comeback that saw them become only the sixth team ever to overcome a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven Series. The whole, however, was a good deal better than the sum of its parts, though most of the games were bloodless, rarely altering the viewers mood.The Bangladesh series was much more of a rollercoaster ride, culminating in a final day in Mirpur that epitomised everything that spectator sport offers. The first session found England creating and spurning chances, pegging back Bangladesh yet never dimming the batsmens exuberance as a healthy lead and a fearless mindset assumed panic-inducing proportions for the fielding side. Then, after lunch, it was suddenly, increasingly, all England, three wickets followed by an often forceful century opening stand. Then, lo and behold, came that thunderous clatter of skittles that turned match and nation on its head for one last, joyous time.The first three days of the Perth Test were barely less engrossing. Divining the eventual outcome after day one would have defied Nostradamus. South Africa buckled early in the face of a hostile attack and a bouncy strip, regained credibility through Quinton de Kocks infectious freedom from caution, then lost Dale Steyn while suffering one of those onslaughts that make David Warner the planets most intimidating opener. That they proceeded to take 10 for 86, and ultimately command for good as JP Duminy matched de Kock for percussive positivity, could be attributed to nothing more radical than the benefits of a good nights sleep, but Faf du Plessis apparent ability to pick chins up from the floor will certainly have done his long-term captaincy claims a power of good.In both these matches, not unnaturally, ran flaws aplenty, triggered by pressure and nerves and abrupt bouts of individual and collective self-doubt. At times we might have been watching school XIs go toe to toe. Did that detract from the buzz or the glow? Not from this neck of the woods, not for a nanosecond.It all comes back to what we crave from sport. Do we want our spines tingled, our senses delighted or our brains stimulated? Do we only want to see our team succeed, or is the priority witnessing quality regardless of origin? Its never remotely that clear-cut, of course. Were greedy and we want the lot. But what the hell; lets ask ourselves this: whats more vital to our continued custom - excellence or drama?Lets start by considering what we have lost this decade already by way of undeniable skill. To gauge the burden on thee best contemporary acts one has only to rummage through the Wisden Guide to International Cricket from just five years ago, a roll call of the then-active that encompasses an extraordinary number of titans.dddddddddddd Bidding adieu to VVS Laxman, Michael Clarke, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Daniel Vettori, Zaheer Khan, Mitchell Johnson and Graeme Swann would have been bad enough but then there were Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Rahul Dravid, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Muttiah Muralitharan. Finding even half-adequate substitutes for that little lot was always going to take time.Of the current brand leaders, nonetheless, it is far from impossible to envisage Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, AB de Villiers, R Ashwin, Kane Williamson and Mitchell Starc all matching James Anderson, Alastair Cook and Dale Steyn as major record-breakers. What is especially heartening is how wide the talent is spread. According to the ICC rankings, the top 14 Test batsmen after the end of the Bangladesh-England series were drawn from seven nations, while the top 15 bowlers represented one more. Come centurys end, the following World XI could span nine: Quinton de Kock (SA, wkt), Kane Williamson (NZ), Joe Root (Eng), Virat Kohli (India, capt), Kusal Mendis (SL), Ben Stokes (Eng), Mitchell Starc (Aus), Yasir Shah (Pak), Kagiso Rabada (SA), Mehedi Hasan (Bang), Alzarri Joseph (WI). Then there are those topsy-turvy team rankings, crying out as they do for a proper world Test championship but encouraging for all that. At the end of the Bangladesh-England series the top seven were separated by a comparatively piffling 24 rating points, with the leadership having changed hands between four sides five times this year. Compare that with the 74 months Australia spent atop the table from its 2003 inception, since when no team has managed more than 21 months and five have reached No. 1. Whether this betokens a levelling down or up is as subjective as it gets.The same could be asked of statistics. Of the ten Test partnership records, four have been overhauled this decade and six since the start of 2006, only twice at the expense of the three weakest nations. Congested schedules might have a greater impact on bowlers than batsmen, but by the same token, arent we supposed to be living in an age of ever-shortening attention spans?Besides, excellence itself can be contestable. Sure, nobody can argue with Steyns astonishing strike rate or de Villiers versatility, but the range of climates and pitch conditions means that other feats are less clear-cut. How much store do we place by Ashwins 220 scalps in 39 Tests when 70% of those have come in India, 21 have come at nearly 55 apiece in Australia, and his appearances in England and South Africa amount to three? Injuries, too, can distort. Was Stokes 258 against South Africa the work of a man inspired or the product of an attack shorn of Steyn and Philander?Then theres the sort of excellence that negates, even destroys, all vestiges of an even contest, sapping then draining it of drama. Australia under Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting beat opponents before the toss; ditto the West Indies sides guided by Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards. Thrill as we did to such talent, the absence of resistance underlined how deeply cricket of all sports, because of the time it takes to anoint a winner, is damaged by the slings and arrows of outrageous one-sidedness.On that score were in a better place now, but what of the future? Given that technology now allows so many of us to watch matches from a neutral standpoint, the need for vibrant, compelling games has never been greater, which is why those dwindling TV audiences in Australia for last years Boxing Day Test against West Indies, and the purported reason, should be of major concern. The broadcaster blamed indifferent cricket, and now we have on the table the ICCs adventurous and mostly spiffing plans for two Test conferences of six teams apiece, as outlined on this site by Tim Wigmore. If elevated to Test status without becoming Full Members, Ireland and Afghanistan would probably take every bit as long as Bangladesh to pass muster against the big boys, but by them playing each other (and Zimbabwe) there ought to be a greater preponderance of competitive cricket, which should permit confidence to bloom.The question for this brave new world is ultimately this: will the unpredictability and the drama compensate for the lower quality and eventually raise standards? Heart may be rather more certain than head, but this profoundly anachronistic game of ours has defied the doom-mongers for far too long not to be optimistic. ' ' '

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