Wilson Chandler was out for the second straight game with a nagging groin injury, David Lee was a late scratch with knee tendinitis and Eddie House watched from the sideline with a sore Achilles. And to top things off, Jonathan Bender, starting for the first time this season, fractured his finger in the first half and is now out for the season.
But it was no problem. The Knicks still had Toney Douglas.
The rookie point guard, making his fourth straight start, couldn't be stopped down the stretch as he racked up 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Knicks to a thrilling 93-88 come-from behind-victory over the Philadelphia Sixers Friday night at Madison Square Garden. His defense also wasn't too bad in the closing minutes either.
"That was a pretty good fourth quarter," Coach Mike D'Antoni said with a smile. "I didn't know he could do that."
Despite playing with five fouls in the fourth quarter, Douglas stayed aggressive on both ends of the floor and carried the Knicks with several clutch plays. At one point he even scored 13 straight points for the Knicks, including a trio of 3-pointers and a breakaway layup off a nice steal to give the Knicks an 89-86 lead with 55 seconds remaining.
He sealed the game with another steal 13 seconds later that led to a pair of Bill Walker free throws.
"I had some foul-trouble issues and I just wanted to be aggressive when I got back on the court in the fourth quarter," said Douglas, who also had five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. "I just wanted to win so bad."
Douglas was the hero of the night, but he wasn't the only former Florida State guard to receive a standing ovation. Charlie Ward, who helped lead the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals, sat courtside to watch Douglas and walked away impressed with what he saw from a fellow Seminole.
"He just happens to be one of those guys that plays hard-nosed," Ward said. "He has to find his niche here and learn his role. Playing defense and making hustle plays and tough plays is something we all should do, and if he can do consistently what he's been doing, he will find a place on the roster."
Douglas' defense, along with his energy and determination, is one of the reasons why the Knicks liked the 23-year-old enough to acquire him with the 29th overall pick in last June's draft from the Lakers. Douglas, who played sparingly until two weeks ago, is learning how to run the Knicks' offensive and proved that he can score when needed as well.
"He has some ice water in his veins," D'Antoni said.
That sound you hear is Aubrey Huff grinding his teeth in anxiety:
When spring training began, manager Bruce Bochy said the 2008 first-round draft pick would take some grounders at first and maybe play a few innings there. But the Giants are giving Posey a longer look at first as they try to gauge what he can bring to the 25-man roster if he makes the team out of camp.
I like anything that gets Posey in the lineup as opposed to rotting on a bench like he did last season. But, as would be the case with anyone, his bat will have the least value at first base than anywhere else. The Giants should take OBP wherever they can get it, but Posey doesn't have a ton of power. I worry that given the hidebound way that organization tends to view players and their roles, they'd consider Posey some sort of disappointment as a first baseman -- first basemen hit home runs, after all! -- while forgetting that he'd be an upgrade over Bengie Molina behind the plate.
But like all manner of other things today, I'm probably over thinking this. Finding a way to get Posey in the lineup is a good thing for the Giants, so good on them for trying to figure out a way to do that.
Former Florida State PG Toney Douglas has become the spark the New York Knicks have been looking for all season. Last night Douglas scored 20 points, dished 7assists and played the lock-down defense that Seminole fans grew to love. The Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 94-84
First Down, Florida State! For the first time in 25 years, a new voice will fill Doak Campbell Stadium and Seminole fans will help decide who will take over the public address duties.
Nick Menacof retired after 25 years on the P.A. at Doak following last season and four finalists have emerged from a screening process. Each of the four finalists will announce one quarter of the Florida State Spring Game on April 10 and FSU fans can cast their votes on Seminoles.com following the game. The web site will accept fan feedback from April 10 until noon on April 13th.
Florida State plans to play a true game this spring and the quarters will be divided up between Tallahassee radio personalities Woody Hayes and Preston Scott, Panama City radio announcer Jim Dooley and Tallahassean John Summers.
In a stunning move, the Cleveland Browns traded Kamerion Wimbley this weekend to the Oakland Raiders for a third round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Wimbley originally entered the NFL as a first round selection pick by the Browns in the 2006 NFL Draft. The former Florida State standout spent four seasons in Cleveland and started 62 games. He chalked up 26.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles during his time in Cleveland.
Wimbley joins three fellow first round draft choices on the Raiders defense - CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DE Richard Seymour and FS Michael Huff.
The Cincinnati Bengals on Friday signed free agent wide receiver Chris Davis, a third-year NFL player from Florida State.
Davis (5-10, 181) was a fourth-round Tennessee draft choice in 2007, and in two seasons (2007-08) with the Titans, he played in 17 games plus two postseason games as a receiver and kick returner. He averaged 9.1 yards on 33 punt returns, 26.0 yards on six kickoff returns and had seven receptions for 69 yards. He also had two special teams fumble recoveries.
Davis was waived by Tennessee, with an injury settlement, on Aug. 28 of last year, and he was not with an NFL team during the 2009 regular season.
Last year Toney Douglas was leading the Seminoles to the ACC title game against Duke. Last night Douglas came off the bench to lead the New York Knicks back against the Spurs. Douglas has been a spark plug off the bench for the Knicks, still showing his patented defense
"His defense kind of picks up the intensity there and it's infectious," Coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Last month, Toney Douglas had a new roommate living with him right in the middle of the New York Knicks' regular season. But this wasn't just any ordinary roommate he found on Craigslist or an old college buddy who recently moved to New York looking for a job.
Instead, it was a professional athlete named Harry Douglas, Toney's older brother who plays wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. Harry spent three weeks living in Toney's Westchester home as he began preparing for life after football with an internship at the NFL's league office in Manhattan. Toney couldn't have been happier having a family member, mentor and workout partner all in one close by as he began the tail end of his rookie season in the NBA.
Toney and Harry, who are separated in age by only 18 months, currently talk every day, but nothing could have benefited Toney's progression this season more than having somebody in the same house who has already experienced a professional rookie season of his own. While Toney admits that "you have to have it in you" to make a living playing sports on the world's biggest stages, he does believe that having a role model around helps motivate him to reaching his highest potential.
"I don't think my brother motivated me to be a professional athlete but I feel like he motivates me with his work ethic," Toney, a 6-foot-1 guard, said after a recent practice. "He has a great worth ethic. When I was a senior in college and he was in his rookie year in the NFL, I kind of got a heads up before I came to the NBA."
Harry began his NFL career nearly two years ago when he was drafted by the Falcons in the third round of the 2008 draft. Last June, Toney was selected 29th overall in the NBA Draft after playing a combined four college seasons at Auburn and Florida State. The brothers have certainly come a long way since the days of being teammates in three different sports - basketball, football and baseball - at Jonesboro High School in Jonesboro, GA.
Coach Sue took to a different location today.She was on the radio this morning
promoting her campaign and took to the air at 8:30 a.m. with Preston Scott on
Clear Channel 100.7 FM.Semrau talked about how much fun this campaign has been, the health of
some key players, and what the NCAA Tournament means to her.Here is a rundown of what she had to
By Sue Semrau
"It is a great day to be a Seminole. We are having a great time visiting local restaurants around Tallahassee and meeting the people in this community. We visited Shane's on Monday and got to serve some BBQ. Yesterday we were at Moe's. Cierra served food behind the counter, while Kayli, Courtney and Lex all greeted people with a loud, "Welcome to Moe's". What fun we had. The best part was they surprised me with a birthday cake and balloons. It was my birthday yesterday so we got to celebrate it a few times. I mixed a practice in between the Moe's visit and a nice dinner with my coaching staff. We want to be sharp for the NCAA Tournament.
Speaking of the NCAA Tournament that is one of the reasons I am out in the community this week. Not only do I want to meet the community, but to let them know about the upcoming NCAA Tournament that we are hosting and playing in. Its March 20-22 at home in the Tucker Center and I am encouraging people to buy tickets and give us a HUGE home court advantage. Tallahassee hasn't hosted a postseason basketball event in over 6 years, so this is something special. We had #1 UConn come into town this year and saw the largest crowd ever come out. We want to see the same thing for the Tournament. We are excited to see who will be coming to town and we hope the fans will come out and support the Seminoles.
We got back to practice yesterday and several people have asked me about Jacinta Monroe and her health. She is doing well. She is receiving treatment on her ankle, but she will be back and ready to go for the NCAA Tournament.
The excitement is definitely building here in Tallahassee. The more places I go, people stop me and tell me how excited they are about the tournament coming to town and that they get to see our team play a few more times. That is the passion we want to see; not only for this tournament, but for the future. We have built this program up and we want to see the fans continue and support our team. We have worked very hard to get the word out and I think it is working. I will be at Chick Fil-A on Capital Circle Northeast tomorrow from 12-1 serving food, greeting the fans and just having fun. I hope to see everyone out there."
Retired Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was mulling a return to football Tuesday -- as a network analyst in the fall.
Warner showed why networks are competing for his services with his analysis for USA TODAY on how the Baltimore Ravens landed what he said is an offensive version of Ray Lewis with Friday's trade for Anquan Boldin.
In exchange for third- and fourth-round selections in the April draft, Warner said the Ravens got a ferocious playmaker who will ease the burden on their young offensive focal points -- third-year quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice, who averaged 127.6 net yards per game last season.
"Adding Q is a great match for the whole Ravens football team, specifically to have somebody with Ray Lewis' intensity on the offensive side of the ball," Warner said. "Q and Ray are very similar type guys on each side of the ball who have a huge impact inside the locker room with their competitiveness and drive, how they're going to try to push people to be the best.
Pensacola native Derrick Brooks was one of the Governor's Points of Light for Black History Month.
Brooks is a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer football player who serves on the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. He also is the founder of Derrick Brooks Charities, which provides educational opportunities for low-income youth.
"Derrick is tirelessly devoted to ensuring that youth in at-risk neighborhoods have the educational advantages to follow their dreams and be leaders in their communities," said Gov. Charlie Crist. "Derrick's work is changing lives."
As the Patriots hosted a group of free agents on Monday, you had to wonder if, when all's said and done, this question will hover over the offseason: What if Anquan Boldin had come here?
Finances, most certainly, played a role here, in that Boldin and Baltimore were able to work out a four-year, $28 million deal -- with $10 million guaranteed -- to ensure that the new marriage would get off on the right foot.
But the draft-pick compensation here makes this deal an interesting one to examine. New England gave up third- and fifth-round picks for Derrick Burgess in August. Baltimore surrendered third- and fourth-round picks for Boldin, and got a fifth-rounder back in the deal.
NEW YORK, March 8, 2010 - Sioux Falls Skyforce forward Alexander Johnson was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played during the Week of March 1. The award is Johnson's first, and the second time a Skyforce player has been honored, with Reggie Williams earning the award on Dec. 28, 2009.
Johnson, 6-9, 240-pounds, led the Skyforce to a 3-0 record last week, including road victories over the Springfield Armor and Maine Red Claws. Johnson recorded season highs of 32 points 19 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the 2009-10 NBA D-League season on March 7, in a 99-98 victory over Maine. He scored 27 and 31 points, respectively in two victories over Springfield earlier last week. During the week, Johnson averaged 30.0 points, shooting 67 percent (28-of-42) from the field to go with 13.3 rebounds.
Johnson, who was Drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft out of Florida State, has played in 14 games for the Skyforce this season, averaging 23.4 points and 11.7 rebounds.
Other top performers last week included Iowa's Earl Barron, who averaged 29.0 points and 17.0 rebounds in two games for the Energy; Reno's Rod Benson, who averaged 19.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games for the Bighorns; Reno's Desmon Farmer, who averaged 21.5 points and 7.5 assists in two games for the Bighorns; Erie's Mike Gansey, who averaged 27.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in two games for the BayHawks; Erie's Cedric Jackson, who averaged 27.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two games for the BayHawks; Austin's Dwayne Jones, who averaged 21.0 points and 15.5 rebounds in two games for the Toros; Tulsa's Mustafa Shakur, who averaged 20.6 points, 9.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds in four games for the 66ers; Fort Wayne's Sean Sonderleiter, who averaged 20.8 points and 12.3 rebounds in four games for the Mad Ants; and Tulsa's DJ White, who averaged 22.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in three games for the 66ers while on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Boldin is expected to enhance an inconsistent passing game that last year ranked 18th.
"This is something we've been hoping for," coach John Harbaugh said. "He fits us just perfectly. We're excited about what's in store."
The union of Baltimore and Boldin might have happened years earlier, but Newsome decided against drafting him out of Florida State because Boldin had an injury-riddled college career. Boldin also ran the 40-yard dash in an unimpressive 4.71 seconds at the scouting combine.
Arizona grabbed Boldin in the second round after Baltimore took defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs (10th overall) and quarterback Kyle Boller (19th) in the first round. Suggs became a star for the Ravens, while Boller was an occasional starter.
Since that draft, Newsome said he rarely passed up the chance to see Boldin in action, either on tape or on TV.
"I always enjoyed watching him -- the way he approached the game and the way he played the game," Newsome said. "Now I have the opportunity to watch him play for us in Baltimore."
If Boldin had run a faster time in the 40 in 2003, his career with the Ravens might have gotten under way much sooner.
Women's History Month honors the contributions of women to events in history. This year's theme, Writing Women Back Into History, highlights women's achievements in the story of our past, present and future.
The Garnet Hat Society was created to honor, celebrate and inspire the legacy of the women of The Florida State University. Be a part of creating the future by wearing a garnet-colored hat to all of this year's Women's History Month events.
Honoring, Celebrating, Inspiring. The Legacy of FSU Women.
For those of you who do not know, we recently played the Phillies in an exhibition game. Yes, the actual 2008 World Series and 2009 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies. For a few years now the Seminoles have attempted to schedule a game with the Phillies, however, for the past two seasons it has not worked out. So, for almost all of us this was our first opportunity to meet and play against these big leaguers.
Normally, when we arrive at the field for a game everyone takes their time getting dressed, maybe play a few rounds of cards and will barely make it out in time to stretch. This day was different. No one even changed out of their travel clothes because as soon as we arrived we were informed the Phillies were about to start hitting on the field. Huddled around the turtle, we gawked as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and others took their hacks. We stood there in awe watching their every move not really caring how childlike and star struck we looked.
After about an hour of watching and chatting with the players, we realized we better start getting ready for the game. The game of course was just for fun and did not count toward anyone's records or stats. We knew we were playing for something more important...the ability to bore our children and grand children with stories about playing against major leaguers.
We didn't win, and although a loss always hurts a little, I think we all got over it rather quickly. Whether someone performed well or not they knew they had just experienced something rare. We just played against the guys we see on "Baseball Tonight," night after night. Though there are no tangible items from this experience (besides a few autographs), the memories from that day are priceless and will never be forgotten.
The situation seems perplexing for former Florida State linebacker Dekoda Watson.
While his chiseled physique (6-4, 240 pounds) and freakish speed reinforce the comparisons made to former Seminoles stars Derrick Brooks, Ernie Sims and Michael Boulware, NFL scouts rank Watson from third- to 10th-best at his position, and most draft publications project him as a third- or fourth-round pick.
"The combine is somewhere I can get my name out there, show my talents, and show [teams] that I can play for them," Watson said.
Perhaps Watson accomplished that goal Monday with his performance at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Watson ranked second among linebackers in the 40-yard dash (4.56) and vertical leap (40 inches) and tied for second at his position with a 4.11-second time in the 20-yard shuttle.
Most scouts expected Watson to flash such athleticism during combine workouts. Where he's struggled, it appears, is in the production and durability departments. Watson played all 13 games as a senior at FSU, posting career highs in tackles (65), tackles for lost yardage (13) and sacks (61/2) on the way to earning recognition as an all-Atlantic Coast Conference second-teamer.
The family connection between former Titans Cornerback Samari Rolle and NFL Draft prospect Myron Rolle? Distant cousins, if at all.
Personal connection? Deep and centered on the game they share.
"Football has been a part of my life since I've been six years old," Myron Rolle said this weekend at the NFL Combine. "I really do enjoy the sport."
Myron Rolle enjoyed football so much, he wanted to talk football with another Sunshine State football standout Rolle. As a high school junior, Myron Rolle called Samari Rolle out of the blue. They soon began talking, as often as three or four times a week, as Myron decided to follow Samari to Florida State.
Samari Rolle's career at Florida State included 24 starts in 38 games, with 12 interceptions. Drafted by the Tennessee Oilers in 1998, Rolle spent seven seasons with the franchise, becoming a starting cornerback in 1999. Released after the 2004 season, Rolle has spent the time since with the Baltimore Ravens. For his career, Rolle picked off 31 passes, with 69 passes defensed.
That's what renowned trainer Tom Shaw calls former Florida State standout Patrick Robinson, who boasts an array of position skills that make him one of the top cornerbacks in this year's NFL Draft. Robinson has the opportunity to showcase those skills at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he hopes to clock one of the event's fastest 40-yard dash times.
Only four players at this year's combine have recorded a 40 mark of less than 4.40 seconds -- former Clemson receiver Jacoby Ford headlines the quartet at 4.28. Former East Carolina running back and current Tennessee Titans Pro Bowler Chris Johnson ran a record-tying 4.24 two years ago.
"Patrick's my next freak," said Shaw, who operates his performance training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. "You are going to see some things out of him -- he will be dominant at the combine."
Robinson reportedly turned in one of the fastest 40-times ever recorded at FSU, where he ran a 4.25 in the summer of 2008. Robinson also recorded the top times in both the 3-cone drill and shuttle run.
While FSU once produced first-round NFL Draft picks with regularity, Robinson is looking to become the first Seminole selected in the opening round of the NFL Draft since linebacker Lawrence Timmons in 2007.
Antonio Cromartie may not be joining forces with former teammate Ernie Sims after all.
According to John Niyo of the Detroit News, the asking price for Cromartie may be too high for the Lions and they may pass on the former Seminole CB. It seems the Chargers were initially asking the Lions for both Maurice Morris and a 4th or 5th round draft pick in exchange for Cromartie.
Cromartie is scheduled to earn at least $1.225 million next season in the final year of his rookie contract.
Heather Dinich of ESPN.com has released her best game-day traditions at Florida State. Let us know if you know of a tradition that missed the list.
Courtesy of Heather Dinich:
The Seminoles might not have the most game-day traditions, but they definitely have some of the best in all of college football. The pageantry is special and unique to Florida State. One of the most memorable moments in Florida State history will be when former coach Bobby Bowden planted the spear at the Gator Bowl. Of course, you already know which FSU traditions were mentioned the most:
Doug Benc/Getty ImagesChief Osceola riding on Renegade is one of the more recognizable FSU traditions.
Osceola and Renegade: Before the kickoff of each home game, Osceola rides downfield on an Appaloosa horse named Renegade and plants a flaming spear at midfield. The tradition began on Sept. 16, 1978 against Oklahoma State when a student led the team from the tunnel riding a horse. The clothing and rigging used were designed and approved by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida.
War chant/tomahawk chop: They're unmistakable and intertwined, and Florida State fans gush with pride at the sound of the war chant. According to the FSU media guide, the war chant began during a 1984 game against Auburn, but also had its roots in the 1960s, when the Marching Chiefs would chant "the melody of a popular FSU cheer." Yet another one that gets stuck in your head easily.
Sod cemetery: It all started in 1962 against Georgia, when FSU won 18-0 on the road. Team captain Gene McDowell pulled a small piece of grass from the field and presented it to Dean Coyle Moore at the next practice. He and coach Bill Peterson had the sod buried on the practice field as a symbol of victory. Now, before every road game in which FSU is the underdog, or playing at Florida, team captains gather everyone to remind them of this traditions. Winners bring back some turf.
Downtown GetDown: I've actually gone to this once, and it was a good time. It's a combination of a pep rally and block party. The bar scene was lively, and there was live entertainment, but it was also a good family atmosphere with plenty of knee-high Seminoles fans.
According to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com it looks good for the Florida State men's basketball team to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament:
Florida State [20-8 (8-6), RPI: 42, SOS: 50] Even with a three-point home loss to Clemson, the Seminoles seem to be in OK shape for an NCAA at-large bid. At this point, it would probably take a three-game losing streak to end the regular season and an early exit from the ACC tournament to keep the Noles out of the NCAA field. The big concern: FSU has only three wins over RPI top-50 foes, with two of them coming against Georgia Tech and one against Marquette on a neutral court. FSU is 3-7 against RPI top-50 foes and 6-7 against the top 100. But FSU has only one bad loss, falling to RPI No. 109 NC State 88-81 at home on Jan. 12. In fact, all but one of FSU's eight losses came against RPI top-50 teams. The Noles host Wake Forest on Wednesday and play at Miami on Saturday.
Six wins vs. the top 100. RPI in top 40, SOS in the 50s. An 8-5 record in road/neutral games. Wins of note: Swept Georgia Tech, vs. Virginia Tech, vs. Marquette (neutral).
Swept by fellow bubble team Clemson and lost at Florida, another team angling for an at-large bid. Weak non-conference SOS (200+). 14 wins vs. teams outside the RPI top 100, six outside 200. Objectionable loss: vs. NC State.
The out-of-conference schedule left a little something to be desired, but wasn't nearly as dreadful as Virginia Tech's slate. Aside from the NC State loss, there's not too much to quibble with. Sunday's home loss against Clemson hurts a little more as it gave the Tigers a season sweep. There's a little bit more pressure now to come up with a win vs. Wake Forest.