tampabay.com

Advice better left unsaid

The Seminoles draw closer to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 9 years.

By BRIAN LANDMAN
Published February 8, 2007


In the moments before tipoff Sunday afternoon, Florida State basketball coach Leonard Hamilton was wrestling with the best way to tell his players that when things didn't go their way - and they wouldn't all the time against a team like Duke - they needed to maintain "faith and confidence" in one another. "It was a little too wordy," he said, "and I kind of passed up on that conversation." Hamilton might have been rethinking that decision when his Seminoles, who were 0-15 in Cameron Indoor Stadium, fell behind by 17 midway through the first half. That is, until he looked in his players' eyes. "That period of the game where they could have panicked, they understood our shortcomings and really composed themselves and got back in the game," he said. "I was very proud of that." The Seminoles cut the deficit to three at halftime, then eked out a 68-67 victory that might punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.

Quotable

"It is a little disappointing to be down that far. ... But with the strength of our conference, the number of SEC teams we play, the Pac-10 teams we play, we have plenty of opportunities to move and I think we'll do that by the end of the year. I'm real excited about this team." - JoAnne Graf on her team's No. 25 ranking in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason polls

Is Colbert a Gator?

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert was quite the hit at FSU's Pow Wow on Nov. 17, but he probably didn't endear himself to FSU fans last Thursday on his popular Colbert Report. During a segment on racism in America, a picture of Chief Osceola and Renegade flashed on the screen as part of a montage.

When did the NCAA start writing for the show?

Or perhaps Colbert should plan on a gig in Gainesville next year. And that's the word.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/seminoles/.

Fast Facts:

 

Softball by the numbers

The softball team opens the 2007 season Friday against Samford and Florida A&M in the Seminole Classic. Here are some numbers that capture the prospects:

3 Starting pitchers returning, led by Tiffany McDonald (30-19, 2.27 ERA)

6 Starting fielders returning, led by 2B Veronica Wootson (.360, 7 HRs, 49 RBIs), RF LaShaun Davis (.342), SS Yuruby Alicart (.333).

9 Newcomers, led by P Terese Gober and C Robin Ahrberg.

3291/3 Innings pitched by McDonald, school and ACC records, second in the nation and way, way too many.

1,355-424-6 Record for coach JoAnne Graf in 28 years at the school.