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Ecstatic Eckerd lands ex-Bull Cann

To Eckerd basketball coach Tom Ryan, USF's loss is the Tritons gain.

By JOE SMITH
Published May 25, 2007


To Eckerd basketball coach Tom Ryan, USF's loss is the Tritons gain.

Ryan picked up his "most highly touted recruit" in his 11-year tenure Thursday when former Brandon and USF forward Zaronn Cann committed to Eckerd.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound redshirt freshman was one of the nation's top prospects three years ago, drawing interest from Duke, North Carolina and Florida. But like his junior year at Brandon, Cann's two seasons at USF were severely limited by multiple knee injuries and he played in just eight games.

Cann, whose scholarship wasn't renewed by new USF coach Stan Heath, said he had Division I opportunities; he visited James Madison and talked with Wisconsin coaches. But Cann will have three years of eligibility at Eckerd, which is coming off a school-record 27 wins before losing in the NCAA Division II South Region final.

"It came down to the coaching staff and the chance to play right away and win, " said Cann, who visited Florida Southern last weekend. "Eckerd has already established their winning, while Florida Southern is more in a rebuilding stage, which was the situation I went into at USF."

Cann is the fourth bay area standout to commit to Eckerd this offseason, joining former Clearwater and Pasco Hernando Community College forward Trevor Lee, Wharton senior shooting guard Adam Noble and former James Madison guard Lewis Lampley (Admiral Farragut).

ILLINOIS: Guard Jamar Smith began serving a 15-day jail sentence immediately after pleading guilty in Champaign County Circuit Court to aggravated driving under the influence. Charges of leaving the scene of an accident were dropped.

TAMPA: Rashad Callaway, a 5-9 guard from Bayonne (N.J.) High, signed a letter of intent. Callaway was a first-team all-county selection, averaging 21 points, eight assists and three steals.

Baseball

SEC: Bryan Augenstein pitched a complete-game eight-hitter in Florida's 3-2 victory over Alabama, knocking the Crimson Tide out of the conference tournament in Hoover, Ala.

Augenstein had eight strikeouts and no walks and closed the game by striking out two batters with a runner on third.

Cole Figueroa went 2-for-3, the only Gator with multiple hits.

Florida (29-29) plays South Carolina, which lost 6-0 to Arkansas, at 4 today (Sun Sports). The Razorbacks' Jess Todd set an SEC tournament record with 17 strikeouts. The regular-season SEC record of 24 strikeouts was set by LSU's Butch Mixon in 1959.

In Vanderbilt's 3-2 victory that eliminated Mississippi State, left-hander David Price, the subject of much interest from the Devil Rays, was perfect for six innings and finished with a complete-game five-hitter, striking out 11 with no walks.

ACC: Florida State, which opened the conference tournament with an 11-2 win over Wake Forest on Wednesday, plays Miami at 7 tonight in Jacksonville. With the Seminoles saving ACC pitcher of the year Bryan Henry for Saturday's game against Clemson, right-hander Ryan Strauss starts tonight against Hurricanes left-hander Eric Erickson.

Thursday, Virginia moved to within one win of reaching the championship game with a 4-1 win over Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers face North Carolina on Saturday.

ECKERD: Outfielder Grant Massie was named to the NCAA Rawlings Gold Glove All-South Region Team. He made one error this season.

Golf

USF'S LAGEDROST RESIGNS: Former Bulls standout Kelly Lagedrost has resigned after one season as the USF women's coach so she can pursue her professional golf career full time.

Lagedrost, 28, stepped in as coach in August when Susan Holt resigned after 14 years at USF to become coach at Notre Dame. A high school state champion in 1996 at Hernando, she missed the cut at LPGA qualifying school this spring and is playing on the Futures Tour, where she's made the cut in all five events she has played but hasn't finished higher than 18th.

DUKE WOMEN LEAD: Duke took an eight-stroke lead after the third round of the NCAA tournament in Daytona Beach, while Purdue's Christel Boeljon took a five-shot lead in the individual competition. The Blue Devils shot 5-over 293 and are at 16-over 880. Purdue was second.

Other sports

TENNIS: Florida's Csilla Borsanyi and Megan Alexander won second-round singles matches in the women's championships at Athens, Ga. Miami's Audra Cohen defeated UF's Diana Srebrovic. Losing were USF's Shadisha Robinson, Miami's Audrey Banada and FSU's doubles team of Nicola Slater-Carolin Walter. Men's singles winners included UF's Jesse Levine and Greg Ouellette, Miami's Daniel Vallverdu and Luigi D'Agord. Doubles winners included UF's Levin-Ouellette, FSU's Sam Chang- Jonathas Sucupira and Miami's Josh Cohen-D'Agord.

BIG 12: The conference's board of directors approved proposals to hold its football championship in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium and the basketball title game in Kansas City's Sprint Center, beginning in 2009-10.

NEW SPC AD: Mark Strickland, 31, a former Seminole baseball and soccer player, was named the new athletic director at St. Petersburg College. Strickland replaces Lars Hafner, who is now provost at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus.