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Fisher defends questionable calls in FSU's loss

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Fisher defends questionable calls in FSU's loss

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State's dream of contending for a national championship may have disappeared on a pair of fourth quarter decisions by coach Jimbo Fisher.

Not that the third-year coach was second-guessing himself on Monday.

``I wouldn't do it differently,'' he said. ``There's nothing we regret.''

The most mystifying call may have been Fisher's decision to not attempt a 51-yard field goal that would've given the Seminoles a nine point lead and virtually sealed a win at North Carolina State. Instead of giving Dustin Hopkins a shot at his fourth field goal in Saturday's game, the Seminoles punted and moments later watched their 16-point lead completely disappear in a 17-16 loss.

``Could he have made the field goal, yeah,'' Fisher said during Monday's news conference. ``It had nothing to do with that.''

Fisher also doesn't feel the loss can be pinned on questionable play call on third down, which cost the Seminoles 15 yards.

Instead of playing it safe, the Seminoles ran a play on third-and-two at the N.C. State 19 that resulted in quarterback EJ Manuel being sacked for a 15-yard loss - a play called during their second timeout of the game.

Fisher blamed his team's failures on poor execution.

``A technique issue,'' Fisher said. ``Offense and defense. There's no one guy. They're costly.''

This one may have cost Florida State a shot at the national championship. The Seminoles dropped nine spots in the poll to 12th.

``All losses, truthfully, they hurt,'' Manuel said. ``This hurt especially.''

It's the second straight year that Florida State's hopes for a possible run to a national title seemingly have disappeared by midseason- this time after the Seminoles blew a 16-point halftime lead. Fisher's 13-7 record against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents includes five losses in games Florida State was favored by double-digits.

Apparently no one recalled Graham Gano's heroics at North Carolina State just four years ago when Fisher was in his second season as Bobby Bowden's offensive coordinator.

Gano's 53-yard field goal, his fourth in that game, sealed the outcome with 1:53 left, giving Florida State - that's right - a nine point lead.

Hopkins, who is likely to become the ACC's all-time leading scorer this Saturday against Boston College, had already kicked three field goals in Saturday's game, including one from 48 yards out. He's kicked several of 50 yards or more in his career at Florida State, including a 55-yard game winning field goal as time expired to beat Clemson two years ago.

Florida State has handled the likes of intrastate rivals Miami and Florida not to mention South Carolina and Notre Dame since Fisher became head coach in 2010. It's the unexpected losses in games where the Seminoles are heavy favorites that have been troublesome. In the past year, the Seminoles have lost at Wake Forest and to Virginia in Tallahassee and North Carolina State for a second time in three years - all games in which they were heavy favorites.

``It's all about 12 games, it's about one win, one loss,'' Fisher said. ``What's the odds that you're gonna lose one during a season? That's part of it and you have to deal with it.''

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Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.

Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others. 

On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same. 

Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints. 

If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here

 

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Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

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Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

After two short years in College Park, Kevin Huerter is hopeful his name will be called during tonight's first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. 

The Clifton Park, N.Y. native has a chance to become the first Maryland player to be selected in the first round since Alex Len went No. 5 overall to the Phoenix Suns following his sophomore year in 2013. 

Huerter has long been consistent in his pursuit of excelling in the sport he loves. 

It began in high school, where he led Shen to its first state championship while setting the state scoring record. 

Then, as a senior, Huerter was named Mr. Basketball in the state of New York. 

From smalltown upstate N.Y. to receiving over 20 offers and ultimately signing with Maryland, Huerter never looked back. 

The 19-year-old earned a starting spot right out of the gate his freshman season averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

In between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Huerter was selected to the United States team for the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup coached by Jeff Van Gundy. 

Using that experience combined with an elevated offseason workout plan, he saw his production go up during his sophomore season scoring 14.8 points per game while en route to being named honorable mention All-Big Ten. 

After toying with whether or not he should leave Maryland, his father tweeted this out: 

Playing basketball with his talented younger sisters while trying to make the most difficult decision of his young life. That is Kevin Huerter in a nutshell. 

Fast forward to last month's NBA Combine in Chicago. Huerter chose to attend, seeing it as another opportunity to showcase his skills.

As a result, he saw his stock rise after showcasing his athleticism and sharp shooting, including a drill where he went 15 of 15 from 3-point range. 

According to Drew Zlogar, former teammate of Huerter's at Shenendehowa High School and current Digital and Social Content Publisher for the NBA, Huerter turned down a Barclays Center invite from the league to instead host a watch party of his own at a local country club in Clifton Park, N.Y., where he will be surrounded by family, friends and former high school teammates. 

As far as when Huerter is expected to come off the board, different scenarios continue to arise. 

If there's one thing for sure, it's that the former 3-star recruit is now an-almost guaranteed first round draft pick. 

Huerter has been known for his mild-mannered personality and cool-under-pressure aura about him in big moments. 

But the big man with a chip on his shoulder? That could be a scary thing for future opponents of the sharpshooter. 

Watch where Huerter goes in tonight's NBA Draft tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.