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Tag:North Florida
Posted on: August 11, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: August 12, 2011 11:19 am

Trippin': North Florida returns from Canada

In our Trippin' series we're talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin' related stories.

By Jeff Goodman

He wasn’t on the roster and didn’t play the previous game against Murray State, but when North Florida assistant coach Bobby Kennen returned to the locker room and said the name, Ospreys head coach Matthew Driscoll shook his head in disbelief.

Theo Davis.

Yes, that Theo Davis.

The former Top 10 player, who was once committed to Texas, signed with Iowa State, attended Gonzaga and wound up at Binghamton, is now at Brock University in Canada.

``I couldn’t believe it,” Driscoll said. ``He wasn’t on the roster, but was No. 42.”

Brock coach Brad Rootes told that Davis is in his first year with the program and is in fourth season overall of eligibility.

Davis finished with eight points and eight rebounds in North Florida’s 85-81 victory.

But this isn’t about Theo. It’s about North Florida – and its trip north of the border.

What Driscoll learned: ``We have a high-character group. Everywhere we went, people – from waiters and waitresses to the people who worked in the hotels we stayed at – all said what a pleasure our kids are to be around. You can tell our guys really, really like each other.”

What or who impressed him: Sophomore Charles McRoy - ``Parker Smith had 29 points in the final game, but that’s what he does. The guy we walked away impressed with – after 10 practices and the games – was Charles. He just went to another level. This is a kid I wanted to redshirt last year, but my staff convinced me not to – and he had some huge moments. He’s 6-6, plays the wing and he had no idea where to be last year defensively. This year he was where he was supposed to be and just made plays for us – whether it was 3’s, drives or putbacks.”

What concerned him: Free throw shooting. ``We had 12 games last year decided by five points or less and we missed 69 free throws in the six losses. We still didn’t shoot it well from the line on the trip. In the second game, we missed more than we made and were 19-of-39.”

- Driscoll said that highly touted freshman point guard Jacoby Davis wasn’t gained admittance academically into the school. Sources indicate that the West Charlotte, N.C., standout may go the prep school route and wind up at a higher level.

- Driscoll let his assistants be the head coach each game and he sat up in the stands on the other side of the gym the entire game.

- Last year’s leading scorer, Parker Smith (12.0 ppg), didn’t start a single game – and Driscoll said he’ll come off the bench again to give the team a scoring punch.

- Look for junior Will Wilson, who averaged 10 minutes a game last season in a reserve role to Brad Haugabrook, to have the first crack at the starting point guard spot. He’s not a big-time scorer, but does a nice job distributing – and can score when necessary.

- Jimmy Williams, who started all 34 games a year ago and averaged 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, made the trip - but did not play due to the good old “coaches decision.”'s list of teams taking preseason trips

Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:58 am

2013 big Kennedy Meeks with plenty of interest


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – He may go by “Baby,” but Kennedy Meeks is a grown man on the basketball court.

Meeks is listed at 6-foot-8 and 260 lbs., and dwarfs most opponents that try to defend him in the paint. He has great hands and knows how to finish at the rim with post moves and a soft touch. Meeks can pass out of a double team, and is also a very solid rebounder. The West Charlotte (N.C.) product is improving all facets of his game.

One of the top centers in the class of 2013, Meeks is receiving tons of college interest.

“Everybody in the ACC besides Duke and Georgia Tech,” Meeks said. “Also, Georgetown, Louisville and North Florida.”

North Florida? “North Florida.”

Meeks said his favorites are Georgetown and Maryland, and he wants to check out the campuses of Maryland and Miami (Fl.) at some point in July.

The exceptional campaigns by Georgetown’s Greg Monroe and Maryland’s Jordan Williams over the last two seasons are part of the reason Meeks is drawn to those two programs – they utilize their post players.

“They feed the big man,” he said. “I want to go to a place where they use their big man.”

Despite his nickname, Meeks certainly fits the profile.

Photo: Charlotte Observer
Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:32 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 11:46 pm

Atlantic Sun championship game preview

The A-Sun championship game will match the Belmont Bruins (29-4, 19-1) against the North Florida Ospreys (15-18, 10-10) at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

First, we need to answer one basic question. What the heck is an Osprey?

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching 60 centimetres (24 in) in length with a 2 m wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings.

Thanks, Wikipedia!

The Osprey are also surprise participants in the A-Sun championship game, after beating heavily favored East Tennessee State (22-11, 16-4) in a Friday night semifinal. The Ospreys won despite the presence of A-Sun player of the year Mike Smith on the opposite side of the ball. The ETSU Buccaneers had won at North Florida by four and demolished the Ospreys at home before falling in the postseason elimination game.

The Ospreys put a strong lineup of Parker Smith and Jerron Granberry (both 12.3 points per game) on the floor, alongside arch rebounders Andres Diaz and Jimmy Williams, Jr. (right). They will face another heavy favorite on Saturday evening, when they meet the Belmont Bruins for a shot at the A-Sun auto bid. North Florida has only been in the A-Sun for six years after re-classifying to D-I, and have never been to the NCAA tournament. This is the first time they've won even ten games in conference play.

The Bruins have, so far, treated the postseason with exactly the same nonchalant competence that they applied to the regular season. Of the Bruins' 29 wins this season, 19 came in conference. Their sole league loss came at Lipscomb on January 25. Since then, they've won 11 in a row. The Bruins flat crushed Kennesaw State in the opening round, getting a combined 26 points and 13 rebounds from Ian Clark and Mick Hedgepeth. Tourney host Mercer was a little tougher, but eventually succumbed by eight.

Clark and Hedgepeth have been the movers and shakers for Belmont all season long. 6-foot-3 sophomore guard Clark is the team's leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game. 6-9 junior Hedgepeth is the second-leading scorer and the team's best rebounder to boot. Of course, the Bruins didn't become so dominant by being a two-man show. 6-10 Scott Saunders is second only to Hedgepeth as an interior scorer and rebounder, and the team gets ample help from senior Jordan Campbell, who scorches the nets with a 46 percent deep shooting mark, and junior point guard Drew Hanlen is the ballhandler and distributor who makes the whole thing run smoothly.

You may have noticed there weren't a lot of seniors listed in that breakdown. This will be a tough team for years to come. We'll see if the Ospreys have enough magic left to take it to the Bruins in Macon on Saturday.

Atlantic Sun tournament bracket

Photo: US Presswire

Posted by Eric Angevine

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