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Jan 16, 2024 2:47 pm

Florida State hits road to renew rivalry with Miami

Kyshawn George is growing on the Miami Hurricanes — literally and figuratively.

George, a reserve guard from Switzerland who played high school ball in France, is averaging 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in his freshman season.

“Kyshawn is a unique player,” Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said. “Last year, when we recruited him, he was 6-foot-5. Now he’s 6-8.

“When the season began, he was a horrendous defender. Now, he has really improved. He can guard one through four. We love what he is doing for us.”

George, regarded as an NBA prospect, hopes to have a big game on Wednesday when his Hurricanes (12-4, 3-2) play host to Florida State (10-6, 4-1) in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.

The Hurricanes are 9-1 at home. However, they lost their last game at home in a major upset by Louisville.

Further, the last time the Hurricanes hosted the Seminoles on Feb. 25, 2023, Florida State rallied from a 25-point deficit and won 85-84 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Matthew Cleveland.

It was the biggest comeback in ACC history.

The kicker to that story is that Cleveland has since transferred to Miami, where he is averaging 16.4 points.

Norchad Omier leads Miami in scoring (17.3) and rebounds (9.3). Wooga Poplar (15.9) and Nijel Pack (13.6) are Miami’s other double-figure scorers.

“The game is not one guy,” Larranaga said. “The game is five guys. We have veteran guys who know how to play.”

Florida State, which went 9-23 last season, has already eclipsed its 2022-23 win total.

In addition, the Seminoles will enter Wednesday having won four straight ACC games. Florida State has beaten two teams — Colorado and Wake Forest — that defeated Miami.

Florida State is winning with its depth as 12 players are averaging double-digit minutes.

“We’re able to keep fresh bodies,” said forward Jaylan Gainey, a Brown transfer and a two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. “Other teams are playing seven guys 30-plus minutes. We’re playing a lot of guys 15-to-20 minutes.”

Florida State boasts three double-figure scorers: Jamir Watkins (13.0), Darin Green Jr. (12.7) and reserve Primo Spears (10.8).

–Field Level Media

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