Weekend Watch List: Attention returns to local teams on hardwood, ice

BY Hana Ostapchuk • February 5, 2015

With the Super Bowl wrapped up and the madness of Wednesday's National Signing Day behind us, attention can return to the hardwood and ice.

The Orlando Magic will enter the weekend with a new coach after firing Jacque Vaughn on Thursday in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. James Borrego will take over for Vaughn on an interim basis, beginning with Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here's how the weekend schedule shapes up around the state...


NBA --” Lakers at Magic, 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida)

NBA -- Heat at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. ET (Sun Sports)

Spotlight: The Heat look to bounce back from Wednesday night's 102-101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the NBA's worst team. In the defeat, Hassan Whiteside, the D-League call-up who continues to amaze, became the first Heat player since Shaquille O'Neal in 2004 to rack up at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. This marks the first regular-season meeting between the Spurs and Heat since last year's NBA Finals. It will complete a four-game road trip for Miami.


NHL --“ Kings at Lightning, 5 p.m. (Sun Sports)

CBK -- FSU at Virginia Tech, 3 p.m.

CBK -- Kentucky at Florida, 9 p.m.

Spotlight: Things don't get any easier for the Gators, losers of four of their past six games, against undefeated and top-ranked Kentucky. Both schools meet for the first time this season. Florida will close out the regular season in Kentucky on March 7.


NHL -- Predators at Panthers, 3 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida)

NHL -- Ducks at Lightning, 5 p.m. (Sun Sports)

NBA -- Bulls at Magic, 6 p.m. (FOX Sports Florida)

CBK -- Clemson at Miami, 6:30 p.m.

Spotlight: After losing five in a row, the Panthers have won two of their last four. But they face the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators on Sunday. When the Panthers last played the Predators in November, Florida fell short 3-2 in a shootout loss in Nashville. Colin Wilson and Matt Cullen scored for the Predators, while the Panthers' Rocco Grimaldi and Nick Bjugstad scored 12 seconds apart in the final minute of the third period.


-- National Signing Day proved successful for the Florida State Seminoles. Head coach Jimbo Fisher had eight early enrollees, and the 2015 recruiting class received 12 more Letters of Intent by Wednesday morning. Some of the most exciting signees of the day were defensive back Tarvarus McFadden, ranked a five-star by Scout.com, and four-star QB Deondre Francois.

--” Jordan Scarlett, a four-star prospect from St. Thomas Aquinas and the No. 13 ranked running back in the Class of 2015, committed to the Florida Gators on Monday night. He made his decision after spending the weekend visiting FSU and having announced his decommitment from Miami following months of dedicatiom to the Hurricanes.

-- Just two of the Miami Hurricanes' 20 signings on Wednesday were listed in Scout's top 300 list. Defensive back Jaquan Johnson and running back Mark Walton were among the highest rated recruits for the 2015 class.

-- Golf great Jack Nicklaus announced on Tuesday that the Miami Children's Health System and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation will be building a new pediatric facility. The $60 million pledge will go toward the new facility, as the Miami Children's Health System will be changing the name of the main hospital to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

-- During a feature on the MLB Network last week titled "The Offseason: Hope in Chicago and Miami" with Peter Gammons, Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton stated that he still doesn't have complete feeling in the upper left part of his lip. He went on to explain that his jaw also isn't fully healed. Stanton is planning to wear a face guard when batting this season.

-- Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp was arrested on Monday morning in Phoenix, Arizona. Sapp, who played for the Bucs from 1995 to 2003, was taken into custody at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Phoenix on charges of soliciting a prostitute and assault. The 42-year-old was in the city covering Super Bowl XLIX for the NFL Network, where he had worked as an analyst since 2008.

--” Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette was named the NHL's Second Star for the Week on Sunday. The 21-year-old recorded his first career NHL hat trick in a win over the Detroit Red Wings. He has 10 goals and six assists in 41 games this season.


Dozens of top recruits made their final college picks on Wednesday, setting the stage for the 2015 freshman football class. Coaches, players and rookies took to social media throughout the day to touch on their announcements.

When Scarlett committed to Florida instead of Miami, he received a welcome from new teammate Brandon Powell.

Offensive lineman Brand Sandifer committed to Florida as the 10th signee on Wednesday.

Running back Jordan Cronkrite was the Gators' No. 17 signee of the day.

FSU also had its fair share of pickups throughout the day.

The Miami Hurricanes received confirmation from running back Mark Walton early in the day.

You can follow Hana Ostapchuk on Twitter @HanaOstapchuk or email her at HANAMARIE13@AOL.COM.

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