2015 F Keith Stone commits to Florida Gators

The Florida Gators added another big name to their already-impressive 2015 recruiting class on Monday night when three-star forward Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) verbally committed to play college basketball in Gainesville.

Ranked No. 127 overall by Rivals, Stone (6-foot-7, 215 pounds) took his first official visit to Florida over the weekend.

A long-time Gators lean, seeing the program in person and getting the go-ahead from the staff was all it took for him to commit to head coach Billy Donovan. Stone announced his commitment Monday via his Twitter account.

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Media Day: New challenges ahead for Florida Gators basketball in 2014-15

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan held a press conference last week as part of his team’s media day and discussed a number of pressing topics facing his team as it began fall practice. Below are some links to stories published here on OnlyGators.com last week as well as a wrap-up of everything else Donovan had to say.

Story: Chris Walker suspended three games, Brandone Francis will not play
Story: Billy Donovan stands behind embattled Will Muschamp
Story: Michael Frazier II must step up game, leadership for Gators

NEW CHALLENGES

The 2014-15 Gators basketball team will be a vastly different group…because that’s what happens when you lose four true-senior starters that amassed the vast majority of your points and logged tons of minutes. Florida was so successful last season not just because of those players’ experience but also due to the fact that they had faced so much adversity that they were motivated to overcome any they encountered during their final year in orange and blue.

This year’s team, well, it’s filled with freshman and sophomores that are used to seeing the Gators as one of the best teams in the nation, coming off a season in which the program only lost three games.

“They haven’t faced any adversity,” said Donovan. “That’s going to be, I think, a challenge that these guys have not been tested in. They can go out there, work really, really hard and may not get the results [they want]. …

“There are a couple of concerns for me. There was no level of consistency at all from our returning players outside of Michael Frazier. There were moments that he played exceptionally well, there were moments that they really did a great job, but there was a discipline issue on the court in terms of being reliable guys game in and game out. That is going to be a challenge.”

It’s not that Donovan thinks this group of players is entitled. Rather, “it’s a lack of not living in the real world” for these players, which likely expect Florida to continue or even improve on its impressive showing from last season.

Continue Reading » Media Day: New challenges ahead for Florida Gators basketball in 2014-15

Florida AD Jeremy Foley on Will Muschamp: We will ‘evaluate the season as it plays out’

Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley on Monday cautioned fans that he does not plan to make any substantial decisions about the team’s head coach until following the 2014 season, as he initially stated before the campaign began.

“At the beginning of the season we said we would evaluate the season as it plays out,” he said in a statement released by the school. “We will continue to do so. Our sole focus right now is supporting our coaching staff as they prepare for Georgia.”

Facing similar questions about head coach Will Muschamp last season as the Gators first slid out of the top 25 and then bowl contention, Foley issued what he refused to refer to as a “vote of confidence,” claiming he and the administration were “a thousand percent convinced” Muschamp was the right man for the job.

Certainly this season’s statement is not nearly as supportive.

“We will get better under Will Muschamp’s leadership,” Foley proclaimed last November. “This is not the quote-unquote dreaded ‘vote of confidence.’ This is just how we all feel around here. We have a strong faith and a strong belief in his capabilities, his leadership skills, in his ability to evaluate what needs to be fixed.”

RELATED: Foley puts legacy on the line by sticking his neck out for Muschamp

The Gators have fallen to 3-3 (2-3 SEC) after losing consecutive home games to unranked league foes. Late miscues saw Florida drop a 30-27 contest to LSU on Oct. 11, but UF was completely outmatched by an offensively-hapless Missouri team, which scored four touchdowns en route to a 42-13 rout of its hosts on homecoming.

Florida is currently on its second off week of the season. It will begin preparation for its annual rivalry game against the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs, which is slated for Nov. 1 at 3:30 p.m. The Gators have lost six-straight games to ranked opponents.

Snell’s Slant: Florida Gators on a path to nowhere under Will Muschamp’s leadership

By Shannon Snell – OnlyGators.com Featured Columnist

I had hope. I had faith. Unfortunately, when it comes to the 2014 Florida Gators, both of those are now gone. As an alumnus and former Florida player, I ultimately believed the Gators’ ills would be corrected, the program would get turned this year. At this point, there is no kidding myself anymore. Florida will go nowhere under the continued leadership of Will Muschamp.

You have heard Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer say this before but there is a rule of thumb that if a team plays well in all three phases of the game – offense, defense, special teams – the percentage chance that team wins said game is very high. Play poorly in one of these areas, your chance of winning goes down drastically but is not eliminated. Screw up in two phases, you have almost no chance to survive…and that is exactly what happened Saturday night.

Defensively, the Gators were great on Saturday. Hell, they were plain out dominant. Allowing only 119 yards is great for a Pop Warner football game, let alone in a big-time college conference like the SEC. But as usual, Florida’s offense failed; in a surprising new twist, special teams was equally as awful, not just giving up two return touchdowns but also seeing a significant regression at punter. You cannot win a football game when you fail in so many ways.

Muschamp’s entire career has been based off the age-old premise of “defense wins championships.” Well, the former – and potentially future – defensive coordinator has learned some hard lessons over the last few years, namely that a teams must be three-dimensional, not one-dimensional.

Continue Reading » Snell’s Slant: Florida Gators on a path to nowhere under Will Muschamp’s leadership

FOUR BITS: Harvin, Nelson, Harrison, Haden

There is a video in this post that autostarts. Please scroll down and pause it if you do not want it to play until after you are done reading.

1 » The trade of former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin – from the Seattle Seahawks to the New York Jets – was completed over the weekend in a transaction which you can read about in full by clicking here. However, since the trade was first reported on Friday, there has been plenty of fallout from the situation, most of it centering on Harvin and his alleged anger-management issues.

According to CBSSports.com‘s Jason La Canfora, Harvin was a “pain in the ass,” who was not a fit for the organization “on a lot of levels,” and the situation did not “look like it was going to get better. Per The Seattle Times: “Harvin had gotten into an altercation with former Seahawks Golden Tate before the Super Bowl that resulted in Tate getting a black eye. A source also said Harvin had an altercation with Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin in the week leading up to the final exhibition game this August at Oakland that resulted in Baldwin getting a cut on his chin and each player being excused from practices that week. … One final straw, a league source said, came in [last] Sunday’s 30-23 loss to Dallas when Harvin apparently balked at going back into the game in the fourth quarter.”

The Seahawks, which are also looking to clear cap space in preparation to re-sign quarterback Russell Wilson, believe they will be able to get along just fine without Harvin, just like they did last season when they won the league’s title. Multiple Seattle players were reportedly angry about management’s decision, namely star running back Marshawn Lynch. Former teammates, including QB Brett Favre, have come to Havin’s defense. Favre called Harvin, who he played with as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, “a good guy in the locker room” despite being “a little combative … in a good way” because “Percy’s all about doing whatever he can to help you win. He’s tough as nails and really that’s all he cares about. … I liked him as a player and a person.”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Harvin, Nelson, Harrison, Haden

Twitter Chatter: Former Gators comment as Florida gets blasted 42-13 by Missouri

In a new feature here on OnlyGators.com, we take a look at what former and current Florida Gators players had to say on social media during and after the game.

Florida (3-3, 2-3 SEC) was roasted 42-13 at home by the Missouri Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SEC), which forced six turnovers, scored four return touchdowns (two on special teams) and absolutely obliterated the Gators on Saturday evening during homecoming at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Check out all of the tweets…after the break!

Continue Reading » Twitter Chatter: Former Gators comment as Florida gets blasted 42-13 by Missouri

10/18: Florida-Missouri post-game report: Muschamp’s hot seat bursts into flames

A devastating 42-13 loss at the hands of the unranked Missouri Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SEC) has sent the Florida Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) reeling and set head coach Will Muschamp‘s hot seat ablaze.

Muschamp met with the media after Saturday’s homecoming game to discuss the team’s second-straight loss to an unranked Southeastern Conference opponent at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida trails in its all-time series with Missouri 1-3 and has lost consecutive games to its new SEC East rivals.
» In addition to losing five-straight games against top 25 opponents and being 4-13 against ranked opponents under Muschamp, the Gators have now lost consecutive games to unranked SEC opponents, falling to 12-4 in such games. Saturday was Muschamp’s sixth loss to an unranked team.
» Florida is opening a season 3-3 through six games for just the second time in the last 28 years. UF’s opening game against Idaho was canceled.
» The Gators lost on homecoming in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1947-48. UF fell 34-17 to Vanderbilt last year.
» Florida, which allowed just five sacks in its first five games, gave up six on Saturday.
» The Gators were +8 in turnover margin two weeks ago and entered Saturday’s game +5; Florida finished -5 in turnover margin and is now even on the season.
» Florida’s defense gave up just 13 of Missouri’s 42 points on the evening. The Tigers scored 24 points off turnovers.


Continue Reading » 10/18: Florida-Missouri post-game report: Muschamp’s hot seat bursts into flames

Missouri stomps Florida 42-13 in The Swamp

Six turnovers including four return touchdowns – two on special teams – and an inability to get anything going on offense led to one of the worst home losses in school history for the Florida Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) as the Missouri Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SEC) routed their hosts 42-13 on homecoming at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday night.

Missouri, coming off a 34-0 defeat at the hands of Georgia just one week ago, shut out Florida in the first half for the second time UF’s last three games. The Gators opened the contest in an immediate hole – Tigers’ returner Marcus Murphy brought back the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown – and never recovered.

Florida looked to be in trouble again on its first offensive series after redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel and junior running back Matt Jones fumbled an exchange, but UF got the ball back almost immediately on an interception by redshirt sophomore defensive back Marcus Maye.

Continue Reading » Missouri stomps Florida 42-13 in The Swamp

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