Jonotthan Harrison clarifies comments, defends Florida Gators coach WIll Muschamp

Less than 24 hours after a story quoting center Jonotthan Harrison cast the Florida Gators 2013 season in an even more negative light than the team’s 4-8 record would indicate, the player has spoken out to say that his comments were neither meant as criticisms of the team nor head coach Will Muschamp.

In a Wednesday conversation with the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson, Harrison stood firm behind his belief that “off-the field actions carried to the on-the-field results” and “may have been hindering the success of the team.” However, he did not intend for those comments to be seen as criticisms about Muschamp or most of his teammates.

RELATED: Harrison tells tale of “crumbling” locker room during 2013 season

“I believe that my interview is being read out of context,” Harrison told the paper. “I have the utmost respect for Coach Muschamp and the coaching staff that was there during my years. He’s a phenomenal coach and he did everything a great coach would do when it came to disciplining his players.”

Furthermore, Harrison explained that he never meant to hurt anybody with his statements. A number of his teammates contacted him directly after reading his comments and expressed a mixture of displeasure and concern.

Continue Reading » Jonotthan Harrison clarifies comments, defends Florida Gators coach WIll Muschamp

Jonotthan Harrison tells tale of “crumbling” Florida Gators locker room during 2013 season

UPDATED STORY (8:00 p.m.): Jonotthan Harrison clarifies comments, defends Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp

Story below updated on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

According to former Florida Gators center Jonotthan Harrison, a fifth-year senior in 2013 who was starting in the middle of the offensive line for his third-straight year, Florida’s continuously declining play and subsequent 4-8 record had as much to do with the team’s off-field issues as it did on-field performance.

Discussing the situation with Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Harrison provided insight into locker room incidents, pre-game distractions and significant infighting that derailed the Gators as they dealt with mounting injuries, a growing number of losses and increasing fan unrest.

Dunne begins by relating Harrison’s view of an incident that occurred following Florida’s embarrassing loss to Georgia Southern in its second-to-last game of the season.

Continue Reading » Jonotthan Harrison tells tale of “crumbling” Florida Gators locker room during 2013 season

Patric Young to chronicle his Path to the 2014 NBA Draft on OnlyGators.com

With four former Florida Gators basketball players set to try and begin their professional careers this offseason, OnlyGators.com is pleased to announced that forward/center Patric Young has agreed to join the website and chronicle his personal process from now through the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26.

Young will check in regularly to give readers his own unique insight on what goes into choosing an agent, attending pre-draft workouts, visiting with teams and hopefully being selected at some point during the two-round draft in nine weeks.

The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).

Rewarded for three years of outstanding defense and an especially dominant 2013-14 campaign, Young received SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors this season. He was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season with a 3.38 grade-point average in Telecommunications, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.

Young was a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given annually to a senior with “notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.” Though he did not win the honor outright, he was named to the four-player First Team.

Continue Reading » Patric Young to chronicle his Path to the 2014 NBA Draft on OnlyGators.com

Buddy Alexander to retire after 27 years at Florida

The second-longest-tenured head coach in school history, Buddy Alexander has decided to retire after nearly three decades at the helm of the highly-successful Florida Gators’s men’s golf program.

Alexander, who will coach out his 27th and final season with the team, has led Florida to two national titles (1993, 2001), 11 top-10 finishes in the NCAA Championships and eight SEC Championships (1989, 1991-94, 1999, 2003, 2011). He is also a three-time GCAA National Coach of the Year and eight-time SEC Coach of the Year who was inducted into the GCAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001.

In short, Alexander is Gators golf.

“He’s one of the all-time greats,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley told Scott Carter of the school’s website as part of Alexander’s retirement announcement. “He’s had a heck of a run. There’s no better Gator than Buddy Alexander.”

Continue Reading » Buddy Alexander to retire after 27 years at Florida

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah named 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Former Florida Gators center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was named the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Monday.

An unlikely candidate for Most Valuable Player who has been the heart and soul of a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team throughout the campaign, Noah is the first Chicago player since Michael Jordan (1987-88) to win the prestigious award.

He’s also the first former Florida player to capture the honor and second ever to win an NBA year-end award, joining guard Mike Miller, who was named Rookie of the Year in 2000-01 and Sixth Man of the Year in 2005-06.

Noah dominated the vote, finishing first with 555 total points. Indiana C Roy Hibbert placed second with 166 points.

Noah has been tremendous all season for the Bulls, averaging 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

He registered four triple-doubles and 47 double-doubles over 80 regular-season games, becoming the fourth center in NBA history with four triple-doubles consisting of points, rebounds and assists in a single season (Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, Bill Russell). Noah is also the first Chicago player since Jordan and Scottie Pippen (1992-93) to record four triple-doubles in a single season.


A 2012-13 NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, Noah will likely finish in the same spot when the team is announced later this year.

His ability not only defend the post but switch onto and lock down smaller players is a major reason why Chicago finished first in scoring defense and second in opponent’ field goal percentage this season. His energy, passion and resolve have also played roles in the Bulls’ ability to rally and earn a berth in the playoffs.

Noah notched single-game career-highs of 14 assists and 50 minutes played in separate games during the 2013-14 campaign and single-season career-highs in nearly every major statistical category. He finished fourth in the NBA in total rebounds and offensive rebounds, seventh in defensive rebounds, eighth in total efficiency points, 10th in blocks, 16th in minutes played and 22nd in assists.

Chicago is down 0-1 in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs after falling 102-93 to the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Noah was 4-for-6 with 10 points, 10 boards and four assists two days after missing practice while mourning the passing of a mentor and self-described “second father,” Tyrone Green.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

FOUR BITS: Noah, Donovan, Calathes, Parsons

1 » According to CSNChicago.com, a press conference scheduled by the Chicago Bulls for 4 p.m. on Monday will be to officially announce that former Florida Gators center Joakim Noah will be named the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Noah, who was an unlikely MVP candidate this season, would become the first Chicago player to win the award since Michael Jordan (1987-88) and first-ever former Florida player to capture the honor. He would be just the second Gators player to win an NBA year-end award, joining guard Mike Miller, who was named Rookie of the Year in 2000-01 and Sixth Man of the Year in 2005-06.

2 » Already considered a hot name for the New York Knicks job, Florida head coach Billy Donovan is now apparently up for another NBA gig with the Minnesota Timberwolves. “Been discussing [Tom] Izzo/[Fred] Hoiberg for some time as candidates to replace [Rick] Adelman, but here’s a new name I’m told interests Wolves: Billy Donovan,” tweeted ESPN.com reporter Marc Stein on Monday. “Wolves [are] vowing [a] comprehensive search to find coach who can help them persuade Kevin Love to stay. Donovan, I’m told, has emerged as new target.” The New York and Minnesota jobs both opened up on Monday when Mike Woodson was fired by new Knicks team president Phil Jackson and Adelman announced his retirement. Donovan would seem to be a better fit in New York than Minnesota but neither is a likely destination for him at this time. The Timberwolves are 71-93 over the last two seasons, will be looking for their sixth coach in a span of 10 seasons and may very well be losing their star player to free agency after the conclusion of the 2014-15 campaign.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Noah, Donovan, Calathes, Parsons

Florida baseball rolls over Georgia for sweep

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com Contributor

It may have started with a one-run squeaker, but No. 18 Florida Gators baseball (27-13, 12-6 SEC) battered the Georgia Bulldogs (21-18-1, 7-10-1) over the weekend to secure its second-straight home series sweep and extend its overall active winning streak to six games.

The Florida-Georgia series opener set for Friday was rained out, forcing the teams to complete all three games in a span of approximately 24 hours. The Gators took down the Bulldogs 3-2 and 8-1 in a Saturday doubleheader before completing the sweep 10-3 on Sunday at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Florida powered past Georgia in large part due to its bullpen, which was unfazed by the lack of rest and only allow one run over 11.2 innings.

Continue Reading » Florida baseball rolls over Georgia for sweep

Florida Gators gymnastics wins share of second-straight NCAA National Championship

By Jordan McPherson – OnlyGators.com Contributor

After trailing for most of the Super Six for the second-straight year, it came down to sophomore Bridgette Caquatto pulling off a miracle for No. 1 Florida Gators gymnastics, which forced a late tie and split the 2014 NCAA Championship on Saturday night in Birmingham, AL.

UF’s final competitor in the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center, Caquatto needed to score a 9.95 on floor if the Gators wanted to earn a share of the national title with the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners.

And she delivered, matching her career-high mark for the third time this season as Florida locked up with Oklahoma for the lead just one year after winning the title for the first time in program history.

“It was absolutely incredible,” Gators head coach Rhonda Faehn said in a post-meet interview. “Our athletes, I mean, they knew what was on the line, and they just competed their hearts out.”

Florida and Oklahoma both posted a 198.175 — the highest score in Super Six history — and subsequently split the title after a long delay as judges attempted to ensure there was no method by which to break the tie. By tying with the Gators, the Sooners became just the sixth program to finish in the top spot. LSU (197.600) finished in third and Alabama (fourth, 197.550), Georgia (fifth, 197.050) and Nebraska (sixth, 196.500) rounded out the field.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators gymnastics wins share of second-straight NCAA National Championship

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