SIX BITS: baseball, softball, Tebow, Brissett

1 » The No. 2 Florida Gators baseball and softball programs found out Thursday that each would have four games featured live on the ESPN family of networks during their respective 2011 regular seasons. Florida baseball – which will be featured on ESPNU’s Thursday Night Baseball Game of the Week with their contest at Arkansas on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. – will also face Georgia (away) on April 16 at 2 p.m. on ESPNU, Alabama (home) on April 23 at 6 p.m. on ESPN2, and Arkansas (away) on May 7 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Gators softball will have four home games aired live. Their back-to-back games against Alabama on April 23 (4 p.m.) and April 24 (1 p.m.) will air on ESPN2 and ESPNU, respectively, while their consecutive contests against Tennessee on May 7 (12 p.m.) and May 8 (3 p.m.) will be featured on ESPN and ESPNU. All games airing on ESPN or ESPN2 will also be simulcast on ESPN3.com.

2 » Florida softball also found out Thursday that their incoming 2011 recruiting class has been ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN/RISE. The Gators are bringing in six freshmen including pitcher Alyssa Bache (Clearwater, FL), third baseman Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, FL), infielder Jessica Damico (Gray Summit, MO), shortstop Sami Fagan (Dunnellon, FL), utility player Lauren Haeger (Peoria, AZ), UTL Brianna Little (Middleburg, FL) and SS Katie Medina (Downey, CA). Wrote ESPN: “The Gators had a lot of pressure to bring in a dynamic recruiting class with the group they have leaving this year, and they certainly pulled it off. They bring in a big class of seven athletes that includes two dominating pitchers in Lauren Haeger and Alyssa Bache, power at the plate with big hitters like Bailey Castro and Briana Little, and speed in the infield with tough players like Jessie Damico, Sami Fagan and Katie Medina. The Gators have the best recruiting class of the year, hands down.”

More on Tim Tebow, UF basketball and Jacoby Brissett…after the break!

3 » Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who retained his position on the staff and gained responsibilities after Josh McDaniels was fired and John Fox was hired as the team’s new head coach, spoke on 87.7 The Ticket in Denver, CO, on Thursday about rookie quarterback Tim Tebow. On being restrictive with Tebow in his first start, McCoy said, “You got to put players in a position to be successful. In Tim Tebow’s case, he hadn’t taken a lot of reps here. To go against the Oakland Raiders – who play great man-to-man coverage over there with tight windows to throw into – you don’t want to expose a rookie quarterback. You try to do what is best for the football team and give Tim some success early on.” He also touched on refining Tebow’s throwing motion and quarterbacking skills in the future. “Tim and I had a talk the day after the season was over. I mentioned to him, if I am back in some capacity, I’ve a very strong opinion about some things I can help him with for him to get better. The great thing about Tim is you’re going to teach him some things and he’s going to go out there as long as possible to correct it and do it the way you want it.”

4 » Florida basketball has not received much press this season – and rightly so considering how inconsistent they have played. SI.com’s columnist Seth Davis was asked about the Gators and provided the following answer about the team as a whole. “I don’t think they’re difficult to understand at all. They’re just not very good. (You do know that consistency is a part of being good, right?) Simply put, Florida is not a good enough defensive team to make up for nights when it isn’t shooting the ball well from the perimeter,” he said. “The Gators are ranked 63rd nationally in defensive efficiency, and they’re eighth in the SEC in steals, 10th in the SEC in field-goal percentage defense and 10th in blocks. You’d also have to say that Kenny Boynton is one of the bigger disappointments in college basketball. The 6-foot-2 sophomore came to Gainesville with enormous hype out of high school, yet he is only making 29.5 percent from three-point range. (He made 29.4 percent as a freshman.) Neither Boynton nor Erving Walker do a good job attacking the rim, but they’re streaky shooters, so when they’re on, Florida can be tough to beat. When they’re not on, there’s not much by way of Plan B.”

5 » Meeting with new Gators offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Charlie Weis thrice in the last week, four-star QB recruit Jacoby Brissett (West Palm Beach, FL) suddenly became the object of Florida’s affection. This after former head coach Urban Meyer apparently insulted him with a greyshirt offer prior to the new coaching staff being in place. According to ESPN 760’s Herb Uzzi, who spoke with Dwyer head coach Jack Daniels, Brissett is giving UF serious consideration at least in part because freshman safety Matt Elam is one of his best friends. However, Brissett still “holds a grudge” against the Gators due to Meyer’s offer, Daniels says, and for that reason most likely won’t officially visit Florida. Instead he plans to head to Washington and South Carolina to end the recruiting process, two of his final five schools (Florida State, Wisconsin).

6 » Participating in the 2011 Australian Open, former Gators tennis player Ryan Sweeting had a chance to do the impossible and stop No. 1-seed Rafael Nadal from winning his fourth consecutive major tennis invent. Unfortunately for the youngster, Sweeting fell to Nadal in straight sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in the second round of the event.

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14 Responses to “SIX BITS: baseball, softball, Tebow, Brissett”

  1. David says:

    I bet Meyer did that because he didn’t want to worry Driskel, and he realized Driskel was the bigger talent.

    • tony smith says:

      Well, apparently, the new staff thinks we still need some QB talent. After the Brantley debacle, I understand this. Driskel is now at UF, but they are still looking for a QB. What does that mean, if anything?

  2. gatorgrad79 says:

    I would be content with the quarterbacks we have IF WE HAD SOME BEEF AND BADA_ _ UP FRONT ON THE LINE! Adam, what is our outlook for the both O-line and D-line next season. This has me very concerned. All the speed and athleticism in the world won’t win ball games if they are lost at the line of scrimmage . We got shoved around pretty good last year on both sides of the ball, yet recruiting the fronts isn’t making much news for Fla?

    • Can’t give you anything solid on either line because this new coaching staff (I expect) is going to switch some things up. But if I had to guess…

      OL: Patchan-Wilson-Robey-Halapio-Nixon (L-R)

      DL: Floyd and Howard inside. No idea about DE at this point…that’s gonna be a big-time decision for the coaches.

  3. g8ter27 says:

    I bet he doesn’t play at Washingtion with Montana’s kid there as a freshman and holding a grudge (although not his but his coach’s choice of words) is silly considering it is a completely new staff. Of ocurse, he may not ever get to play here either unless he proves himself on the filed which it appears many kids these days dont want to have to do.

    • Theoretically he could redshirt as a freshman and start his senior year. Because Driskel won’t be redshirted (I assume).

      • ncgator says:

        Sitting on the bench behind Driskel for three years doesn’t do much for me, and I assume for Brissett either.

        Gators trailing Auburn at the half. 9-turnovers! Their horrid play continues.

  4. ken says:

    “yet he is only making 29.5 percent from three-point range. (He made 29.4 percent as a freshman.) ”

    Well, on the bright side, I guess he is improving!

  5. JW says:

    Horrid play doesn’t do that performance justice. They scored 45 points against one of the worst teams in the country. Beal and Rosario can’t get here soon enough.

  6. JW says:

    Apparently, Ray Shipman tweeted that watching the Gators play was giving him a headache and that if he had stayed another season he would have jumped off the O-Dome. Nothing personal Ray, but a lot of people would have jumped off the O-Dome if you stayed another season!!

  7. Aligator says:

    I am so confused over this kid. surely charlie weis is not recruiting a dual threat qb?

  8. tony smith says:

    Hey — you need to check out this updated article on Brissett. His high school coach downplays the so-called “grudge,” saying it was more about the old coaching staff — not Weis and Muschamp. Also, he has stopped taking calls from FSU and turned down South Carolina. His coach says it’s now between UF, Washington and Wisconsin.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      WisconWHO?! Certainly this kid knows the SEC is his pathway to the NFL. If having his family at a majority of games is important, Washington is at a disadvantage which looks good for UF. I still maintain next year that JB gets a chance and then is replaced by Driskell, Murphy and Burton move to defense and fullback, and all of a sudden, Brissett is NO. 2 QB…