FOUR BITS: Hinds, Senior Bowl, Horford, Lee

By Adam Silverstein
January 22, 2015

1 » According to CoachingSearch.com, the Florida Gators will add Justin Hinds to their coaching staff as a defensive graduate assistant. Hinds, who worked under defensive coordinator Geoff Collins at Mississippi State, had high praise for his boss during an October interview with ESPN.com.

Justin Hinds says there’s a genius to Collins’ eccentricity. Behind those wild blue eyes — the kind that stare at you with so much intensity they seem to shake — is a coach who knows how to fire up his players, and more important, gets them to understand what can be a complex system by boiling down the most intricate details into easily digestible parts.

“It’s like ‘A Beautiful Mind,'” Hinds says, gesturing toward a wall-to-wall white board filled with coverages and blitzes diagrammed on every available inch of space. “He’s a unique thinker.”


2 » Gators offensive linemen Max Garcia (center) and Trenton Brown (guard) are currently in Mobile, Alabama, practicing ahead of the 2015 Senior Bowl. Garcia checked in at 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, while Brown stood large at 6-foot-8 and 376 pounds. The former also received some praise for his play in the early going of practice. “Garcia … has raised a lot of eyebrows with his play in Mobile,” wrote analyst Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net. “He’s about the only lineman in attendance able to slow down defensive tackles Danny Shelton and Carl Davis … play[ing] with great fundamentals throughout the opening practices and now rat[ing] as one of the draft’s better centers.” Brown has been wearing a plain white helmet at the Senior Bowl because his Florida helmet did not arrive in time for practices; he also wore a plain jersey on Tuesday after his was ripped off by a defensive lineman. Nevertheless, he has been noticed.

3 » Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford has been dominant since returning from a torn pectoral that kept him out for most of the 2013-14 season. The latest Eastern Conference Player of the Week (his fourth weekly award), Horford is averaging 15.1 points, 6.6 boards, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per game this season while playing superb defense for Atlanta, which currently stands at 35-8 with a six-game advantage on second-place Washington in the East. He also turned in his first career triple double on Jan. 13 when he posted 21 points (on 8-of-10 shooting), 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 105-87 win over Philadelphia. Oh, and he’s dunking all over people, too.


Horford is a sure-fire bet to earn his third NBA All-Star nod with nine games of 20+ points this season and four double-doubles in addition to his triple-double. He has been a lightning rod for arguably the best team in the NBA to this point in this season during his seventh year in the league.

4 » Speaking of impressive basketball performances, former Florida C David Lee scored his 10,000th career point on Wednesday, joining Vernon Maxwell and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mike Miller as Gators players to eclipse that scoring level. Now in his fifth season with the Golden State Warriors, Lee has become a tremendously effecitve scorer, posting more than 1,147 points per season in each of the last six campaigns. He scored a career-high 1,640 points in his last season with the New York Knicks in 2009-10 and has continued his success in Golden State. Lee has averaged 15.1 points on 53.3 percent shooting for his career; he also hits 77.9 percent of his free throws, adding 9.7 boards and 2.4 assists per game.


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