1 » Name a major sporting event, chances are ESPN reporter and former Florida Gators dazzler Erin Andrews has covered it. Talk about one of the most popular reality shows (Dancing with the Stars), her name pops up as a contestant who almost won it. Just over a month after college football has ended and with college basketball in full swing, Andrews will be taking on a new task: reporting live from the red carpet and interviewing some of the winners at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. She has been in Hollywood, CA all week taping segments for Good Morning America but is still a bit edgy for the event. “I’m really, really nervous for Sunday,” she told Newsday. “I was talking to a couple of my buddies who are in the NFL and I was like, ‘I’m really nervous.’ They were, like, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘I know you guys. I can talk to you guys. These people, they don’t know me. I’m really out of my comfort zone.’ It’s kind of cool to feel that way.”
2 » Surviving a serious leukemia scare last year, former Gators Dwayne Schintzius has been cleared as healthy and made a very public appearance at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Thursday to cheer on his Florida basketball team as they faced and defeated the Georgia Bulldogs. Wearing an “I’m Awesome” shirt, one worn by WWE wrestler The Miz, Schintzius stepped into the O’Dome for the first time in 21 years and was introduced by the public address announcer to an ovation. “I did come back for a football game, when they brought us back once, but never for a basketball game since the time I played,’’ he told GatorZone’s Scott Carter on Thursday. “Wasn’t sure if I felt right about it or [if] people would want me back. I do like coming back and I want to come back again.’’ Schintzius’s hesitation to return was due to some off-the-court issues he had as a player (including allegedly hitting a student with a tennis racket and quitting on the team well before the season was over) but all of that is in the past now. “I’m very proud to be a Gator,’’ he said. “I feel like I helped start something. I don’t want to call it ‘The House That Dwayne Built,’ because that’s not true. I helped to build it. Makes me feel good where the program has come.’’
“It was important to me for Dwayne to come back here,” head basketball coach Billy Donovan told the Tampa Tribune. “Every time I’m down in Tampa or St. Petersburg for a Gator function, Dwayne is there. He’s very supportive. He still feels part of it. Yet he never came back. I think he felt he wasn’t welcome here, but that wasn’t true. He is an important part of this program’s history. He needs to feel welcome here, regardless of what happened in the past.”
Read two more BITS on Corey Brewer and Nick Calathes…after the break!
3 » Former Florida forward Corey Brewer has embraced his trade to the New York Knicks, even if it has not yet resulted in him seeing time on the court. While we here at OGGOA think the Knicks will provide Brewer with an opportunity to re-energize his career and get a fresh start, Rob Mahoney of The New York Times disagrees, noting that Brewer is not the answer New York needs for its wing depth. Read the snipet below and then check out some of the charts and data Mahoney came up with right here.
Playing Brewer regularly certainly won’t hurt New York on defense, but he has a very limited defensive impact and shouldn’t be expected to do more than stay in front of his man and grab a few steals. He is far from the Bruce Bowen defensive-stopper ideal; New York may not have a more consistently successful perimeter defender on staff, but there’s one glaring concern: Brewer’s competent defense comes with a significant offensive trade-off.
Brewer may have played regular minutes for Minnesota, but he’s still a very poor offensive player who cannot be relegated to the corner because of his lack of 3-point range. That’s damaging enough on its own, but considering how important the corner 3 is to the Knicks’ offense, Brewer seems to be a particularly poor fit for New York’s rotation.
4 » Everyone has a different opinion about former Gators point guard Nick Calathes. Some think he left the team high-and-dry, while others believe leaving was the best thing for him – even if he did it to go overseas to play in Greece instead of the NBA. The Orlando Sentinel’s Rachel George caught up with Calathes and spoke to both him and current Florida senior F Chandler Parsons about their relationship and how it has stood the test of time even through a seven-hour time difference.
Photo Credit: Patrick Fraser/Vanity Fair