1 » Former Florida Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin, a rookie in Australia’s National Basketball League, continues to lead the Cairns Taipans towards the organization’s first title. With the best record in team history, the Taipans (21-7) defeated the Perth Wildcats 71-64 on Friday in the NBL Semifinals. Wilbekin, Cairns’ Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year, registered game-highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds while going 7-for-11 from the field, 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and 6-for-6 at the charity stripe. He also posted four assists and two turnovers in 36:38. Taipans coach Aaron Fearne believes Wilbekin should be under strong consideration for league MVP honors, especially if he leads Cairns all the way to a title. “He’s extremely valuable to us and has been a big focus for opposition teams. For a 21-year-old to come out and have the impact he’s had, he should be a frontrunner (for MVP honors) in my opinion,” Fearne told The Cairns Post on Thursday.
A source close to Wilbekin told OnlyGators.com that the former Gators star will enter the NBA D-League immediately upon returning to the United States. He will join the league’s free agent pool therefore be available to get signed by any team.
2 » Injuries and an unpleasant temperament have helped send former Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin to three different stops during his six-year NFL career, two via trade. Last season, Harvin was jettisoned away from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft choice; the New York Jets were pleased with his overall ability but did not get much out of him in the eight games he played for the franchise. The lack of production, coupled with a contract that has four years and approximately $40 million remaining on it, may lead to the Jets cutting Harvin this offseason, and there is one team in particular that has specific interest in his services. According to CBSSports.com‘s Jason La Canfora, the New England Patriots would lead the pack for teams interested in Harvin if he leaves New York, as he is not expected to agree to “any reduced deal” with the Jets. New England, which traded out of the No. 23 spot in the 2009 NFL Draft after Harvin was selected one spot earlier, has long been enamored with his athletic ability, and obviously head coach Bill Belichick has his own fondness for Gators. Getting Harvin on a mutually-beneficial yet under-market-value deal would be typical of Belichick and the Patriots, which means it simply makes too much sense not to ultimately happen.
Extra BIT » Actor, comedian and do-everything James Franco was a guest of the ACCENT Speakers Bureau at the University of Florida this week. Here are some shots of Franco before, during and after his speaking engagement, courtesy of his own Instagram account and UF.
— Florida Gators (@GatorZoneNews) February 27, 2015