6 BITS: Bonner, Miller, Johnson, Simpson, Beisel

By Adam Silverstein
June 11, 2013

1 » In South Florida for about a week while his team participated in the first two games of the 2013 NBA Finals, San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner told ProBasketballTalk that he was getting a lot of support from Florida Gators fans in the area. “I’ve been getting ‘Go Gators’ everywhere,” Bonner said. “Even people with Miami Heat jerseys, walking down the street will yell at everyone else then see me, wait for no one to look and [whisper] ‘Go Gators.’ It’s the whole spectrum, older Gators, younger Gators. You know, it’s six degrees of separation, except here it’s like two or three degrees of Gator separation.” Bonner, who OGGOA noted last week is a big fan of sandwiches, also said that he enjoyed a few Cuban sandwiches while in town.

2 » Miami guard Mike Miller looks every bit of 33 years old most of the time, but his ability to drain threes in the playoffs has made him a hot name for the second-straight postseason. On Sunday during Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Miller went 3-for-3 from downtown, scoring nine points on the evening as his team pulled off a victory. Though he still looks old, Miller feels young for the first time in a while; during the 2012 playoffs, he could not run without limping. “I’ve got a lot of basketball left. It’s the best I’ve felt in five years,” Miller told ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez. “Sometimes, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even when you’re frustrated. I feel great. Knock on wood it stays that way.”

Check out four more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!

3 » Former Florida Gators offensive guard Carl Johnson has yet to play an NFL snap, but he did receive a tryout this offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers though the team did not sign him to a contract. Johnson got the opportunity because he was able to train and get in tip-top shape again, showcasing his athleticism and ability both at Florida’s Pro Day and regional combines. Johnson credits the Gators coaching staff and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman with allowing him the opportunity to work out on campus with the team. “They said, ‘Yeah, you can trail here. This is your facility. You helped build this place, so you can always come here to train,” Johnson told InsidetheGators.com’s Bryan Holt. Read more about Johnson’s journey.

4 » Freshman right-hander Tucker Simpson has decided to transfer off the Florida baseball team, a school spokesman confirmed to The Alligator on Monday. Simpson, who appeared in 13 games (eight starts), finished the year with a 1-2 record and 4.79 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 35.2 innings of work. He will transfer to a junior college.

5 » Gators junior swimmer Elizabeth Beisel was named 2013 Capital One Women’s At-Large Academic All-America of the Year last Thursday, becoming just the 11th student-athlete in school history to pick up the honor. Beisel, who has another year to swim for Florida before turning in her orange and blue swim cap, won two medals in the 2012 London Olympics (silver, bronze) and also picked up the 2013 NCAA Championship in the 400-meter individual medley. She was also named 2013 SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year this season.

6 » It has been known for about a month that Gators basketball will face the UConn Huskies on Dec. 2, 2013, but ESPN’s Andy Katz reported Tuesday that the two teams have agreed to a home-and-home series with a return game set to be played in Gainesville, FL during the 2014-15 season. Florida has done a great job upgrading its non-conference scheduling in recent seasons and is also set to take on both Kansas, Memphis and Wisconsin as part of its 2013-14 campaign.

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