FOUR BITS: USA, Zunino, Whitson, Phillips

1 » USA Basketball’s under-18 team made a record-setting debut at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on Friday, taking down Uruguay 156-58 on Friday evening. The Americans led 44-15 after one quarter and 84-26 at halftime before pulling off the 98-point victory in Colorado Springs, Colorado. According to USA Basketball, head coach Billy Donovan’s team set four team national records in the event including most points scored (156), largest margin of victory (98 points), most field goals made (59) and most assists (40). “I think the one thing we’ve been talking about is trying to play unselfishly, and they did that tonight. Forty assists. They were really unselfish; they played well together,” Donovan said after the game. “I was really pleased coming out of the half, and I feel we got off to a great start at the second half and then it kind of carried on. I thought overall, their willingness to pass and share the basketball was special.” Next up for the United States is Mexico; the teams will square off on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in preliminary round action. USA will then take on Argentina on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. to conclude the preliminary round.


2 » Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino has not had the best season at the plate, batting .220 and slugging .400 with an on-base percentage of just .279 in 59 games. But Zunino has continued to display the power he was famous for showing in college with the Florida Gators, rocketing eight balls out of the park so far in 2014. Two of Zunino’s homers – including a 430-foot shot on Friday night – are the longest hit by anyone on the Mariners roster this season.

3 » According to WEEI.com’s Alex Speier, right-handed pitcher Karsten Whitson became the fourth Gators baseball player to sign a professional contract this offseason, inking a $100,000 deal with the Boston Red Sox, which selected him in the 11th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Other Florida players that have signed since being drafted include catcher Taylor Gushue (fourth round, Pittsburgh Pirates, $400,000), RHP Justin Shafer (eighth round, Toronto Blue Jays) and second baseman Casey Turgeon (24th round, St. Louis Cardinals). Gushue is already tearing up Single-A, hitting .300 with four homers, two triples and 11 RBIs in seven games for Jamestown.

4 » It was allegedly a “representative” of the Miami Hurricanes that snapped a picture of former Gators wide receivers coach Joker Phillips allegedly chatting with a prospect at a restaurant during a dead period in recruiting. The photo, which is reportedly in the hands of the NCAA at this time and led to Phillips’s forced resignation from his position at Florida, also appears to be coming back to bite Miami. According to long-time Hurricanes supporter Luther Campbell – an ex-Miami booster, the former frontman of 2 Live Crew and now the defensive coordinator at Norland High School – the picture was taken not at a restaurant but at a football practice. In his regular column with the Miami New Times, Campbell further notes that the Gators are “accusing two Miami assistants of taking the incriminating pictures” while revealing that “head coaches at several high schools around the state have decided to ban Miami coaches from coming on their campuses.”

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4 Responses to “FOUR BITS: USA, Zunino, Whitson, Phillips”

  1. Dave Massey says:

    What, Miami coaches doing dirty things, naw, not them. If it had been taken by the players it would have been in a strip club.

  2. Gatoralum88 says:

    Hey Adam. I’ve seen numerous “2 bits”, “4 bits”, & “6 bits” posts over the years here. Ever thought of offering a post worthy of “a dollar” to give us something to “get up & holler” about? :)

  3. Malikg says:

    I love the irony that Luther Campbell is the voice of reason in this case. His blog post is actually balanced and makes a lot of sense.

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