1 » The 2014 NBA Draft is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. with three former Florida Gators hoping to be selected among the event’s 60 picks. The first and possibly only player who will be drafted during Thursday night’s proceedings is center Patric Young, who has a late-first, early-second round evaluation. Young has mostly been projected as an early second-round pick but made it up to No. 30 (last pick of the first round) in a mock draft by ESPN‘s Chad Ford earlier this week. However, on Thursday, Ford moved Young all the way down to No. 42, predicting that he gets snagged by the Houston Rockets. Neither point guard Scottie Wilbekin nor forward Casey Prather will likely be selected, though a team could take a flier on Wilbekin late in the process.
“I think Wilbekin is one of those guys that can make a team. I don’t think he’s a guy that will necessarily be drafted,” said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas in a conference call this week. “I think Wilbekin is probably a better pro prospect than Aaron Craft, but just because you’re a good college player, it’s a tough transition at that position to get to the NBA. He’s not as quick or explosive or quite as good of a shooter as some of the other guys who are out there – or as big.”
2 » Florida on Thursday announced that the school will hold a new student pep rally, Rally in the Swamp, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. According to the school, the purpose of the event is to “welcome students back to campus and get them ready for the season opener,” which is set to be played six days later on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. against Idaho. Attendees will include Gators football players, head coach Will Muschamp, cheerleaders, dazzlers and the mascots. Students will be able to “learn some of the great traditions” of the program while picking up their tickets and student t-shirts; the first 3,000 to arrive will also be able to eat free pizza.
3 » Confirming a story first reported in late May by The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Miami Hurricanes told Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the Sun-Sentinel that an agreement has been reached with the Gators to play a home-and-home basketball series in 2014 and 2015. Florida will host Miami “sometime in November” this year with the Gators hitting the road to face the Hurricanes “in either November or December 2015.” The timing works out great for UF, which will be forced away from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center during the fall of the 2015-16 season due to major renovations. Florida is 45-22 all-time against Miami on the hardwood with the schools last playing a home-and-home series in 2004-05. UF and UM have squared off just four times in the last 23 seasons, all since 2002.
4 » Speaking of the O’Dome renovations, Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley spoke with The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu on Wednesday about the effort. “You walk in there, it’s going to be a brand new building,” he said. “The outside will remain in place, but we’re going to seriously gut the place. … It’s a building that can be renovated and will last us for another 30-40 years.”