FOUR BITS: baseball, tennis, Young, softball

1 » No. 1 Florida Gators baseball improved to 13-1 this season by defeating the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (6-5) Friday night in the first of a three-game weekend series. FGCU right-hander Ricky Knapp held Florida in check through five innings, giving the Eagles a 2-0 cushion thanks to a two-run homer by catcher Andrew Valencia in the top of the fourth inning. Junior RHP Hudson Randall (7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6 K) got the start for the Gators and held on just long enough ensure he did not suffer a loss as junior C Mike Zunino knotted the game with a two-run bomb of his own in the bottom of the sixth. Zunino doubled up with another two-run homer in the eighth, knocking in all four of Florida’s runs on the evening and earning a win for junior left-handed pitcher Steven Rodriguez (3-0, 0.2 IP, K). Junior closer Austin Maddox grabbed his fourth save of the season, striking out three of four batters in the final frame.

2 » No. 2 Gators women’s tennis (9-1, 3-0 SEC) won the team’s 100th consecutive home match at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on Friday night, defeateing the No. 22 Vanderbilt Commodores (10-5, 2-1 SEC) 6-1. Florida, which holds the longest active home winning streak for a NCAA Division I women’s sports program, has not fallen on their home court since 2004. The No. 13 pairing of junior Allie Will and sophomore Sofie Oyen and the No. 31 duo of junior Lauren Embree and senior Joanna Mather each won their matches to earn the doubles point for the Gators. Florida also won five of six singles matches with No. 1 Wil, No. 18 Mather, No. 23 Embree, No. 39 Oyen and junior Caroline Hitimana pulling out victories while No. 49 sophomore Alex Cercone fell in a match that lasted over two hours. No. 9 Gators men’s tennis (9-4, 2-1 SEC) also beat the Commodores (5-7, 0-3 SEC) 6-1 on the road in Nashville, TN.

3 » Florida sophomore center Patric Young said after Friday’s game against Alabama that he will return for his junior season in orange and blue, according to a conversation he had with Matt Watts, the sports editor of The Independent Florida Alligator. Young, however, told Watts that he was not sure what freshman guard Bradley Beal planned to do about his future. Beal is currently projected by many analysts as a potential top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft even though his shooting numbers have been suspect for the Gators this season.

4 » No. 3 Gators softball (21-2, 2-1 SEC) dropped their second game of the season on Friday, falling 1-0 to the No. 9 Tennessee Lady Vols (15-3, 1-0 SEC) due to a defensive miscue in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore RHP Hannah Rogers (11-1, 6.2 IP, 5 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K) was tagged for her first loss of the season as Tennessee’s Ellen Renfroe outdueled her, only allowing three hits and one walk while striking out 15 Florida batters. The Gators will look for revenge against the Lady Vols and hope to win the series with back-to-back victories on Saturday on Sunday.

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3/9: (4) Florida vs. (5) Alabama post-game notes

The No. 19/22 Florida Gators squeaked out a 66-63 victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday in the second round of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament. Before Florida can advance to take on the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats in the semifinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. on ABC, head coach Billy Donovan and a handful of players met with the media to discuss the hard-earned win.


After being admonished by Donovan for the way they played in Athens, GA four games ago, Florida received praise from their head coach on Friday for executing well for the third-straight game. He was especially pleased with the way the team practiced during the week but did offer one criticism of the Gators’ game.

“This time of year, you got to find ways to advance and move on and we did,” he said. “I thought we had some opportunities both in the first half and the second half to really extend our lead and we weren’t able to do that. We got it up by 12, and I thought our defense hurt us in terms of let ting them get back into the game and tie it.”

Florida had multiple six-point leads and went up a game-high 12 points mid-way through the second half but allowed Alabama to tie it up. Though the Gators shot poorly (38.5 percent from the field) in the contest, Donovan blamed UF’s defense for allowing UA to stop their scoring stretch and tie things up.

“The problem was on the defensive end of the floor. We would get a stop and we wouldn’t come down with the ball, wouldn’t come down with the rebound,” he said. “They came down with it, and it gave them an extra possession in the game. And they didn’t have a lot of offensive rebounds, but I think they had some timely possessions, where they got the ball back. That kind of shut down our run.”

Donovan noted that Florida hitting 10 threes – even though the Gators were not exceptionally proficient from beyond the arc – was easily the difference in the game, calling treys “the greatest equalizer in college basketball.” He continued, “You can sometimes overcome a tough defensive night if you make enough threes and the other team doesn’t, and I think that’s what happened today.”

Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant, formerly an assistant under Donovan, took the exact same stance on the outcome of the contest.

“You look at it, probably the difference in the game was the 3-point line,” he said. “Florida was able to make 10 threes. We knew coming into the game that that would be key. But they had some guys that stepped up, made some contested ones, very difficult from a defensive standpoint to be able to contain them. […] Florida did a good job attacking the paint and just finding open guys and making the extra pass, and that’s what their team do. Erv[ing Walker], he got going and started looking for his teammates and opened things up. They just played to their identity.”


Though he injured his ankle against Kentucky on Sunday, freshman guard Bradley Beal was 100 percent healthy for Friday’s game. Donovan said that he sat out practice on Monday and Tuesday but returned to practice in full on Wednesday and Thursday and was perfectly fine for the contest.

“It didn’t hurt at all,” Beal said after the game. I was 100 percent [Friday]. It really didn’t bother me. I should be good to go [against Kentucky]. I’m fine.”

Beal notched team-highs in points (16), rebounds (seven) and assists (five) but struggled mightily with his scoring in the second half. He hit 3-of-4 threes in the first half but finished the game 3-for-11 from the field, scoring nearly half of his points from the free throw line, where he went 7-of-8.

That is probably part of the reason why he credits Florida’s defense for the win.

“We had to bear down and play defense, because like coach always tells us, he says every night we’re not going to make a lot of shots like we usually do. So this has kind of been a trend for us these last couple games of not making shots, so we really had to bear down on defense and guard guys,” he said.

Junior forward Erik Murphy, who was an efficient 5-of-11 from the field for 15 points, said he is proud of how much confidence the Gators played with on Friday.

“We got the win today. I think we always play with confidence, and I don’t think that’s a problem for us,” he said. “If we continue to defend and make shots, I think we can beat anybody. We just got to play and stay together.”

Beal concurred. “I believe our confidence is a big thing for our team,” he added. “We don’t ever lose confidence in ourselves. We always encourage each other to keep shooting the ball. And even though the shots don’t fall, there’s other things in the game that we can do to impact and try to get the win.”

Donovan pointed out one of those very things and noted that Murphy in particular has improved greatly in that area.

“The one thing our guys are starting to figure out is when teams switch and do a lot of different stuff, we got to find a way to take advantage of them,” he said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that today here with [Murphy].”

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Florida escapes Alabama in SEC Tournament

Despite never trailing in the game, the No. 19/22 Florida Gators (23-9, 11-6 SEC) coughed up a number of leads to the Alabama Crimson Tide (21-11, 9-8 SEC) on Friday afternoon but found a way to pull out a 66-63 victory and advance to the semifinals of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Gators, held to 38.5 percent shooting from the field, were outrebounded 30-25 by the Crimson Tide but managed to force 10 turnovers while only coughing up the ball five times. UF’s 10 makes from three-point range were the difference in the contest even though UA connected on four more baskets over the duration of the game.

Florida outscored Alabama 7-1 to start, but the Gators followed up their hot start by going scoreless for 5:22 and allowing the Crimson Tide to tie things up by scoring six-straight points in that stretch.

UF again jumped ahead of UA by six thanks to an 8-2 run including two threes by freshman guard Bradley Beal, but Florida suffered another scoring drought (this time for 3:08) and let Alabama tie things up again at 15 all with 6:36 left in the opening half.

The Gators went back up six as Beal scored five-straight points including his third trey of the half with 2:57 remaining, but a buzzer-beating three by Crimson Tide G Levi Randolph cut their lead to just two points at the break.

Beal and junior forward Erik Murphy combined to score 19 of Florida’s 26 first-half points while the team as a whole shot just 32 percent (8-of-25) from the field and 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from downtown.

Alabama opened up the second half with a fast break dunk to tie the game at 26. Florida answered quickly, retaking their lead and extending it to a game-high 12 points with an impressive 17-5 scoring stretch.

The Crimson Tide refused to go down without a fight though, responding by taking off on a 16-4 run to tie the game at 49 as the Gators went scoreless for 3:47.

Florida and Alabama battled back-and-forth for the duration of the contest. The Gators jumped ahead seven points after junior G Kenny Boynton nailed a three with less than two minutes to play, but the Crimson Tide scored five-straight and used a trey by G Trevor Lacey to cut UF’s lead to two with 1:07 to go.

A turnover by Walker, who drove the lane and appeared to slip on a wet spot and travel, gave UA the ball back with 41.4 seconds left. Alabama F JaMychal Green missed the ensuing shot but got fouled and hit the first of two free throws before missing the second and giving the ball back to Florida. Boynton was fouled on the other end; he made both free throws to put the Gators ahead three points, a margin UF would retain over the final 9.8 seconds as Lacey missed what would have been a game-tying three at the buzzer.

Beal led the way for Florida with team-highs in points (16), rebounds (seven) and assists (five). He went 3-for-4 from downtown to start the game but did not hit a single bucket in the second half even though he was an efficient 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Murphy was the team’s most efficient player, scoring 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting despite hitting just one trey. He also had three boards and a game-high three blocks.

Boynton added 14 points, four rebounds, two dimes and two steals. Sophomore center Patric Young, coming back down to earth after a breakout game against Kentucky, scored six points and grabbed five boards but fouled out in the waning minutes.

Green was the player of the game even in a losing effort for Alabama, posting a double-double with game-highs in points (22) and rebounds (10). The Crimson Tide as a team hit 53.3 percent of their shots from the floor.

The Gators’ victory celebration will be short-lived as Florida must turn around and try to avoid a three-game season sweep at the hands of No. 1 Kentucky, which they will take on in semifinal action on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will air live nationally on ABC.

Photo Credit: Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

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2012 SEC Tournament: (4) Florida vs. (5) Alabama

Location: New Orleans Arena [Capacity: 18,000]
Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)

SiriusXM: 220
Online Video:
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Anthony Grant
Record: 22-9 (10-6) Record: 21-10 (9-7)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -4; O/U 128


» Florida is 35-43 all-time in 46 SEC Tournament appearances but boasts a 20-12 record since Donovan took over the program. The Gators have won three SEC Tournaments (2005-07) and finished as the runner-up five times.
» UF is 59-73 all-time against Alabama and 4-7 against UA in SEC Tournament games. However, Florida holds a 16-5 all-time mark against their opponent while under Donovan’s stewardship and is 3-2 against them in SEC Tournament action
» Donovan is the longest-tenured head coach in the SEC (16 years) and has five former assistants currently serving as head coaches across the country, including Grant.
» All five of the Gators’ normal starters are averaging 10.0 points per game or more.
» Florida has made 10+ three-pointers in 19 of 31 games, a season-high mark under Donovan. UF has also made more treys this season (307) than any other in team history.
» Three Gators shoot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc.
» Florida has made a three in 682 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 1992.
» Alabama’s defense is holding opponents to 27.8 percent shooting from downtown.
» UF led the SEC this season in assists (14.9), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and free throw percentage (.764) in conference play.
» The Gators are 17-1 (loss to Kentucky) this year when posting a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and are just 5-8 when the margin is even or negative.
» Florida is 287-37 since 1988-89 when holding opponents under 70 points and 237-38 since 1998-99 when recording 15 or more assists in a game.
» The Gators have won 20+ games for the 14th consecutive season. That mark is currently the longest active streak in the SEC and fifth-longest nationally.

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Allen’s Alley: Break out of the funk, make a run

A four-year member of the Florida Gators basketball program under head coach Billy Donovan, former forward Adam Allen – a four-star recruit coming out of Milton High School – was forced to retire due to multiple knee surgeries. No longer with the team, he has joined OGGOA as a basketball columnist and will provide his unique perspective on the team throughout the 2011-12 season.

Ending the regular season with three losses and lacking inspired play down the stretch is not what any Florida fan wanted to see from their preseason top 10-ranked team heading into the 2012 SEC Tournament. However, there is still hope for this battle-tested team going into the postseason.

In order for this team to be able to make a run in either of the upcoming tournaments, the players will have to learn from their mistakes and play with more passion than they have been since losing sophomore forward Will Yeguete to injury. At this point in the year, there is no room for mistakes and no excuse not to leave everything on the table each and every time they step on the court.

The way this team finished the season is comparable to the 2007-08 team that I was a part of. In fact, I read here on OGGOA that head coach Billy Donovan even compared the two teams before this squad’s slide to end the season.

We had a great chance of making the NCAA Tournament that year but instead played not to lose (as opposed to being aggressors) and ended our season on a 2-5 skid. We didn’t realize how much passion we needed to play with on a game-by-game basis until the coaching staff kicked us out of our gym and put us through a few incredibly intense practices a day at P.K Yonge High School and Florida Gym. We weren’t even allowed to wear our practice gear because Coach Donovan said that we didn’t deserve to have “Florida” on our chests while we were playing such uninspired ball.

He was right.

After those intense practices, we made a run in the NIT and got all the way to the Final Four, beating San Diego State, Creighton and then Arizona State before losing to UMass in Madison Square Garden. We came together as a group after Alabama knocked us out of the SEC Tournament, and it is somewhat ironic that Florida will face that same opponent this year in second-round action.

Though the Gators will not have to beat the Crimson Tide to earn a NCAA berth, Florida will have to overcome at least that obstacle in order to maintain/improve their seed.

This year’s Florida team is definitely more talented and has experienced tougher tests and more success than the players on the 2007-08 team did that year. I would expect that they are experiencing some of the same “tough love” that our team did from Coach Donovan during my freshman year even though they have not fallen off the way we did.

Once the ball is tipped up Friday in New Orleans, LA, the Gators have an opportunity to prove they have learned from their mistakes and have refocused their attention on what it takes to be successful during the madness that is the month of March.

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TWO BITS: SEC Tourney, Kiper’s thoughts, NCAA

1 » The four-seed Florida Gators (22-9, 10-6 SEC) learned Thursday that they will take on the five-seed Alabama Crimson Tide (21-10, 10-7 SEC) in the second round of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The game, which will air live nationally on SEC Network, is the second meeting between the two teams this season. Alabama beat South Carolina 63-57 on Thursday, giving head coach Anthony Grant his second opportunity to defeat his former boss – Florida head coach Billy Donovan – this season. Donovan is 3-0 against Grant since the latter coach took over the Crimson Tide program. More information on this game will be available in Friday’s Gameday Preview here on OGGOA.

2 » Speaking with ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. on Thursday, OGGOA was told by the NFL Draft analyst that he believes Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey raised his stock at the 2012 NFL Combine. Previously projected to be selected in the third or fourth round, Rainey may go a full round higher now, according to Kiper. “Rainey is an all-purpose guy. He’s got the big-play potential; you can utilize him in a lot of different ways,” he said. “I think he could be in that second- or third-round discussion because of the weapon he could be.” Kiper also discussed with OGGOA the future of former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was dismissed from the team over the summer and spent the 2012 season with North Alabama.

Jenkins was previously considered a somewhat unanimous mid-first-round pick, but Kiper has now dropped him to the bottom of the round and thinks he could slide into the second round if some other players make up even further ground on him. “In terms of Jenkins, you knew the off-the-field concerns were going to be there. He was going to have to answer a lot of question at the Combine,” he said. “When you put it all together, playing the one year at North Alabama, he did play at Florida and played very effectively with the Gators. There are other corners that may have jumped a little bit ahead. I still have him in the first round – barely – to New England [at No. 31 overall]. [Bill] Belichick likes Florida players; he lived in Florida the majority of his career. They need a cornerback with his skill level. Right now Stephon Gilmore [South Carolina] may have passed him by a little bit and he’s getting some competition now from Dwight Bentley from Louisiana-Lafayette, Trumaine Johnson from Montana. There are some other cornerbacks even putting pressure to be the late first-round pick. There’s some that think he’s a two. I’d put him in the late first to New England. He’s not up where he was at one point in the mid-first round area, which is where I had him a month or so ago.”

Extra BIT » Bracketologists are currently projecting that Florida will play their round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Nashville, TN. You can already order tickets for the three sessions at the Bridgestone Arena from PrimeSport, the NCAA’s official ticket exchange for the event. Don’t miss your chance to see all the excitement in person as PrimeSport is able to bring you face-to-face with all of the action on the court in Nashville. Tickets are available for around $63 per session and are available by clicking here.

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Donovan optimistic heading into SEC Tourney

With his team taking a three-game losing skid into the 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament this week, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan admitted Monday that he has seen some recent improvement when it comes to effort, intensity and passion but thinks his squad had plenty of room to grow going forward.

“There’s definitely more confidence,” Donovan said of the way Florida has performed since putting forth a lackluster effort on at Georgia, the first of UF’s three losses. “They’re more comfortable in terms of things that we’re trying to do. I still think we can get better at it. I think they’re getting a better understanding of what we’re trying to do.”

Though the Gators have struggled offensively, Donovan is most concerned with the team’s defensive efforts. If Florida can succeed on that end of the court, offense will not be an issue whether or not shots are going down.

“We have more of an awareness with Will [Yeguete] being out of what needs to be done, but I still think there are a lot of breakdowns in possessions that we just don’t have that margin for error,” he said. “If one guy forgets to block out, if a guy doesn’t rotate correctly and the floor is offset, we have difficulties at times rebounding the ball. […]

“I still think our team can get better, more or less. I don’t know if there’s been one theme. There have been some games where our energy level is not where I’ve wanted it to be. And then there have been some games where – two against Kentucky, Vanderbilt I thought we competed really hard and played well in the game – but I thought in crucial situations there was a couple of defensive rebounds that we needed to come down with that we just did not come down with. That’s that margin of error I’m talking about on the defensive end of the floor. We can’t have that. There’s got to be more discipline in that area of being able to do that.”

One reason UF is having difficulties in this area, Donovan believes, is the lack of frontcourt depth and the inability to properly prepare in practice.

“The hard part is, sometimes when you’re in practice, we can’t simulate Festus Ezeli. We can’t simulate [Anthony] Davis, [Terrence] Jones and [Michael] Gilchrist,” he said. “We’re kind of going against ourselves and sometimes in practice we’re not necessarily getting a realistic look. At the same point, we can still be disciplined enough we’re blocking out and doing our job in that fashion.”

Donovan said the Gators had “some time to try and get better as a team” this week but admitted that “it’s always difficult [to prepare for an opponent] when you do have a bye and you’re not going to really know who you’re playing until a day before you’re actually playing the game.”

Nevertheless, he thinks the team has set itself up for success in at least one area – big-game experience. Donovan was “anxious to see” how Florida progressed in practice this week. Fans are equally as anxious to find out the type of effort and intensity the Gators will put forth on Friday at 3:30 p.m. against either Alabama or South Carolina.


» Donovan on junior guard Kenny Boynton being late to a meeting and pulled from the starting lineup: “I have no issues on a daily basis with Kenny at all. He is a great kid. He comes to practice every day. He does work hard. He’s very coachable. Those guys know we’re supposed to be on time. A lot of times you have players that are younger that are looking at what’s tolerated and what’s not tolerated. [If] nothing’s done, ‘I guess it’s no big deal if I come 15 minutes late or 20 minutes late.’ It sets a bad precedent there. I don’t think it was anything done maliciously but there’s also that maturity thing I’m talking about. There’s different things where there has to be an awareness inside of our team. Somebody getting to where we need to be 10 minutes earlier, if they’re not there, a player runs and grabs them and makes sure he’s where he needs to be. […] I have to honestly say, this is the first time it’s happened all year long with Kenny. He’s never been late for anything. It was the first time. We’ll move on. He dealt with what he needed to deal with. He works hard here this week, he’ll be right back in the starting lineup.”

» Boynton said the meeting occurred in the middle of the week and was set for 9:15 a.m. he was about 10 minutes late. “I take full responsibility. I just kind of lost track of time. I was up and just lost track of time.” As far as if his relationship with Donovan was strained at all, Boynton added, “We’re good.”

» Boynton on if the team’s pride was hurt by the losses: “We’re playing for pride and respect. We let a few get away from us. As a team you should come out every game ready to play no matter who you’re playing. […] I don’t think we lost our pride. We probably lost a little respect from the fans and stuff, but I think we’re going to get it together. We’ve been on a three-game losing streak in my freshman year before, but I think we’re going to pick it up and get it together.”

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FOUR BITS: Bilas, Lunardi, Young, lacrosse

1 » Speaking with ESPN’s Jay Bilas early in the week, OGGOA was told by the college basketball analyst that he believes the Florida Gators‘ problems begin and end with the players and not head coach Billy Donovan. “I think this is a player issue, I don’t think this is a coaching issue,” he said. “When you’re watching a team and you say, ‘Geez, it doesn’t look like they’re going after it as hard as they’re capable of doing.’ That’s not the coach, that’s the players.” Bilas maintains that Florida losing Will Yeguete is a bigger deal than maybe even fans understood at the time because of “his ability to come in and do dirty work” along with his size, length and the fact that the team does not have to run plays for him while he’s on the court. He is most concerned with the group’s passion, something Donovan has spoken at length about recently.

“I don’t think over the last two-three weeks or so, when I’ve watched them play, they’ve played hard but they haven’t ‘wowed’ you with how hard they played. And they haven’t ‘wowed’ you with how together they’ve been,” he said. “There was a time early in the year where I thought they were really a together group, and they don’t look as connected right now. That probably helps explain it. Maybe Will Yeguete not being there is a part of that. They’ve looked more individual than team lately. They’ve got some really good individual players, but it doesn’t really matter often times how good your individuals are. It’s how good they are collectively. I think Florida is really capable. I’ve watched them a lot this year. I like their team, but they haven’t played nearly as well as they’re capable of playing over the last two-three weeks.”

2 » OGGOA also got a chance to catch up with ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, who currently has the Gators slotted as a five-seed and No. 17 overall. Lunardi admits that he is “relatively bullish” on Florida compared to some of his colleagues and said that UF’s loss on the road to Georgia did not hurt the team as much as some may think. “I would say [it dropped them] half a seed line,” he said. “It was a road game against a not-terrible team. It’s not like they lost to Georgia Southern on the road. I have them with two losses against teams not under consideration [for the tournament] and that would be at Georgia and at Rutgers, who [are] good but not great BCS teams on the road. Not killer losses in my eyes at all.” Furthermore, Lunardi noted that the Gators could push themselves to a low three or high four seed if they win the 2012 SEC Tournament (which would most likely include defeating No. 1 Kentucky) but must try to avoid losing in the second-round action against either Alabama or South Carolina. “We’ll just have to see where they go out if they don’t’ win the tournament and against who,” he said. “If the team that knocks them out is Kentucky, that’s not going to hurt them.”

3 » After sophomore center Patric Young went through what sounds like his worst practice in a Florida uniform on Wednesday, one in which Donovan came down exceptionally hard on him, he desperately in need of a pick-me-up. Young responded with two quality practices on Friday and Saturday and was then called into the Gators’ coaches offices where there was a phone call waiting to him. According to Florida, former Indianapolis Colts head coach, motivational speaker and mentor to athletes Tony Dungy was on the line to inspire and enlighten Young. “It was unbelievable to think that someone like that would take the time to talk to me,” he told the school’s website. Dungy told Young that he was also stubborn as a youngster but that succeeding in sports requires giving it 100 percent all the time and that he must “suck it up [and] take coaching better and come at it with a different mentality.” Young explains, “My whole life, I guess I didn’t take coaching very well and now, finally, it’s started to affect me. My coach my senior of high school, we butted heads every now and then, too. I wasn’t used to a guy getting on me like that. And Coach D is 10 times worse. He cusses at you and hurts your feelings.”

4 » No. 5 Gators lacrosse (5-2) picked up their first victory against a ranked opponent this season, defeating the No. 15 Georgetown Hoyas (2-1) 12-9 on the road in Washington, D.C. Florida jumped ahead to an early 3-0 lead but fell behind 4-3 before scoring three more goals to take a 6-3 lead with 7:02 left in the first period. The Gators led 7-5 at the break and basically traded goals with the Hoyas the rest of the way though neither team scored over the final 8:15 of the contest. Junior attacker Gabi Wiegand scored five goals on five shots and was supported by two goals each from classmates Kitty Cullen, Ashley Bruns and Caroline Chesterman. Florida will have a quick turnaround as the team returns home to host Temple on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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