Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Gameday Preview

Location: Memorial Gym – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 14,316]
Time: 9:00 p.m. (ET)

Pre-game chat: OGGOA
SiriusXM: 91
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Kevin Stallings
Record: 22-7 (10-4) Record: 20-9 (9-5)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +3.5; O/U 139.5


» Vanderbilt leads the all-time series against Florida 63-60, but the Gators are 22-11 against the Commodores under Donovan and have won four-straight games including three in 2011. VU is also 8-7 against UF at home since Donovan.
» All five of Florida’s normal starters are averaging at least 9.9 points per game.
» The Gators have made 10+ three-pointers in 19 of 29 games this year, a season-high mark under Donovan.
» Florida has made a three in 680 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 1992.
» Vanderbilt is the league’s most accurate team from beyond the arc, hitting 39.8 percent of their long-range attempts.
» The Commodores are hosting Senior Night on Tuesday and come into the game having won four of their last five contests with their sole loss coming to Kentucky.
» The Gators are 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.
» Florida has won 20+ games for the 14th consecutive season after defeating Alabama. That mark is currently the longest active streak in the SEC and fifth-longest nationally.
» The Gators are undefeated (17-0) this year when posting a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and just 5-7 when that margin is even or negative.
» Struggling from the line in nonconference action, Florida is shooting a league-best 76.0 percent from the charity stripe.
» The Gators, which have already secured a top-four seed and a first-round bye in the 2012 SEC Tournament, can clinch the No. 2 seed with a victory on Tuesday.


Defeating Vanderbilt all three times the teams squared off in 2011, Florida extended their winning streak to four games with a 73-65 victory at home on Feb. 4. The Gators never gave up the lead the final 11 minutes of the game, forcing 17 Commodores turnovers thanks in part to a defensive press that kept them off-balance all afternoon. Florida also shot 45.8 percent from beyond the arc, and the Gators’ four primary guards each scored in double digits with Kenny Boynton (18 points) leading the way.


» Senior point guard Erving Walker (#11)…who is the longest tenured player on the team having appeared in 136 consecutive games with 75-straight starts. A shoot-first player much of his career, Walker has been tasked with distributing the ball and managing the game this year. He is the SEC’s active leader in minutes (4,099) and ranks second in points (1,692), treys (275), assists (516), steals (150) and free throws made (417). Walker is No. 4 on the school’s all-time scoring list, No. 1 in assists, No. 7 in free throws, No. 2 in threes made, No. 1 in treys attempted (718) and No. 2 in minutes. He is also hitting a team-best 81.7 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe while averaging 12.5 points and an SEC-best 4.8 assists per game.
» Junior guard Kenny Boynton (#1)…who is a dynamic scorer and just the second starter returning from a year ago. Boynton is working on his consistency this season and is already shooting better than he has throughout his career (46.7 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from downtown). He is the best defender on the Gators and is often put on the opponent’s best backcourt playmaker. Boynton currently ranks sixth in the SEC among active players in points (1,504) and third in three-pointers (250). He had hit a trey in 34-straight games and is the SEC’s second-leading scorer averaging 17.6 points per game. Boynton is No. 6 on UF’s list for threes made.
» Freshman G Bradley Beal (#23)…who was the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year and is one of the most talented players to sign with the Gators since Donovan took over the team. He is averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from the line, playing a team-high 34.1 minutes per game.
» Sophomore center Patric Young (#4)…who joined the starting lineup this year after being the primary frontcourt reserve as a freshman. Young averaging 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in limited action in 2011. He has four double-doubles on the season and scored a career-high 25 points against Arizona. Young is posting averages of 10.3 points, 6.4 boards and 1.0 blocks per game while hobbled with ankle tendinitis.
» Junior forward Erik Murphy (#33)…who is trying to add a post game and solid rebounding to his efficient shooting stroke. Murphy is averaging 9.9 points and 4.1 rebounds with a team-high 1.1 blocks. He is one of three regular shooters on the team averaging better than 40 percent from three, hitting 42.9 percent of his attempts.
» Redshirt junior G Mike Rosario (#3)…who scored more than 1,000 points in two seasons at Rutgers and averaged 16.7 points per game his sophomore year. He is the Gators’ sixth man and is seeing 15.4 minutes of court time each game, averaging 7.5 points while shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc.

» G John Jenkins (#23)…who is leading his team in scoring (20.0 points) and minutes (33.7 per game) while shooting an efficient 46.0 percent from three. He also hits a team-high 84.7 percent of his free throw attempts and is considered one of the most dangerous scorers in the SEC every time he is on the court.
» F Jeffrey Taylor (#44)…who is one of four seniors looking to make their final home game a special victory. Taylor is the Commodores’ second leading scorer at 17.3 points per game and is also averaging 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and a team-high 46.2 percent from downtown.
» C Festus Ezeli (#3)…who is another senior playing his last game in the Memorial Gym and hopes to dominate a thin Gators’ frontcourt. Ezeli averages 10.3 points, 5.4 boards and a team-high 2.2 blocks per game.
» F Lance Goulbourne (#5)…who is yet another senior Vanderbilt player that will give Florida fits in the frontcourt. Goulbourne averages a team-high 6.9 boards per game and can also hit threes at a 31.4 percent clip. He scores 8.9 points per game in 28.6 minutes each contest.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Florida looking for leadership, passion at Vandy

On a three-game winning streak before being embarrassed by rival Georgia on Saturday, the No. 13/16 Florida Gators travel to Nashville, TN to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Monday to discuss his team heading into the upcoming game.


The Gators were visibly struggling on Saturday against a less talented and less successful UGA team, something that Donovan attribute to the fact that their opponents played “with very good passion and energy,” were physical and willing to battle and would not allow UF to come in and walk over them on reputation alone.

“I don’t know if we had that kind of energy, passion that we needed to [have in order] to play with them,” he said. “You don’t really give yourself a chance at all against any team in this league if your effort is not where it needs to be. Obviously that starts with me and trying to get those guys [ready]. We just didn’t play at the level that I would have liked to have seen us play at.”

Donovan, as much as he preaches to the team in practice and during timeouts, cannot also be a leader on the court for the team, a role that a player must step into. He had hoped that senior point guard Erving Walker would take that job but has learned over the course of the season that is not likely to happen any time soon.

“Erving is a really good player and he’s done a lot of great things here,” he said. [But] he’s a pretty even-keeled guy. There are some times that your team can reflect the personality of the guy in charge. With him being in charge, when things are not going well for our team, there are times where we need some more fire out of him.

“We have guys that are out there playing that are left to their own thoughts. There is not enough communication going on. With that being said, I think the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. He’s got to just worry about himself and playing with energy and passion and emotion. I’ve got to stop trying to put him into a situation where he’s trying to [do too much]. I got to get someone else to do it because that needs to happen, especially when you’re playing on the road where it’s hostile and it’s loud. Someone’s got to get in there and grab each other and [direct]. There’s not a lot of that.”

Donovan had hoped that Walker would be the heir apparent to Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin, players who stepped up as leaders their senior year. Though Walker does everything Donovan asks from him from a playing perspective, he has not become the leader he expected (both vocally or consistently through his actions).

“Some of the stuff that can take our team to a different level, I’m not so sure he’s capable or wants to,” he said. “Sometimes with him, because he is a very internally deep-rooted thinking kid, sometimes when you make a player start worrying about other players, it becomes too much for them.

“When Erving is really locked in as your point guard and as a senior, he plays with a n energy and passion that effects our entire team whether he says a word or not. But when he’s not doing well and he’s not talking, we don’t have somebody grabbing somebody by the shirt, pulling guys in here and having one clear voice on the court all the time. When we’re playing well, it kind of all flows together. But when we’re not, when we’re in those battles and those struggles and those challenges, we need some of that.

“To be in that role, you’ve got to be a consistent guy every single day. I don’t know if there’s necessarily one person I would say that would fall onto.”

Because the Gators are “starving” for leadership, as Donovan put it, he has looked to three younger players – freshman guard Bradley Beal, sophomore center Patric Young and sophomore PG Scottie Wilbekin – to fill in.

Beal said he is ready and raring to go. “Coach addressed it yesterday in practice. He addressed me and Scottie to be more vocal leaders on the floor, in terms of huddling guys up and making sure everybody is on the same page. I told him that I was more than willing to do that,” he said.

Young noted that becoming a leader is a process and “you can’t just throw a guy in there and tell him to lead.” He would like to fill that void as well but knows that he has to first work on his own mental makeup.

“I definitely would love to eventually come in to that role. That’s something I think I need to work on,” he said. “I think I need to learn how to lead myself as far as moving on to the next play, not being frustrated, saying focused in on what the team is trying to do. I can’t just claim myself to be that leader right away. These guys have to have confidence in me. I have to come in to practice and work hard every day and be consistent.”


» Donovan on sharing the game of basketball with his father: “[Florida has] allowed him to kind of be a part of it. My dad loves basketball. The one thing I really appreciate more than anything else is how great the coaches around the league have been to him. He loves the game. He loves watching games. He DVRs every game. He watches every single game. He loves basketball. Like anything else, when you’re a parent and your kid is growing up, there is always a level of sacrifice that goes into raising kids. For me to be able to enrich his life, and for him to be able to share in some of that stuff, has in a lot of ways meant a lot to me because I know he really enjoys it. At his age it has given him something that he’s really passionate about that he can really share in.”

» Donovan on if the team should shoot fewer three-pointers: “We don’t want to take bad three-point shots. That’s not what we want to do. But we do have a good shooting team, and when we’re open we do need to shoot the ball. Any team, whether it’s behind the line or inside the line, can have a good or bad offensive game shooting the ball.”

» Donovan on UF’s defensive breakdowns: “Any time you watch film, there’s a couple questions you always ask your team. One – do you know what you’re doing? Two – is that player physically capable of doing what you’re asking them to do? And then if those questions are answered “Yes,” then why not? I don’t think there was anything in the game – Georgia’s been basically running the same offense and doing the same things. I just didn’t think that we were alert enough, aggressive enough, on edge, urgency, whatever it may be. We did not defend like we needed to defend. I don’t know if it is any more complicated than that.”

» Donovan on overcoming a bad shooting night: “It’s always a lot easier playing a game when shots are going down. Really I think your resiliency as a team, your competitiveness as a team, your competitiveness in terms of playing to win has a lot to do with competing when the game is not going well for you. […] Our team has got enough games under their belt that they understand, if they’re not shooting the ball well, there’s got to be an internal resiliency to battle and fight in the game to put yourself in a position to win.”

» Donovan on dealing with a roster that may lose players to the draft: “It’s the day and age and every coach is dealing with it. My feeling right now is that I think it would be hypocritical on my part where I’m all excited when a guy signs to come here and then they make a decision to leave [and] I’m not supportive. All of the guys I’ve had here over the years that have had the opportunity to leave early have been really good about focusing on what’s in front of them with the season and addressing [the NBA] after the year is over with. There’s no question, things can really change and it can really become challenging in recruiting because you may be recruiting a player [worried about another undecided player].”

» Donovan on playing without sophomore forward Will Yeguete: “We need to play at a high-intensity level, especially with Will being out because Will was a guy for us who played with a lot of emotion and a lot of passion. I wouldn’t classify Will as a leader, but his play on the floor, in the press, rebounding, doing those things, you take him away right now and who’s the guy that does that on the team? Who is that? Who does it consistently? Will was kind of like that lunch pail, dirty work guy where he did it.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Gators knocked back in latest top 25 rankings

The 16th editions of the 2011-12 regular season USA Today/ESPN and Associated Press Top 25 Polls were released on Monday, and the Kentucky Wildcats (28-1, 14-0 SEC) held on to the No. 1 spot in both rankings, receiving 94 of 96 combined votes as the near-unanimous top team in the country.

The Florida Gators fell in the rankings after dropping their second of two games played last week. Florida went down two and four spots to No. 13 and No. 16 in the respective polls on the heels of a blowout victory at home against Auburn (63-47) on Tuesday evening and a tough upset loss on the road against Georgia (76-2) on Saturday afternoon. The Gators are one of just two Southeastern Conference teams listed in the rankings this week.

WeekGator BaitRecordAP Top 25USA TodayNCAA RPI
Preseason--No. 7 (1,153)No. 7 (568)-
2W 68-45 vs. William & Mary1-0No. 8 (1,127)No. 7 (560)-
3L 69-67 vs. Miami
W(OT) 61-56 vs. ULM
2-1No. 18 (467)No. 16 (303)-
4L(OT) 65-66 vs. Georgetown
W 56-47 vs. UAB
L 64-75 vs. North Carolina
3-3NR (40)No. 24 (60)-

This Week 1-5: Kentucky (31), Syracuse, Duke, Kansas, Michigan State
6-10: North Carolina, Marquette, Missouri, Murray State, Baylor
11-15: Ohio State, Georgetown, Florida, Wichita State, Wisconsin
16-20: Michigan, UNLV, Louisville, Notre Dame, Indiana
21-25: Saint Mary’s, Florida State, San Diego State, Creighton, Temple

Last Week 1-5: Kentucky (31), Syracuse, Missouri, Duke, Kansas
6-10: Michigan State, North Carolina, Georgetown, Ohio State, Marquette
11-15: Florida, Murray State, Michigan, Baylor, Wisconsin
16-20: Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Wichita State, UNLV
21-25: New Mexico, Temple, Saint Mary’s, Indiana, San Diego State

This Week 1-5: Kentucky (63), Syracuse (2), Kansas, Duke, Michigan State
6-10: North Carolina, Missouri, Marquette, Baylor, Ohio State
11-15: Georgetown, Murray State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Wichita State
16-20: Florida, UNLV, Indiana, Louisville, Notre Dame
21-25: San Diego State, Florida State, Temple, Virginia, Creighton

Last Week 1-5: Kentucky (63), Syracuse (2), Missouri, Kansas, Duke
6-10: Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Georgetown, Marquette
11-15: Michigan, Florida, Baylor, Murray State, Florida State
16-20: Wisconsin, Louisville, New Mexico, Wichita State, Notre Dame
21-25: UNLV, Temple, Indiana, San Diego State, Virginia

*Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.


Georgia embarrasses Florida 76-62 in Athens

The No. 11/12 Florida Gators entered Saturday’s game against the Georgia Bulldogs hoping to prove that they could continue to be a dominant force in the Southeastern Conference even with their best defender out for the season with a broken foot. Instead of showcasing that confidence, Florida (22-7, 10-4 SEC) was upset and embarrassed by Georgia (13-15, 4-10 SEC) 76-62 at the Stegman Coliseum in Athens, GA.

UF started slow on both ends of the court, beginning the game by going 0-for-7 from three and trailing 21-11 with 7:48 left in the first half following a 9-3 run by UGA.

The Gators used a 12-5 scoring stretch to get within three of the Bulldogs with 2:49 left in the first half, but Georgia outscored Florida 10-4 over the final few minutes to take a nine-point lead at the break.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to 16 with 10 minutes left but the Gators answered with a 7-0 run to get within nine with 8:10 left in the game. A three-pointer by UF junior guard Kenny Boynton cut UGA’s lead to five points with 1:51 as part of a 9-2 Florida run, but Georgia outclassed their oppoennt down the stretch to earn a 14-point victory.

The Gators shot a paltry 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from downtown and hit just 22-of-60 shots from the field on Saturday. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, shot 52.9 percent from the floor and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc, earning 16 assists on 27 baskets compared to just eight on 22 for their opponents.

Florida outrebounded Georgia 33-28 (13-5 offensively) but turned the ball over 12 times compared to just 10 for their hosts.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures on Saturday while only three Gators did the same. Freshman guard Bradley Beal led Florida with 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting but was 0-for-4 from downtown. UF junior G Kenny Boynton hit 3-of-7 attempts from three but, like senior point guard Erving Walker (14 points), was just 4-of-11 from the field.

Florida will look to end their season on a better note next week. UF travels to Vanderbilt on Tuesday before hosting No. 1 Kentucky on Sunday in Gainesville, FL.

Tags: , , , ,

Shorthanded Florida looking to take down Georgia

On a three-game winning streak and looking to be victorious against a long-time rival, the No. 11/12 Florida Gators travel to Athens, GA to take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Friday to discuss his team heading into the upcoming game.


Florida was excited to get sophomore forward Will Yeguete back on Tuesday after the defensive specialist missed just one game after suffering a concussion. The Gators were less enthused when Yeguete (broken foot) got injured in the second half of Tuesday’s game and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

“No question he’s our most complete defensive player of what he can do because you can press with him in a great way, he can guard other people’s frontcourt players, you can switch with him and he can guard other people’s perimeter players. As a defender and a rebounder, he’s one of our more complete guys,” Donovan said on Friday.

“I’m disappointed he’s hurt. I’m disappointed he’s out. But there’s an opportunity for Casey Prather to grow here and really step up, for Cody Larson to step up, for our team to take on this challenge. A lot of times losing a key player is a great life lesson or teaching lesson for them to come together and try to overcome however you got to do it. It’s a great challenge.”

As Donovan noted, Prather and Larson are the two bench players who will most likely earn addition minutes in place of Yeguete. However, it will be a complete team effort to replace him on the court, something it appears as if the players realize.

“It’s a tough situation for him obviously. He’s a big part of this team. Mentally just knowing you’re not coming back the rest of the season is tough to deal with,” junior F Erik Murphy said. “The players know everybody needs to step up, do more and fill in the [blanks] that he left.”

Though Prather will see some time at the four, it will most likely be Larson who gets the most additional court time as Murphy and sophomore center Patric Young will also be shifted around and played in different lineups. Both Donovan and Murphy are confident that Larson can help Florida – especially on one end of the court.

“He knows what he’s doing defensively and he can physically battle inside,” Donovan said. “He is not totally confident offensively. He’s not really a scoring threat. Cody defends and impacts the game – not necessarily like Will does – but with the things that he can do.”

Murphy added, “Cody’s gotten a lot better since last year and he’s continuing to improve throughout the season as he gets more experience. He’s a physical guy. He plays hard. He puts his body in the right places.”


» Florida leads the all-time series against Georgia 106-96; the Gators have won 15 of the last 17 meetings between the two teams, and UF is 9-5 at UGA under Donovan.
» All five of Florida’s normal starters are averaging double figures in scoring.
» The Gators have made 10+ three-pointers in 19 of 28 games this year, a season-high mark under Donovan.
» Florida has made a three in 679 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 1992.
» The Gators enter Saturday’s contest on a three-game winning streak while the Bulldogs are on a three-game losing streak.
» Florida, offensive juggernauts this season (first in the SEC, No. 18 nationally), will face a Bulldogs defense ranked No. 3 in the SEC.
» The Gators are 287-37 since 1988-89 when holding opponents under 70 points.
» Florida has won 20+ games for the 14th consecutive season after defeating Alabama. That mark is currently the longest active streak in the SEC and fifth-longest nationally.
» The Gators are undefeated (17-0) this year when posting a positive assist-to-turnover ratio and just 5-6 when that margin is even or negative.
» Struggling from the line in nonconference action, UF is shooting a league-best 75.3 percent from the charity stripe.


Senior point guard Erving Walker is steadily making his way up a number of Florida’s career lists, moving into No. 1 all-time in assists (515) and already holding the top mark for career three-point attempts. Below are some of the achievements he is about to make in UF’s record books.

» Minutes: Walker (4,068) can move into No. 1 all-time in time on the court by playing 33 more minutes, passing Eugene McDowell (4,100).
» Three-pointers made: Walker (273) can move into No. 2 all-time with two treys, passing Brett Nelson (274).
» Scoring: Walker (1,678) can move into No. 3 all-time with 104 points, passing Udonis Haslem (1,781).
» Free throws made: Walker (413) can move into No. 6 all-time with 35 makes from the charity stripe, passing Andrew Moten (447).
» Free throws attempted: Walker (522) can move into No. 7 all-time with four foul shots, passing Dan Cross (525).
» Games Played/Started: Walker has played in 135 games and started 104, placing him No. 7 and No. 10 on the respective all-time lists.

Tags: , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Tebow’s agency, Yeguete’s surgery

1 » Dateline Hollywood reported Thursday that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has signed with Hollywood agency WME (formerly William Morris) for his “endorsements, public appearances, speaking engagements, TV, film, books, the works –even helping with his foundation.” Tebow had previously been represented by XV Enterprises, the company started by brother Robby Tebow and good friend Angel Gonzalez, for such endeavors. Though it was well-known that Tebow was XV’s only client at the time of its creation, considering his brother is a part of the firm and it is somewhat named after his jersey number (XV = 15), the move is undoubtedly an interesting one. XV landed Tebow endorsement deals with Nike, Jockey and FRS Energy (among others) and was behind him during the release of his book Through My Eyes and movie Everything in Between (in partnership with Fiction). Dateline Hollywood‘s report has been been confirmed though neither Tebow nor WME has spoken publicly on the matter.

2 » The Florida Gators announced that sophomore forward Will Yegute has decided have surgery on Friday to repair his broken left foot. Yeguete, who suffered a Jones fracture in his fifth metatarsal against Auburn on Tuesday, will have a screw placed in the foot to promote a stronger and quicker healing process. “The last few days have been tough,” Yeguete said, according to the school. “Basically, I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to have the surgery … and I’m going to.” Former Florida point guard Taurean Green suffered the same injury while playing overseas in Europe. Unlike Yeguete, Green chose not to have surgery and told OGGOA on Wednesday that the injury healed on his own and he has not had any problems with it since.

Extra BIT » NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has had plenty of fun with Tebow this year, including creating a new character named “Tebowie” – a combination of Tebow and David Bowie, but decided to poke at another former Gators player this week. In a segment on Wednesday’s show called “Sports Freak-Out,” Fallon and announcer Steve Higgins crack wise on the looks of a number of NBA players including none other than Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (1:30).

Tags: , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Muschamp, Dillman, Donovan, Tebow

1 » Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp is set to make 10 appearances at local Gator Clubs (nine in the state of Florida and one in Atlanta, GA) as part of the team’s six-week 2012 Gator Gathering schedule. The events are open to the general public; however, tickets are sold for each speaking engagement with proceeds benefiting the individual Gator Clubs and the university. You can check out the entire schedule here.

2 » The Gators opened up the Griffin-Oakley Strength & Conditioning Complex to the media on Thursday making new director of strength and conditioning Jeff Dillman as well as a few Florida players available for interviews and to talk about how training is going heading into the 2012 season. UF released a video recap of the event, which you can view below, through their GatorVision.tv service.

ESPN explained his philosophy further:

Dillman described Olympic-style lifting as weighted plyometrics — essentially exercises with fast, powerful movements while lifting weights. It’s designed to provide a total-body workout and a cardiovascular workout in a short period of time. It includes numerous variations based on three main lifts: the power clean, the snatch and the split jerk.

Because Olympic weightlifting movements are done quickly with heavier weight, and require significant coordination and muscle control, they can help athletes with such quick movements as sprinting, jumping or firing off the line of scrimmage. They also develop a strong core, better conditioning, and better balance.

3 » Head basketball coach Billy Donovan told the school’s website on Wednesday that sophomore forward Will Yeguete was “pretty crushed” when learning about his broken foot and how he will miss the remainder of the season. Donovan also said that the Gators have an opportunity to prove how good of a team they are and that “everybody has a chance to step up” and fill in for Yeguete. “I think with a great belief and a great commitment and an incredible focus, with guys wanting to step up, a lot of those special things can happen in the midst of people not thinking they can happen,” he said. “Now, I’m not saying they’re going to happen. I’m saying we need to try to make them happen.”

4 » At the 2012 NFL Combine on Thursday, Denver Broncos head coach John Fox said that he was not worried that the comments about starting quarterback Tim Tebow from backup Brady Quinn would be an issue heading into the season. “Knowing their relationship, knowing both Brady and Tim very well myself, you know, sometimes things get lost in translation,” he said, according to NFL.com. “I know their relationship is very close, they have a lot of respect for each other. They’re very good teammates to each other, so, that’s kind of what I know.” Fox made it sound like he wanted Quinn to return to the team in 2012, but the player is not under contract with the club and is a free agent this offseason.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SIX BITS: Noah, baseball, Demps, Speights, Brewer

1 » Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah registered his first career triple-double (13 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists) on Wednesday in just three quarters of action (and 30 total minutes) against Milwaukee. Noah’s 10 dimes were a career-high and he became the first Chicago center to achieve a triple-double since Artis Gilmore did so in 1977. After a slow start to the year, Noah is averaging almost a double-double per game this season with 9.4 points and 9.8 boards.

2 » No. 1 Florida Gators baseball (4-1) shut out the No. 19 Central Florida Knights (3-0) on Wednesday for the first time since 1977, outscoring their visitors 8-0 as sophomore right-handed pitcher Jonathon Crawford (1-1) picked up his first victory of the season. Crawford (2 H, 3 BB, 4 K) pitched 4.1 no-hit innings before being pulled after five scoreless frames. Sophomore left-hander Daniel Gibson (2.0 IP, H), freshman LHP Bobby Poyner (1.0 IP, H) and freshman RHP Ryan Harris (1.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K) finished out the game on the hill. Florida scored in each of the first three innings and five of the eight frames they went to the plate. Senior center fielder Daniel Pigott hit a solo shot in the first and finished 2/3 with two RBIs, two runs and a pair of walks. The Gators rallied for three runs in the bottom of the third, and senior right fielder Preston Tucker (2/4, RBI, BB) led off a two-run fifth with a solo homer of his own. Tucker’s dinger tied him with former UF All-American Brad Wilkerson (1996-98) for the school’s career RBI record of 214. Florida added another in the seventh and cruised to victory. UF will not get much rest as a series against William & Mary begins on Friday at 7 p.m. with game two and three set for Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., respectively.

3 » Deciding to run track instead of compete for a spot on a NFL roster may be a tough choice for some, but former running back Jeff Demps knows what he is doing. In a feature on Yahoo! Sports’ ThePostGame, Demps and head track coach Mike Holloway discuss his future in the sport. “At the bottom of my heart, I just love running,” Demps said. “He can become one of the best,” Holloway added. “Jeff believes that or we wouldn’t be doing this.” Holloway, who will also be an assistant coach on the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2012 London Olympics, believes that Demps can go all the way in the sport. “He has that potential down the road. There’s no doubt about that,” Holloway said of Demps potentially medaling at the Olympics. “It’s just a matter of us getting the proper training model and getting the proper steps taken to keep him healthy.”

4 » Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford was named the 2012 Sportsperson of the Year by the Atlanta Sports Council on Monday for making a positive impact on sports in the local community. “Playing for the Atlanta Hawks is an honor and has afforded me the opportunity to make an impact on organizations and causes in the Atlanta community that I am extremely passionate about,” Horford said in a statement. “I am committed to these efforts and the individuals that they serve, and I thank the Atlanta Sports Council for recognizing my involvement and dedication.” Horford played in the first 11 games of the 2011-12 season before suffering a torn labrum, which will keep him out of action until the end of April at the earliest.

5 » Memphis Grizzlies F/C Marreese Speights has been on quite a tear recently and is fitting in nicely with his new team. Starting in 26 of the 28 games he has played for Memphis this season, Speights is playing a career-high 23.0 minutes and averaging career-highs in points (8.6), rebounds (6.5) and free throw percentage (.816). He has scored double-digit points in five-straight games and had back-to-back double-doubles on Feb. 15 (20 points, 18 boards) and Feb. 17 (12 points, 10 boards). “It’s been one of the best moves of my life,” he said of getting traded to Memphis, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer. “It’s been great. We have a good team and we’re winning. They gave me a chance to come over here and play and show the things that I can do.”

6 » In a similar boat as Speights, it seems all Denver Nuggets F Corey Brewer needed was a change of scenery. Since returning to Denver after taking a sabbatical due to the death of his father, Brewer has scored double-digit points in five of seven games (he posted nine points in the other two). He’s been a bright spot for the Nuggets this season and may have finally found a comfortable home after moving from Minnesota to New York and then to Dallas one year ago. He is averaging 9.4 points (a career-high for minutes played) and shooting a career-best 36.0 percent from beyond the arc while grabbing 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 140 of 247  « First  ... « 138  139  140  141  142 » ...  Last »