Fastbreak: Yale fails at Florida, Gators win 85-47

Florida Gators basketball (4-4) got back to .500 on the season in dominating fashion, obliterating the Yale Bulldogs (8-3) on Monday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida beat Yale 85-47 and held a 49-point lead during the contest, winning both halves with ease while potentially turning a corner after a rough start to the season.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Monday’s action with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when/significant stretch: The second half began. Already leading by 26 coming out of the break, Florida extended its advantage to 35 with an 11-2 run to open the latter period. A pair of threes from redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith, plus another from junior guard Michael Frazier II, gave UF its large advantage, which it would be expanded to 49 with 7:14 to play.

First half focus: Combining a pair of long runs, Florida broke out of the doldrums with a 24-8 scoring stretch over the final 7:21 of the first 20 minutes to lead 46-20 at the break. Frazier was 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from downtown for 15 points in the opening period, while redshirt senior forward Jacob Kurtz was 4-for-4 for eight points of his own. UF started 2-of-8 from the floor but made 19 of its final 24 shots.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Yale fails at Florida, Gators win 85-47

Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Yale Bulldogs

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Joe Dean)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network Affiliates

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS YALE BULLDOGS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: James Jones
Record: 3-4 Record: 8-2
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Ivy League

Odds: Florida -10 | O/U 117

Continue Reading » Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Yale Bulldogs

Donovan: Gators are ‘not heavy lifters right now’

Florida Gators basketball (3-4) is below .500 through seven games for the first time since 1998 and hopes to avoid hitting the even mark at home when it hosts the Yale Bulldogs (8-2) on Monday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Head coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Sunday to discuss his remaining concerns about the Florida basketball team and update the Gators’ injuries.

NOT HEAVY LIFTERS

When the moment gets too big, when the game gets too close, Florida has – for the most part – crumbled during the early portion of this season. That’s the only way to describe the Gators giving up an 18-point, second-half lead on the road against the Jayhawks with Kansas using an incredible 23-3 run to retake the lead at home and hold on for the victory.

Donovan believes Florida’s biggest issue remains the players’ inexperience. Yes, the Gators have some veterans on the roster in redshirt senior center Jon Horford, redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith and junior guard Michael Frazier II (plus redshirt junior G Eli Carter, who remains out with a foot injury), but none of those players has ever been counted on to play starters’ minutes on a consistent basis with all the pressure squarely on their shoulders.

Continue Reading » Donovan: Gators are ‘not heavy lifters right now’

Florida Gators to play East Carolina Pirates in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl

Bowl-eligible after missing the postseason in 2013, the Florida Gators (6-5) on Sunday officially earned a berth to the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, where they will take on the East Carolina Pirates (8-4) on Saturday, January 3 at 12 p.m. ET.

Florida and East Carolina will play at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game will be televised on ESPN.

It marks the first time the Gators will play in the Birmingham Bowl, which was established in 2006 and is owned and operated by ESPN.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators to play East Carolina Pirates in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl

Florida loses four-star commits Brown, Jones

Florida Gators football’s already-depleted 2015 class became even worse off on Saturday when its top two commitments – four stars offensive lineman George Brown (Cincinnati, OH) and quarterback Sheriron Jones (Moreno Valley, CA) – decommitted from the program, according to 247Sports.com’s Ryan Bartow.

Respectively rated the No. 183 and No. 218 overall players in the nation by Rivals, Brown and Jones were Florida’s only remaining consensus four-star commitments. Their decommitments came on the same day UF head coach Jim McElwain held his introductory press conference, with Brown flipping to LSU.

In late October, the Gators lost a pair of four-star linebackers – Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH) and Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA) – in a three-day span. Baker was the No. 36 overall player in the country as rated by Rivals, and Thomas was ranked No. 68 overall by ESPN.

Florida’s recruiting class stood at 11 members in mid-October; the Gators have since lost their four highest-rated pledges and no longer have a single consensus four-star-rated prospect on their commitment list.

UF only has seven commitments with two months until National Signing Day. The Gators have the lowest-rated signing class of any team either in the Southeastern Conference or their own state.

In fact, Florida’s three biggest rivals – Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee – have the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5-ranked recruiting classes, respectively, each with 20-26 commitments.

Florida Gators press conference: Jim McElwain introduced as head football coach

Final update added at 6 p.m.

Affable and entertaining, Jim McElwain was introduced Saturday as the 24th head football coach in the history of the Florida Gators.

McElwain came right out of the gate and detailed his high level of appreciation for the opportunity to coach Florida, calling the Gators job something special and one of very few at the highest level in college football. He went on to discuss some of his philosophies, his upcoming agenda and how he plans to move forward over the next month, all of which has been captured and broken down here on OnlyGators.com.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators press conference: Jim McElwain introduced as head football coach

Florida Gators introduce coach Jim McElwain: press conference, media appearances

Updated at 2:30 p.m.

The Florida Gators on Saturday will introduce new head coach Jim McElwain during a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. in Gainesville, Florida. McElwain’s presser will be bookended by other media opportunities, which will be covered here on OnlyGators.com.

Below are opening statements from president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley as well as McElwain’s live hits on ESPN‘s SportsCenter and SEC Network‘s SEC Nation program.

INTRODUCTORY PRESS CONFERENCE

President Bernie Machen: “We open the next chapter in Gator football. This is an important event for the whole university because intercollegiate athletics at the University of Florida is central to and integral to the activities of our university. It has great support from our students and from our faculty and staff as well as our alumni. So, this is a big deal, and we look at it as an opportunity to reaffirm the values of the whole university. We found a coach who we believe is exactly the right person to lead us into the next era of Gator football.”

Continue Reading » Florida Gators introduce coach Jim McElwain: press conference, media appearances

Fastbreak: Florida embarrassed in second half as No. 11 Kansas battles back to win 71-65

No. 24 Florida Gators basketball (3-4) absolutely collapsed in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, blowing an 18-point lead and falling 71-65 to the No. 11/11 Kansas Jayhawks (6-1) in the 2014 SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

The Gators are now under .500 through seven games for the first time since 1998.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Friday’s action with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: The biggest scoring stretch of the game – a 23-3 run with 18 points combined by Cliff Alexander and Wayne Selden Jr. – included four Florida turnovers and the visitors going 1-for-10 from the field; it lasted 7:53 and gave Kansas a 60-52 lead with 3:21 to play. Overall, the Jayhawks outscored the Gators by 21 points in the second half with UF at one point failing to hit a field goal for 7:37.

Significant stretches: With the Gators leading by a game-high 18 points, the Jayhawks got right back in the contest with a 9-0 run that cut KU’s deficit to single digits with about 14 minutes left in the game. It allowed Kansas to hang in long enough to end the game with its incredible scoring stretch as Florida melted down at Allen Fieldhouse.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Florida embarrassed in second half as No. 11 Kansas battles back to win 71-65

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