Florida Gators vs. Ole Miss Rebels Gameday

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: CSS
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Sirius/XM: 121/141
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

FLORIDA GATORS OLE MISS REBELS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Andy Kennedy
Record: 11-3 (0-0) Record: 12-3 (0-0)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -9

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series against Ole Miss 58-42, is 8-1 in the last nine meetings, 5-0 in the last five games played in Gainesville (+19 points per game), and 11-6 all-time under Donovan.
» The Gators were a perfect 6-0 against the SEC West last year and are 50-16 against the division since 2000 including 29-4 at the O’Dome.
» Florida’s defense has significantly improved over the last nine games. They are holding opponents to just 59.4 points per game and have only allowed two teams to reach 70 points this season. After failing to score at least 70 points in seven-straight games, the Gators have surpassed that total in their last two contests (71, 84).
» UF has out-rebounded 13 of 14 opponents this season – including in its three defeats – and is doing so by a +8.5 rebound per game advantage.
» The Gators and Rebels each best each other in two of four major statistically categories nationally. Florida holds advantages in rebounds 61st-71st (38.5-38.2) and assists 99th-116th (14.4-14.1), while Ole Miss scores more points 38th-163rd (78.1-70.3) and field goal percentage 40th-60th (.475-.466). However, the Gators rank 14th in RPI (.6356) and 8th in strength of schedule (.6130) compared to the Rebels being 62nd (.5749) and 128th (.5126).

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Junior point guard Erving Walker…who is leading his team in scoring and assists with 13.9 points and 3.1 dishes per game. He has accounted for 32 of Florida’s 77 treys.
» Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin…who is shooting a team-high 57.3 percent this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds a game while being a major presence for the Gators.
» Senior forward Chandler Parsons…who is averaging 9.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game after posting his best performance of the season against Rhode Island. Parsons scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, was 3-for-4 from downtown and added 12 boards.
» Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton…who is arguably Florida’s most talented player but has been marred in a slump all season. Boynton is only shooting 36.8 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from beyond the arc. He is second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game and hits 73.7 percent of his free throws.
» Ole Miss G Chris Warren…who leads his team with 18.5 points and 4.3 assists in an average of 33.7 minutes per game (five more than the next closest player). Warren a fantastic 94.1 percent from the charity stripe and is clutch in end-of-game situations.
» Rebels G Zach Graham…whose 14.1 points per game and 28.6 minutes per game are second on Ole Miss. Graham also averages 4.4 rebounds and a steal per game.

EVALUATING THE GATORS BEFORE SEC COMPETITION
By Malik Grady – OGGOA Correspondent

Florida’s game against then-No. 6 Kansas State on Dec. 18 was supposed to be a litmus test. How the team performed would cue outsiders whether or not UF should be taken seriously going forward. The double-digit come-from-behind-win over KSU, coupled with a subsequent overtime loss to Jacksonville, managed only to solidify Donovan’s team as a collection of contradictions that even the coach himself had to figure out.

The particular oxymoron that is the 2010-11 Gators manage to simultaneously be stellar in key areas and abysmal in others. This undoubtedly makes them, at times, frustrating to watch but also places them on track to make the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

The following statistics are where UF ranks in national averages out of 345 schools playing Division I college basketball.

Read the rest of Malik’s column…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators vs. Ole Miss Rebels Gameday

Top 10 for 2010: On the Field Moments of the Year

For as much as the Florida Gators were in the news off the field in 2010, the Gator Nation was making plenty of headlines on it as well. From game-winning baskets to displays of pure emotion, Florida experienced some unique athletic moments in 2010. Below are OGGOA‘s Top 10 On the Field Moments of the Year.

OGGOA RELATED: Top 10 for 2010: Off the Field Stories of the Year

10 » FLORIDA WINS INAUGURAL LACROSSE GAME (2/20/10)
When Florida decided it wanted to start another women’s athletics program, the University Athletic Association did extensive research and found out that women’s lacrosse would be the perfect fit. In preparation for their first season, the Gators and head coach Amanda O’Leary secured the country’s No. 1 recruiting class (according to Inside Lacrosse Magazine). All the hard work and preparation to get the team ready paid off on Feb. 20 when lacrosse debuted in the brand new Donald R. Dizney Stadium to a boisterous crowd of 2,114 spectators. Florida defeated Jacksonville 16-6 behind four goals and four assists from freshman sensation Ashley Bruns. All-in-all the Gators faced 16 championship-caliber teams and played so well that they reached the 2010 ALC Tournament semifinals. In just their second year of existence, Florida women’s lacrosse is ranked as the No. 17 team in the country going into the 2011 season.

9 » NEAR VICTORIES/HEARTBREAKING LOSSES (5/25/10 * 3/18/10 * 10/9/10)

It is rare for teams to go undefeated and even less likely that an entire athletic program can go through a season without its share of close losses and nail biting finishes. Such was the case for the Gators in 2010. On May 25, No. 3 women’s tennis was barely defeated by the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal for the 2010 NCAA National Championship. Stanford won 4-3 after Florida rallied when they were just two individual games away from being defeated. The Gators forced third sets in two singles matches; sophomore Joanna Mather took down her opponent but senior No. 65 Marrit Boonstra was not as lucky. Losing her first set 6-4, Boonstra fought back to even her match with No. 33 Mallory Burdette by taking the second set 6-7 (4). Down 2-0 in the third, she pushed ahead with a valiant effort to take a 5-4 lead but ended up losing her final three games, the match itself and the championship.

Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons, No. 10-seed Florida got in a bit easier than some might have expected. Matched up against the No. 7-seed Brigham Young Cougars in the event’s opening game, the Gators fought hard but could not stop Cougars star guard Jimmer Fredette. Allowing BYU to jump ahead 59-46 in the second half, UF came back behind freshman G Kenny Boynton and junior forward Chandler Parsons. Florida missed potential game-winners during regulation (Parsons) and the first overtime (Boynton) and eventually fell to Brigham Young 99-92 in a double-overtime heartbreaker with Fredette adding to his game-high 37 points.

Though losing a national championship and NCAA Tournament game are both difficult, Gators fans will probably look back on No. 12/14 Florida’s shocking loss to the No. 9/12 LSU Tigers on Oct. 10 as the worst near-victory of the season. Wearing orange jerseys for the first time since 1989, the Gators came back from a 12-point deficit when freshman wide receiver Andre Debose returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, sophomore running back Mike Gillislee rumbled in for a touchdown and redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley completed a two-point conversion to sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive. All Florida wanted when its defense came out was a stop, but LSU put together a 62-yard game-winning drive that included numerous third down conversions and a converted fake field goal attempt on fourth down from UF’s 36-yard line with 35 seconds remaining. Back-to-back passes to WR Terrence Toliver (of 28 and 3 yards, respectively) and the Tigers left The Swamp with a 33-29 victory. Players have noted that the loss was a negative turning point in the season, one that may or may not have led to the team dropping their third-straight game one week later at home to Mississippi State.

Continue Reading » Top 10 for 2010: On the Field Moments of the Year

1/6: Donovan speaks before SEC schedule begins

With the Florida Gators set to begin Southeastern Conference competition on Saturday at home against Ole Miss, head coach Billy Donovan, senior forward Chandler Parsons and junior point guard Erving Walker spoke with the media about their collective 11-3 start to the season and where they can go from here.

PREPARED FOR TOUGH SEC SCHEDULE

Donovan and his players believe that a difficult out of conference slate has set Florida up quite well for SEC competition this year. “Because we’ve played against a lot of different styles and a lot of different teams, I feel like our team is prepared, competitively, going into the SEC now,” Donovan said. “How well we perform and how well we play remains to be seen. But I do think we’ve had a lot of learning experiences, experiences we have been able to grow from.”

Though the team struggled with consistency up until the last week, Parsons believes the Gators are raring to go. “I think we’re ready,” he said. “We’ve played some really good teams. We’ve been in some battles and it has really helped us prepare for conference play.” Walker thinks the last two games have done plenty to help Florida’s confidence. “Definitely. We got a long way to go. We just got to keep going, but I think it’s finally starting to come together,” he said.

WALKER’s MILESTONE, TURNOVER PROBLEMS

Depending whether you are an optimist or a pessimist probably determines how you feel about Walker as a basketball player. On one hand, he has easily been the most consistent scoring threat for the Gators this season. On the other, his assist-to-turnover ratio (which should be 2:1 for a PG) is nearly even. Donovan sees both sides of Walker, who will likely reach 1,000 career points in one of the next two games.

“Point or turnovers?,” a laughing Donovan said when asked his opinion about Walker hitting 1,000. “The one thing I’ve always admired about Erving – and you can say this about any really good player whose got a high competitive level – is they don’t get wrapped up in who is in the program. They realize that wherever they got to go at this level they’re going to have to compete and earn playing time. Erving came in here and really earned his way. […] He’s a great kid to coach. He works very, very hard. I think he has a toughness about him and a competitiveness about him that I love.

“He’s got to make better decisions. I don’t think there’s any question about that. It’s a fine line with any aggressive player. He’s shooting the ball well and he’s been playing with a level of confidence. There’s good turnovers and there’s bad turnovers. We got to eliminate his bad turnovers where he’s down the lane, he’s two deep and he leaves his feet. He’s got to keep his dribble alive and dribble the ball back out. Those are the kind of decisions that I think he’s got to get better at. When you look at the fact that he’s got one more assist than turnover on the year going into SEC play, that’s not a good thing for your point guard. You’d like your point guard to be two-to-one.”

Walker is not really concerned about the milestone. “It really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. I’ve played a lot of minutes on the court since I was a freshman, so that kind of comes along with the territory,” he said. “It’s nice to have, but it’s not a big deal.”

INJURY UPDATES

Donovan announced that only sophomore F Erik Murphy (mid-foot sprain) would miss Saturday’s game as he’s classified as doubtful. Everyone else – including Walker (hip pointer), Parsons (sore ankle), redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin (strained pectoral) and freshman F Will Yeguete (unknown) – is expected to be active. He added that the team was concerned about Macklin because he was having chest and rib pain; the MRI and X-rays both came back negative (for a torn pectoral or fractured ribs, respectively) and Macklin will be able to play as long as he can tolerate the pain.

Read additional quotes from Donovan and the players …after the break!
Continue Reading » 1/6: Donovan speaks before SEC schedule begins

TWO BITS: Tebow and Meyer all over ESPN

1 » Doing promotion for his documentary Tim Tebow: Everything in Between, Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow was everywhere you looked if you turned on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS or ESPN Radio on Thursday. Below are just a few clips and quotes from his appearances.

Tebow on SportsCenter:

Tebow on the Colin Cowherd radio show:
On changing his game for the NFL; running quarterbacks don’t survive: “I’m going to always try to improve my game. Yes, I want to be that guy that sits in the pocket and throws darts. At the same time, if I have to, to be able to also be a football player and make a play, I think that just adds to be able to help. If it’s an added dimension, if it’s another attribute, then I don’t see how it hurts. But I definitely do want to focus on being a pocket passer and just throwing from the pocket. Throwing those darts.”

On if he is too “collegiate” and his positive attitude rubbing people the wrong way: “To be honest, I don’t necessarily think so. I think I got a great relationship with a lot of my teammates, especially the veterans. When they understand that you’re not about college anymore, you’re about trying to make it this league and trying to help the broncos, when you’re able to earn that respect and they see your work ethic and then they see your passion and love for the game very day and they say its real and not fake and not a show you put on and it’s the actual person you are…then I think they respect you and then they look up to you and begin to like you.”

On whether he is worried about the new head coach not liking him as a player: “To be honest I’m not really apprehensive or anxious right now. I still consider myself extremely blessed to be a Bronco and to be in this great Broncos organization. I also consider myself very blessed that John Elway has taken the position that he has. It’s a great opportunity and a great situation for me. I’m not apprehensive or anxious about anything right now.”

On Cowherd’s opinion of Tebow: “I’m going to try to prove you wrong for what you think of me in the NFL. I don’t think you’re a bad guy at all, but I appreciate you having me on.”

Tebow and Michelle Beadle talking behind the scenes:

2 » Though OGGOA has previously reported this news item, ESPN confirmed in an official release Thursday that former Florida head coach Urban Meyer will be joining the network for coverage of the 2011 BCS National Championship. Along with Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, Meyer will be an on-site analyst leading up to and through the contest. He will provide his thoughts and opinions on SportsCenter, College GameDay, ESPNEWS, College Football Live and during the pre-game, half-time and post-game coverage for the event.

As expected, Janoris Jenkins to enter NFL Draft

Florida Gators junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins has decided to forgo his final season of NCAA eligibility and will declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, a source “close to the decision” told ESPN’s Joe Schad on Thursday.

Jenkins, arguably Florida’s best defensive player in 2010, totaled 106 tackles, eight interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two sacks and two forced fumbles in three seasons with the Gators. He earned All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press (first team) and coaches (second team) this year.

Only the second true freshman in school history to start at cornerback on opening day (Joe Haden), Jenkins was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team in 2008 helped Florida win the 2009 BCS National Championship by registering five tackles in the game. He was equally effective in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, recording five solo tackles (one for loss) and a pass break-up in the Gators’ victory.

As a junior in 2010, Jenkins registered 43 tackles, three interceptions and one sack while playing most of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He had surgery after the regular season to correct the injury and missed Florida’s 37-24 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2011 Outback Bowl.

Projected to be a top junior NFL prospect before the season began, Jenkins is considered the third-best cornerback and No. 11 overall player according to ESPN.

Fellow junior, safety Will Hill, has also decided to declare for the draft. The University of Florida will release statements when each player makes his intention to pursue a professional football career official.

Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Muschamp speaks on recruiting, Weis, Brantley

New Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp was a guest of Joe Rose on 560 WQAM in Miami, FL on Thursday and spent time with the former Miami Dolphins tight end discussing a number of topics that fans have been waiting to hear him discuss.

Like Urban Meyer before him, Muschamp was likely informed of the importance of having a presence in the South Florida media as the area is a recruiting hotbed and Rose’s show is arguably the most notable sports talk show in the mornings. He frequently talks about high school football and picked Muschamp’s brain on recruiting in the area.

“There’s a lot of young men that are going to sign out of each state. The key is evaluation and taking the right guy,” he said. “There’s a lot of really good football players in South Florida – tremendous. You take Palm [Beach], Broward and Dade County – there’s phenomenal football players. I’d say probably over 200 kids out of those three counties are going to sign Division I scholarships. [You have to] take the right guy that’s going to do a nice job academically for you, is going to represent your university in a first-class manner and play well on the football field.”

He was also asked to describe any notable differences between the recruiting process in the state of Texas and region of South Florida.

“It’s not different. We have an evaluation process that we’re going to go through with each young man. From on and off the field, different critical factors at each position that we look at that we decide that this is a type player we want to have at the University of Florida,” Muschamp said. “Just like I did when I was defensive coordinator at Texas when I ran the defensive [recruiting] board. We’ve got certain things that we’re looking for at each position. It’s about evaluation. It’s about taking the right guy. Not necessarily taking the best player at that position; he might not be the right fit for your football team or your university. That’s a huge part of what we do as coaches, is evaluating and taking the right players because there are a lot of good football players out there.

“I’m not worried about the guys that don’t sign at Florida, I’m worried about the ones that sign at Florida. We need to do a great job of developing those players. A lot of these young men that go other places, I’m going to see them once a year. So I’m not as worried about them as I am the ones we are going to have on our campus.”

Rose noted that Muschamp must be excited about having current Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis as the biggest name on his staff, something the new head coach felt comfortable enough to open up about.
Continue Reading » Muschamp speaks on recruiting, Weis, Brantley

Florida basketball remains out of Top 25 polls

Florida Gators (10-3)^ completely fell out of the latest ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 polls two weeks ago after being upset by the Jacksonville Dolphins 71-68 in overtime on Dec. 20. Last week their game against Fairfield was canceled due to travelling conditions for the away team, but Florida did end the Xavier Musketeers‘ 30-game home winning streak with a 71-67 victory on the road.

WeekGator BaitRecordAP Top 25USA TodayNCAA RPI
Preseason--No. 10 (1,048)No. 8 (550)-
2W 77-69 vs. North Florida1-0No. 11 (995)No. 10 (535)-
3L 53-59 at No. 20 Wisconsin
W 86-56 vs. Arkansas-Little Rock
2-1No. 16 (619)No. 14 (359)-
4W 67-53 vs. Southern
W 79-59 vs. MTSU
4-1No. 15 (729)No. 13 (395)-
5W 86-60 at Jacksonville
W 67-66 vs. Florida State
6-1No. 15 (758)No. 12 (426)-
6L 64-65 at No. 12 UConn6-2No. 19 (434)No. 19 (258)-
7W 67-61 vs. No. 13 Kansas7-2No. 16 (699)No. 17 (296)-
8W 77-75 vs. Memphis
W 66-49 vs. Fresno State
9-2No. 13 (881)No. 14 (383)-
9W 76-34 vs. Savannah State10-2No. 12 (915)No. 13 (413)-
10W 67-58 vs. Richmond11-2No. 10 (1,052)No. 11 (473)12
11W 74-58 vs. South Carolina
W-OT 84-82 at Arkansas
13-2
(2-0 SEC)
No. 7
(1,205)
No. 7
(573)
8
12W 72-50 vs. Georgia
W 68-61 at Auburn
15-2
(4-0 SEC)
No. 6
(1,303)
No. 6
(639)
8
13W 68-62 at Alabama
W 67-41 vs. Tennessee
17-2
(6-0 SEC)
No. 3
(1,436)
No. 4
(694)
5
14W 62-51 at Mississippi State
W 69-36 vs. Texas A&M
19-2
(8-0 SEC)
No. 3
(1,482)
No. 4
(720)
3
15W 68-58 vs. Missouri
W 78-69 vs. Alabama
21-2
(10-0 SEC)
No. 3
(1,477)
No. 4
(711)
5
16W 67-58 at Tennessee
W 69-59 at Kentucky
23-2
(12-0 SEC)
No. 2
(1,543)
No. 2
(752)
4
17W 71-66 vs. Auburn
W 75-71 at Ole Miss
25-2
(14-0 SEC)
No. 1
(1,606)
No. 1
(791)
3
18W 57-54 at Vanderbilt
W 79-61 vs. LSU
27-2
(16-0 SEC)
No. 1
(1,606)
No. 1
(793)
3
19W 72-46 at South Carolina
W 84-65 vs. Kentucky
29-2
(18-0 SEC)
No. 1
(1,610)
No. 1
(793)
2
Post-
season
W 72-49 vs. Missouri
W 56-49 vs. Tennessee
W 61-60 vs. Kentucky
32-2
(18-0 SEC)
(3-0 SECT)
No. 1
(1,610)
No. 1
(794)
1
FinalW 67-55 vs. Albany
W 61-45 vs. Pittsburgh
W 79-68 vs. UCLA
W 62-52 vs. Dayton
L 53-63 vs. UConn
36-3
(18-0 SEC)
(3-0 SECT)
(4-1 NCAAT)
-No. 3
(735)
-

ESPN/USA TODAY
Last Week 1-25: Duke (31), Ohio State, Kansas, Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Villanova, Georgetown, Missouri, Purdue, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas, Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Louisville, Central Florida, Memphis, Baylor, Wisconsin, Illinois
+ Florida received 33 votes, good for 32nd overall

This Week 1-25: Duke (31), Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Villanova, Missouri, Connecticut, Purdue, Kentucky, Texas, Georgetown, Brigham Young, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Central Florida, Michigan State, Illinois, Minnesota, Memphis, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati
+ Florida received 9 votes, good for 34th overall

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Week 1-25: Duke (65), Ohio State, Kansas, Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Villanova, Georgetown, MIssouri, Kentucky, Purdue, Texas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Central Florida, Michigan State, Memphis, Louisville, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Temple
+ Florida received 35 votes, good for 32nd overall

This Week 1-25: Duke (65), Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Villanova, Connecticut, Missouri, Kentucky, Purdue, Texas, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Brigham Young, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Michigan State, Central Florida, Illinois, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Washington, Cincinnati, UNLV
+ Florida received 35 votes, good for 31st overall

^ Record at the time the polls were released.
* Numbers in parenthesis represent first-place votes.

Gorman commits to Gators at Under Armour game

After a difficult season and a head coaching change, the Florida Gators and their fans have been hearing some negative recruiting news for the last few weeks. The same was not true Wednesday during the 2011 Under Armour All-American Game as four-star safety Jabari Gorman (Miami, FL) committed to the Gators late in the first quarter.

Gorman, the No. 8 safety (No. 85 overall recruit) according to ESPNU and No. 10 safety (No. 174 overall) according to Rivals, chose Florida over Ohio State and Miami and was one of five Gators commitments who played in the game.

Also participating were five-star quarterback Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL) and four-stars tight end A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, FL), athlete/S De’Ante Saunders (DeLand, FL) and wide receiver Ja’Juan Story (Brooksville, FL).

Driskel accounted for one of the highlights of the night when he avoided a pass rush and took off for a 63-yard touchdown run. He finished with a team-high 80 yards on the ground and had a potential 70-yard touchdown pass dropped at the end of the first half. Leonard was instrumental in Driskel’s explosive run by coming up with a huge block on the play; the duo celebrated with Gator Chomps after the score.

The first official commitment under new head coach Will Muschamp, Gorman becomes Florida’s 16th recruit for their growing 2011 class.

 Page 456 of 671  « First  ... « 454  455  456  457  458 » ...  Last »