Gators tennis teams advance to Sweet 16

Sunday was a special day for the Florida Gators tennis program as both the No. 8 men’s and No. 2 women’s teams advanced to the Sweet 16 round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament after sweeping their opponents on a sunny day at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, FL.

After a weather delay forced their contest to continue Sunday, the Florida men (20-8) got the day started early and shut out the No. 27 Miami Hurricanes (15-9) 4-0.

The No. 17 duo of senior Alexandre Lacroix and sophomore Sekou Bangoura, Jr. led the doubles teams, winning their match 8-2. Joining them to cinch the doubles point was junior Nassim Slilam and sophomore Billy Federhofer (7-6).

No. 7 Lacroix (6-1, 6-1), No. 89 Slilam (6-2, 6-2) and freshman Spencer Newman (6-0, 6-4) all won their singles matches; Newman’s victory clinched the contest for the Gators. Lacroix’s singles win propelled him to historic status. He is now the all-time overall wins leader in school history with 209 career victories.

The Florida women (27-1) wrapped up the afternoon in similar form, shutting out the South Carolina Gamecocks (14-11) 4-0 behind a strong team performance.

The 45th-ranked team of sophomore Lauren Embree and freshman Sofie Oyen made short work of their opponents, beating them 8-2 for the Gators’ first doubles win. Freshman Olivia Janowicz and junior Joanna Mather followed them with an 8-3 victory, clinching the doubles point for Florida.

No. 7 sophomore Allie Will absolutely trounced No. 44 Anya Morgina of South Carolina, stifling her in straight sets (6-0, 6-0). Helping her complete the sweep for the Gators were No. 42 Mather (6-2, 6-2) and No. 54 freshman Alex Cercone (6-0, 6-3); the latter victory clinched the match.

Florida men’s and women’s tennis will play later this week in Stanford, CA. The men compete on Thursday at 3 p.m., while the women take the court on Friday at 3 p.m.

Florida lacrosse tops Stanford 13-11 in NCAAs

The first program in the history of the sport to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament in only its second year of existence, No. 4 Florida Gators lacrosse (16-3) defeated the Stanford Cardinal (16-3) 13-11 on Saturday evening in the first round of the 2011 event at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Led by sophomores attacker Kitty Cullen and midfielder Janine Hillier, who had four goals apiece, Florida went back-and-forth with Stanford after multiple weather delays that pushed the start time back to 6 p.m.

The Gators jumped ahead 4-0 less than six minutes into the game, but the Cardinal evened things up with a 4-0 run spanning 17:55. Hillier snuck a goal in via an assist from sophomore M Brittany Dashiell to put UF ahead 5-4 going into the break.

Florida took a three-goal lead with scores from Hillier and Dashiell in the first minute of the second half, but another 4-0 run by Stanford gave them an 8-7 advantage.

After Dashiel tied things up for the Gators with 20:01 to play, the Cardinal went back on top 9-8. Florida outscored Stanford 5-2 over the final 16:45 of the game to prevail, running out the final 10:15 after Cullen scored the team’s final goal.

UF advances to face the winner of No. 5 Duke/Pennsylvania in NCAA Tournament second-round action on Sat., May 21 at 3:00 p.m. The University of Florida will once again host the contest.

OGGOA EXTRA: 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket (PDF)

Chandler Parsons to guest blog for OGGOA

With the Florida Gators in the process of wrapping up their spring sports and a few months remaining until football season actually begins, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive is making a concerted effort to provide our readers as much additional content as possible over the next few sweltering summer months.

On Monday, 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and former Florida forward Chandler Parsons agreed to join OGGOA as a guest blogger through the 2011 NBA Draft set for June 23 at 7 p.m.

Parsons will check in with us each week to discuss what he is up to in his quest to become the first Gators basketball player to be drafted since teammate Nick Calathes was picked with the No. 45 overall pick in the second round in 2009.

Readers will be able to tag along as Parsons trains to improve his game, competes at the 2011 NBA Combine and meets with individual teams interested in selecting him in late June. Projections for Parsons have him being selected anywhere from the mid-teens in the first round to early in the second round of the draft.

Leaving Florida with a degree in telecommunications, he led the Gators in both rebounding and assists last season. Florida went on to capture the 2011 SEC regular season title and reached the Elite Eight in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

He finished his career as the 12th leading scorer in school history (1,452 points) and just the sixth with more than 500 career field goals. Upon playing his last game in March, Parsons was the only active player in Division I with over 1,300 points, 800 rebounds, 300 assists and 125 steals for his career.

Parsons is the second former Gators player to guest blog for this website. He follows Danny Wuerffel, a national champion and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner, who wrote five columns evaluating the football team in Sept. and Oct. 2010.

Keep a look out for his contributions exclusively here on OGGOA!

OGGOA RELATED: Exclusive interview with Chandler Parsons

Florida releases salaries of basketball assistants

Having to hire an entire new coaching staff after all three of his former assistants departed early in the offseason, Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan brought in two familiar faces and an established veteran in a relatively short period of time.

On Friday, Florida released the assistants’ salaries via records requests obtained by The Gainesville Sun’s Kevin Brockway and the Orlando Sentinel’s Rachel George.

A look at the coaching staff’s 2011 salaries:

2011 Coach2011 Salary2010 Coach2010 Salary
Billy Donovan
Head Coach
$3.3M
(3 years)
Billy Donovan
Head Coach
$3.2M
(4 years)
Norm Roberts
Assistant Coach
$235,000
(1 year)
Larry Shyatt
Assistant Coach
$250,000
(1 year)
John Pelphrey
Assistant Coach
$180,000
(1 year)
Rob Lanier
Assistant Coach
-
(1 year)
Matt McCall
Assistant Coach
$100,000
(1 year)
Richard Pitino
Assistant Coach
-
(1 year)

Pelphrey’s salary will help offset the $1.8 million Arkansas owes him for firing him with three years remaining on his head coaching contract. The school was set to pay him $600,000 annually for three years but will instead contribute just $420,000 per season.

Contract notes:
– All coaches receive a $10,000 bonus from Florida’s contract with Nike
– All coaches receive a car and other tangible incentives
– All coaches are eligible for performance-based bonuses

FOUR BITS: tennis, Jenkins, Pounceys, Horn

1 » No. 8 Florida Gators men’s tennis advanced in the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Friday, shutting out the South Carolina State Bulldogs 4-0 in opening round action. Florida will move on to face Miami at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, FL.

2 » A source close to the player told OGGOA on Friday that former Gators cornerback Janoris Jenkins has already visited North Alabama and does indeed have them as a leader for his services though he has yet to officially begin the transfer process. Jenkins would be able to play immediately as transferring to a Division II program would not require him to sit out a year.

3 » Former Florida centers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey will be appearing at a charity event benefiting victims of the Alabama tornadoes on Friday from 5-8 p.m. Hosted by the Legacy Entertainment and Arts Foundation in Orlando, FL, the event is free to the public, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

4 » Gators senior decathlete Gray Horn captured the Southeastern Conference Championship in the decathlon for the third-consecutive year on Friday, making him only the second athlete in SEC history to accomplish that task. Horn’s 7,828 points in the event was a school record.

FOUR BITS: softball falls, Horford, Jenkins, USA

1 » No. 3 Florida Gators softball (47-9, 21-7 SEC) was shocked Thursday as they were upset 6-2 by the Auburn Tigers (39-16, 15-13 SEC) in the first round of the 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament. The No. 2 seed going into the event, Florida fell behind 3-0 in the first inning before cutting the lead to 3-1 on a RBI single by senior catcher Tiffany DeFelice (1-2, RBI) in the bottom of the fourth. No. 7-seed Auburn responded immediately, scoring three runs in the next frame to jump ahead 6-1 and hold on for the victory. Senior right-handed pitcher Stephanie Brombacher (17-2) got the start but was pulled after giving up three runs (one earned) in the first inning. Freshman RHP Hannah Rogers came on for the final six innings and struck out three while similarly giving up three runs (one earned). UF committed three errors on the day.

2 » Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford, currently fighting to stay alive against the Chicago Bulls in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, was named to the All-NBA Third Team on Thursday. It is Horford’s first career All-NBA selection and the first ever for a former Gators basketball player.

3 » Former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has had a not guilty plea submitted by his attorney on his behalf for his most recent charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Attorney Huntley Johnson, who spoke with The Gainesville Sun about the plea, also said that Jenkins will likely transfer to either North Alabama or Valdosta State to play football next season. A report Wednesday stated that Jenkins to North Alabama was a done deal; however, it appears that Jenkins is at least still considering his options.

4 » Seventeen of the top young basketball players in the nation were invited to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship training camp held June 17-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Two of those 17 players selected Thursday are Gators freshman center Patric Young and 2011 signee guard Brad Beal; each accepted his respective invitation. Twelve of the 17 invitees will be picked for the team. Young and Beal each have a great chance of being selected at the end of the camp. “I know Patric and Brad are both excited about this invitation,” Florida head coach Billy Donovan said in a team-released statement. “It’s a unique opportunity for a player, so it’s an honor for them to be a part of this group.” The 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship will be held June 30 to July 10 in Latvia. The United States is in Group D with China, Egypt and Serbia.

Parsons: “I’m trying to prove everybody wrong.”

Forward Chandler Parsons went through a lot in his four years playing for the Florida Gators. From finding early success to being locked out of the gym by head coach Billy Donovan to becoming the first basketball player school history to win the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year award, Parsons reflects on his college career fondly but is equally excited looking ahead to his future playing in the NBA.

One of 54 players invited to the official 2011 NBA Combine in Chicago, IL from May 18-22, Parsons is currently in California working on refining his game and improving in any way he possibly can to get prepared for workouts, individual team meetings and the 2011 NBA Draft on June 23. After completing a rigorous day of workouts on Monday, Parsons sat down with OGGOA for an extensive interview about his future playing professionally and career in the orange and blue.

ADAM SILVERSTEIN: Let’s start off by talking about what is going on for you now that the season is over and you are preparing for the draft. What have you been doing recently to get ready and how is it going?
CHANDLER PARSONS: “I’ve been in L.A. [since May 1] working out at 360 Health Club with Don MacClean, who’s the all-time leading scorer at UCLA. It’s me, Jon Leuer from Wisconsin and Malcom Thomas from San Diego State. And then there’s some pros like David Lee comes here [Tuesday]. Paul George with the Pacers has been working out with us. J.R. Giddens, who was at Kansas, transferred to New Mexico and got drafted by the Celtics, he’s been working with us. It’s been a combination of two-to-six guys every day just working really hard. We work out on the court for about an hour and a half and then you lift for about an hour with the guys and Steve Campbell who is the strength coach here. The facilities are beautiful. It’s right up in the valley in Woodland Hills in Los Angeles. It’s a really good setup and we’re just working on all aspects of our game – two-on-two, pick-and-roll, offense, defense. The main thing is just getting in shape, being in the best condition of your life going forward for these NBA workouts.”

AS: What specifically are you working on and trying to showcase at the combine? Has your post game been a specific focus?
CP: “I’ve been working off the ball, catching the ball at the post when I get a smaller three or two on me. I measured at 6’10 1/2” in shoes, so I’m going to have a lot of mismatches at the next level. I’m going to be able to take some guys down on the block. I’ve been working on my post game, my handle, being able to create and still facilitate just like I did at Florida. And then there’s the difference with the NBA three-point line, which I’m very comfortable shooting with, but it’s about getting a lot of reps up, same form, becoming more of a consistent three-point shooter from that distance.”

AS: What have you heard from your agent in regards to a projection for the draft?
CP: “When I first signed with my agent, who is Mark Bartelstein, he told me anywhere from mid-first round to early second round. Now, after this week of working out, my trainer Don MacLean told Mark, ‘I don’t know what kind of workouts you’re scheduling, but you need to start scheduling Chandler with teams with picks in the teens.’ He sees me going a lot higher than people are projecting me with how good I’ve been doing out here – anywhere from the teens to mid-first round to early second round.”

Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Chandler Parsons…after the break!
Continue Reading » Parsons: “I’m trying to prove everybody wrong.”

Tim Tebow book tour coming to a city near you

In order to promote his new memoir Through My Eyes, Denver Broncos and former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will take part in a limited book tour making three stops in Florida and two more in Colorado. The dates and locations are as follows:

May 30 – Jacksonville, FL (2-4 p.m.)
Books-A-Million
738 Marsh Landing Parkway
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

June 4 – Denver, CO (4-6 p.m.)
The Tattered Cover
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202

June 5 – Colorado Springs, CO (4-6 p.m.)
Sam’s Club
1850 E. Woodman Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

June 9 – Gainesville, FL (6-8 p.m.)
Walmart
3570 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608

June 11 – Orlando, FL (2-4 p.m.)
Barnes & Noble
2418 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803

Companies like Amazon.com have begun taking pre-orders with a release date of May 31. HarperCollins will initially print 200,000 copies of the memoir, and an audio book will also be available. Through My Eyes will be released for the Amazon Kindle as well. You can pre-order it by Clicking Here.

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