Dallas Mavericks snag free agent Corey Brewer

Updated March 2 at 7 p.m.

One day after being bought out and waived by the New York Knicks, who acquired him as a side deal in their blockbuster trade with the Denver Nuggets for forward Carmelo Anthony, former Florida Gators F Corey Brewer is in the process of signing a multi-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

Brewer, who was released on March 1 in order to be eligible to participate in the 2011 NBA Playoffs, was courted by nearly a dozen teams as late as Monday but narrowed his list down to a handful that included Dallas, San Antonio, Boston and Charlotte.

The Mavericks ended up landing Brewer due to the fact that they could offer him more money than his other suitors, ESPN‘s Marc Stein reports. His deal is expected to start in the $2 million per season range and could be worth as much as $7-8 million over the three-year life of the contract.

Averaging 24.3 minutes per game with the Minnesota Timberwovles this season, Brewer posted 8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game (all below his career numbers). However, it is his athleticism and defensive prowess that had him coveted so heavily once he reached the free agent market.

OGGOA will update this story as more information is made available.

Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

FOUR BITS: Tebow, Muschamp, spring, Strong

1 » The media hits keep coming for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Just one week after his new head coach, John Fox, decided that veteran Kyle Orton will be the starter when the team’s training camp opens and a disputed report surfaced that Tebow does not have the support of the front office, new team president John Elway said the following on Denver radio this week:

“Tim came in and started the last three games and played well but was also very raw. […] If we sit here right now Kyle would be the starter. Now, Fox likes competition and I think that is what makes everybody better, is competition at every position, and so therefore when he gets here he does not know anybody here so when he comes into camp and brings these guys into camp, every position is going to be competed for and the best player’s going to play there.”

Tebow, competing in the Honda Classic Pro-Am on Wednesday, dismissed that he was concerned about the comments made over the last week by his coach. “He’s great,” Tebow said of Fox. “I had a great relationship with him last year in the whole recruiting process. We had several dinners together when he was at Carolina.” He told the Associated Press that he recently spent time with Fox and is not worried about competition for the starting job. “That’s fine,” Tebow said. “It doesn’t matter until you go out and start competing. That’s my attitude.”

2 » The University of Florida Alumni Association announced 10 Gator Club appearances for new head coach Will Muschamp this spring. They are listed below:

4/20 – Polk County … 4/26 – Broward County … 4/27 – Fort Myers … 5/3 – Orlando
5/12 – Tampa … 5/13 – Jacksonville … 5/17 – Tallahassee … 5/19 – Atlanta, GA
5/24 – Volusia County … 9/2 – TitleTown (Gainesville)

3 » Former head coach Urban Meyer may have closed fall practice last season, a decision that enraged media members exponentially more than fans, but he made sure to leave spring practice open to the public. The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu believes “there is a good chance that many, if not all, Florida practices will be closed to the public and media.” Andreu goes on to point out that, while fans may be disappointed, closing practices could be a great move for a brand new coaching staff that is looking to start from scratch with open competitions for positions and different schemes for each player to learn. You can read what else Andreu had to say on the topic here.

4 » When Louisville Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong took over the program after deciding to leave his position as defensive coordinator of the Gators, he did not have high hopes for his team in year one. “If you would have asked me a year ago at the end of spring ball, I would have said I don’t know if we’ll win one or two games,” Strong said, according to ESPN. After a successful season which included seven wins and a victory in the 2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl, Strong is much more optimistic about the direction his program is heading.
 

SEC title a dream come true for UF’s seniors

“I couldn’t dream of a better way of finishing my career here.”

That is how Florida Gators senior forward Chandler Parsons described the perfect storm of good fortune that his team encountered Tuesday night.

“This is a great feeling. I just feel honored right now.”

Emotional words coming from a 6’10” 240 lb. redshirt senior center named Vernon Macklin, who has shown flashes of dominance in only his second season as a starter after transferring from Georgetown.

“It means everything.”

The only way senior F Alex Tyus could verbalize the expression on his face as he walked off the court after the 78-51 beating Florida put on the Alabama Crimson Tide to capture at least a share of the 2011 Southeastern Conference regular season title.

His next thought?

“I don’t want to hear anything about ‘co-‘ or ‘share.’ I want to win it outright. Let’s get this win against Vandy.”

Just another thing he has in common with his classmates.

“The best thing about it is Saturday we have an opportunity to go and win on the road and be the only SEC champs, not just have a share of it,” Parsons said. “We did it tonight, but we want to win out and win against Vanderbilt. I’m glad we did it for Coach Donovan,” Macklin added.

So while the Gators have another obstacle in front of them Saturday, facing No. 20/21 Vanderbilt to earn more than a “share” of the SEC title but instead the whole thing, Tuesday was a day where dreams were reached and emotions were, well, shared. And it all started with head coach Billy Donovan.
Continue Reading » SEC title a dream come true for UF’s seniors

Gators at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine – Part 2

OGGOA Related: Gators at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine – Part 1

ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive has covered the seven former Florida Gators players who were officially invited to participate in the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis, IN, at Lucas Oil Stadium each day.

Two Florida Gators safeties – Ahmad Black and Will Hill – have now been measured, completed exams, met with the media, been interviewed by teams, undergone psychological tests and completed their full combine workout. The duo was on the same schedule throughout the week; they arrived Saturday and departed Tuesday. Below is how each player measured in and performed at the NFL Combine.

Strong safety Ahmad Black (Group 10, DB3)
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 184 lbs.
Arm Length: 31 in.
Hand Size: 9 7/8 in.

40-Yard Dash: 4.74 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.20 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.25 seconds
Bench Press: 18 reps
Broad Jump: 9’11”
Vertical Jump: 35.5
3-Cone Drill: 6.85 seconds

Overview: When discussing Black’s future, analysts usually say something along the lines of, “He was great in college, but…” and conclude the sentence referencing the fact that he is undersized for a NFL safety. This is a known obstacle, but Black has proven over a four-year college career that he has every other attribute needed to succeed at the next level. He is tough, durable, smart and can sniff out passes with the best of them. His stature will prevent him from lining up one-on-one against more physical receivers, but he makes up for that in athleticism, tackling ability and overall football intelligence. Black can blitz and cover and should be an immediate starter on special teams who works himself into a starting safety role on the next level.
Strengths: Athleticism, instinctive, awareness, intelligence, tackling ability, leadership
Weaknesses: Size, speed, backpedaling

Free safety Will Hill (Group 10, DB22)
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 202 lbs.
Arm Length: 32 in.
Hand Size: 9 1/2 in.

40-Yard Dash: 4.65 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.19 seconds
Broad Jump: 10’3″
Vertical Jump: 31.0
3-Cone Drill/60-Yard Shuttle/Bench Press: ? / DNP

Overview: Coming out of high school as a five-star recruit, Hill was expected to be a world beater at Florida. He possesses all of the physical tools necessary to make it in the NFL but has struggled with his awareness and football IQ. Hill’s best trait on the field is his ball skills and ability to stop the run, but he did not prove to be especially productive in the former area with the Gators. As a special teams player, Hill could start right away as a rookie; as a safety it will probable take a while for him to develop, if he ever does.
Strengths: Athleticism, size, speed, strength
Weaknesses: Instinctive, consistency, awareness, intelligence

Touching down in Indianapolis, IN, last Wednesday were five other Gators. You can check out how their participation in the combine went by clicking here.

The event, which was held for six days from Feb. 23 to March 1, consisted of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staff look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2011 NFL Draft commences on April 28.

3/1: Donovan’s post-game press conference

Capturing his first Southeastern Conference regular season title since 2007, No. 14/14 Florida Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) head basketball coach Billy Donovan spoke to the media after his team thrashed the Alabama Crimson Tide 78-51 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Donovan had plenty to say, so we have compiled some of the most important news, notes and quotes following his post-game press conference.

ANOTHER TALE OF TWO HALVES

Before waxing poetic about his senior class and how much they deserved the win on Tuesday, Donovan spoke about the disparity in how the Gators played in the first and second halves of the game. Though Florida showed plenty of energy and intensity from the start, the production simply wasn’t there at the beginning.

“To start the game, our guys were very emotional with it being Senior Night and what we were playing for. We played really hard; we played really aggressive,” he said. “As a coach, when you’re sitting over there and every time you shoot the ball it’s a little bit long, you kind of know that they’re a little bit too excited. Our press was good in the first half. We caused some turnovers that helped us, and we had a nice run to close out the first half.”

That being said, there is absolutely no denying what the Gators did after the break. Florida played perhaps its most impressive half of the season, especially when you consider the points they put up and the lead they generated against perhaps the best defensive team in the conference.

“The second half was as about as good of a game that we’ve played in the second half all year,” Donovan said. “Anthony [Grant]’s team is a terrific defensive team, as everybody knows. For us to play the way we did in the second half on both ends of the floor…we guarded them very well and then we were really efficient on offense. We put together a half there that was really incredible.”

He continued, “When you talk about a team [Alabama] that’s holding their opponents to 38 percent from the field and their last five games in the second half they’ve held teams to like 28 percent, these guys shot 70 percent from the field against them. What our team did for that 20 minutes against arguably the best defensive team in our league was pretty impressive.”

Donovan summed it up pretty succinctly. “I see signs and glimpses of ‘really special.’ As a coach, you’re always trying to pull that out of them to do it more consistently. […] We played special in the second half.”

Read more on Donovan’s emotional night…after the break!
Continue Reading » 3/1: Donovan’s post-game press conference

TWO BITS: Baseball falls, tennis defeats FSU

1 » While Florida Gators fans in Gainesville, FL were busy cheering on the No. 14 basketball team to their first Southeastern Conference regular season title since 2007, those in Tampa, FL were in agony watching No. 5 Florida State Seminoles baseball (8-0) put together a five-run third inning and hold on to defeat No. 1 Florida (7-1) 5-3 on Tuesday. Taking part in the Florida Four event at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the two teams renewed their rivalry with FSU once again coming out on top. UF junior right-handed pitcher Tommy Toledo (0-1) was brushed off the mound quickly after giving up three earned runs on two hits and three walks in 2.1 innings. Junior left-handed pitcher Alex Panteliodis came in to stop the bleeding with one out in the third but coughed up four hits and a walk to allow Florida State to complete their impressive rally.

The Gators added a single run in the bottom of the third as junior right fielder Preston Tucker (2-4, RBI, R) singled home freshman third baseman Zack Powers (1-4, R) and posted two more in the sixth on a rally with a RBI each from sophomore center fielder Kamm Washington (1-3, RBI, BB) and junior left fielder Daniel Pigott (1-4, RBI). Scott Sitz (2-0) earned the win for the Seminoles, and closer Mike McGee (S1) got the save.

2 » Earlier in the day, No. 1 Florida women’s tennis (11-1) spanked No. 22 Florida State 6-1 on the road at Scott Speicher Tennis Center in Tallahassee, FL. The No. 1 doubles pairing of sophomore Allie Will and freshman Alex Cercone led the way for the Gators with an 8-1 victory. Florida’s two other duos – No. 58 freshman Olivia Janowicz/junior Joanna Mather and No. 75 sophomores Lauren Embree/Caroline Hitimana were also victorious. No. 7 Will fell in singles competition, but No. 26 Embree, No. 35 Cercone, No. 34 Janowicz, No. 125 Hitimana and freshman Sofie Oyen all won their individual matches.

Gators win first SEC title since 2007 as No. 14 Florida chomps Alabama 78-51 on Senior Night

It took them four years of scratching and clawing, but on Senior Night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL, the No. 14 Florida Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) won at least a share of the Southeastern Conference regular season title for the first time since 2007 by thrashing the Alabama Crimson Tide (19-10, 11-4 SEC) 78-51.

Fittingly enough, it was Florida’s three seniors – redshirt center Vernon Macklin and forwards Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus – who led the way for the Gators’ romp. The trio combined to score 50 of UF’s 78 team points with Macklin and Parsons each accounting for 19. Macklin also led Florida with a game-high 11 rebounds; Tyus scored 12 and gave a sterling effort on the glass with nine boards.

The Gators played with passion and intensity the entire game, but one would not get that impression by looking at the first half box score. Florida started the game 3-for-19 from the field and 0-for-10 from downtown but led Alabama nearly the entire first half.

UF closed the half with back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore guard Kenny Boynton to knot it up at 30 even though they finished 11-of-30 from the floor, 2-of-12 from three and 6-of-12 from the free throw line. UA shot the ball better but had eight fewer attempts due to turning the ball over 10 times.

Coming out of the break, the Gators started hot with a 7-2 run to go up five. After some back-and-forth action, Florida put their foot on the gas and refused to let up. UF exploded on a 28-6 run over almost 10 minutes that included a flurry of three-pointers from Boynton, Parsons and junior point guard Erving Walker.

The Gators ended up hitting twice as many shots as the Crimson Tide in the second half (18-9), went 18-for-26 overall in the later portion of the game and took a game-high 27-point lead in the final few minutes of action.

Florida head coach Billy Donovan pulled Macklin and Parsons to standing ovations with 1:23 to go and called a timeout for Tyus to leave the court with a minute left. He then substituted redshirt junior F Adam Allen, who had not stepped on the court in three years and is retiring after the season, to run out the final 25 seconds of the clock.

Boynton joined the seniors with a stellar offensive effort including 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc to go along with six assists. Walker added eight points and seven dimes even though he did not hit his first shot until well into the second half.

Guard Trevor Releford led Alabama in scoring with 17 points, while star Fs JaMychael Green and Tony Mitchell combined for 24 points and 17 rebounds (11 offensive).

UF hopes to keep the SEC title to themselves but first must face No. 20/21 Vanderbilt on the road Saturday at 6 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN. UA will also head on the road to face Georgia on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

No. 14 Florida vs. Alabama Gameday (Senior Day)

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPNU
Online Video: N/A
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 14 FLORIDA GATORS ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Anthony Grant
Record: 22-6 (11-3 SEC) Record: 19-9 (11-3 SEC)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6; O/U 125.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Alabama leads the all-time series against Florida 73-59, but the Gators have beat the Crimson Tide in 15 of the last 18 contests dating back to 1999. Florida defeated Alabama 66-65 in Tuscaloosa last season, making Donovan 16-5 all-time against the Crimson Tide (8-0 at home).
» The Gators are 4-1 against the SEC West this season after going an undefeated 6-0 against the division last year.
» Florida has won 14 of its last 17 games with 12 victories against RPI top 100 teams; their six-game winning streak was snapped Saturday by Kentucky.
» Alabama has also won 14 of its last 17 games and has only allowed six opponents to score more than 60 points over that stretch.
» UF and UA, both No. 1 seeds in the 2011 SEC Tournament, are squaring off Tuesday with the victor winning the overall SEC regular season title.
» The Gators are 19-1 (8-0 SEC) when holding an opponent under 70 points this year.
» Florida is 13-3 at home this year and can reach 14 wins in the O’Dome for the seventh time in Donovan’s 15-year UF career.
» The Gators, struggling all season from the line, are hitting 73.6 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe over the last six games.
» Florida is 9-2 when senior forward Chandler Parsons takes 10+ shots from the field. He moved into the top 20 in school history in scoring (1,345 points) with 15 points on Saturday. He is also one of only three active players in Division I college basketball with over 1,300 points, 750 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 steals.
» Gators junior point guard Erving Walker, with 195 three-pointers, is sixth all-time at UF. He is three treys away from moving into the top five.
» Florida has reached 20+ wins for the 13th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the SEC. The Gators have also reached 10 wins in league play for the ninth time in the last 13 years and first time since 2007 (13-3).
» The Crimson Tide are led by Grant, a former assistant under Donovan, who has compiled a 112-49 mark in five years as a head coach (36-24 at current job).
» Florida bests Alabama in all four major national statistical categories. The Gators top the Crimson Tide in points per game 70.8-67.6 (120th-214th), rebounds per game 37.8-37.2 (46th-65th), assists per game 13.8-12.9 (115th-176th) and field goal percentage .457-.452 (80th-104th). Alabama is one of the few teams in the SEC that plays better defense than Florida, limiting opponents to 58.2 points and .373 shooting on the season (vs. 62.2 and .423). UF ranks 12th in RPI (.6333) and eighth in strength of schedule nationally compared to UA being 87th (.5487) and 175th, respectively.

SENIOR DAY

The Gators’ 2010-11 senior class will graduate with a (as of press time) 92-42 all-time record including a SEC East title and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Allen, who has suffered from chronic knee problems, has not played since April 1, 2008 and will depart the program one year early. Macklin was around for 43 of those wins, joining the team as a transfer and only playing two seasons after redshirting. Parsons is in the top 20 in school history in scoring, and Tyus was just the fifth player under Donovan to reach 500 career field goals. Parsons also won SEC Player of the Week and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week in his senior season.

* F Adam Allen – #14 – Milton, Fla. [redshirt junior]
Career at UF (2007-08): 144 points, 29 rebounds, 15 assists, six steals, three blocks

* C Vernon Macklin – #32 – Portsmouth, Va. [redshirt senior]
Career at UF (2009-11): 673 points, 355 rebounds, 46 assists, 29 steals, 52 blocks

* F Chandler Parsons – #25 – Casselberry, Fla. [senior]
Career at UF (2007-11): 1,345 points, 787 rebounds, 303 assists, 121 steals, 37 blocks

* F Alex Tyus – #23 – St. Louis, Mo. [senior]
Career at UF (2007-11): 1,243 points, 692 rebounds, 72 assists, 51 steals, 107 blocks

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Parsons…who is back to averaging double-digit points (11.1) while leading the Gators with 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Parsons ranks No. 1 among active SEC players in rebounds (787), No. 3 in points (1,345) and assists (303) and No. 4 steals (121). At one point he notched three-straight double-doubles and now has six this year.
» Walker…who is leading his team in scoring with 14.6 points per game and leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (.415) and three-point percentage (.374). Walker also leads Florida in turnovers (69) and became the 47th player in school history to score 1,000 points earlier this season.
» Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin…who is shooting a team-best 56.9 percent from the floor this season as a starter with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds a game while being a major presence for UF.
» Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton…who is arguably the Gators’ most talented player but is struggling with consistency shooting the ball. Boynton is only hitting 37.0 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second in scoring with 13.5 points per game and makes a team-high 83.5 percent of his free throws. He is also shooting 90.6 percent from the line (48-of-53) in SEC play.
» Senior F Alex Tyus…who is averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and field goal percentage as a starter. Tyus became just the fifth player under Donovan to reach 500 career field goals, accomplishing the feat two weeks ago against Vanderbilt.
» Freshmen PG Scottie Wilbekin and C Patric Young…who are Florida’s primary reserves each averaging over 17 minutes per game. Wilbekin, in relief of Walker, leads UF in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.25:1), while Young averages 3.2 points and 3.4 boards.
» Alabama Fs JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell who each shoot better than .500 from the floor while averaging nearly 16 points and seven boards per game. The duo is responsible for the vast majority of the Crimson Tide’s points and rebounds this season.

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