Florida commit Brad Beal dominates for USA U-17

Before he started his senior year of high school or prepared to join the Florida Gators in Gainesville, FL, as the team’s highest rated commitment since guard Nick Calathes, five-star 2011 recruit Brad Beal (St. Louis, MO) decided to represent his country by accepting a nomination to USA Basketball’s U-17 Men’s National Team in order to compete in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men in Germany.

With his team taking home the Gold Medal on Sunday by easily defeating Poland 111-80, Beal completed a stellar stretch in which he was his country’s most consistent player. For that, he was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament with 18.3 points per game and 47.7 percent shooting from downtown (31-of-65). Here are his individual statistics from the event:

Friday, July 2 – 82-70 win vs. Argentina
Beal: 11 points, 4-11 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 4 BLK, 3 STL [35 minutes]
Saturday, July 3 – 102-66 win vs. Lithuania
Beal: 16 points (team-high), 6-10 FG, 2-6 3-PT, 3 AST, 3 STL [24 minutes]
Monday, July 5 – 113-73 win vs. China
Beal: 20 points, 5-12 FG, 5-11 3-PT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL [22 minutes]
Tuesday, July 6 – 132-64 win vs. Egypt
Beal: 18 points (team-high), 6-10 FG, 4-7 3-PT, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 BLK [17 minutes]
Wednesday, July 7 – 112-75 win vs. Serbia
Beal: 20 points (team-high), 8-14 FG, 2-7 3-PT, 3 REB, 2 STL [25 minutes]
Friday, July 9 – 105-70 win vs. Australia
Beal: 25 points (team-high), 8-13 FG, 7-9 3-PT, 3 REB [22 minutes]
Saturday, July 10 – 103-80 win vs. Canada
Beal: 17 points, 6-14 FG, 4-11 3-PT, 4 REB, 2 AST, 2 BLK, 5 STL [32 minutes]
Sunday, July 11 – 111-80 win vs. Poland
Beal: 19 points, 7-13 FG, 5-9 3-PT, 5 REB [31 minutes]

Joining Beal on the FIBA All-Tournament Five was five-star power forward James McAdoo, a heralded recruit and North Carolina commit.

Florida head coach Billy Donovan was in attendance for the final few games of the international competition, hoping to seal the deal on Beal’s commitment while scouting five-star small forward Adonis Thomas (Memphis, TN) and four-star PF Johnny O’Bryant (Cleveland, MS).

Photo Credits: FIBA

Guilty plea forthcoming for Gators WR Hammond

Florida Gators redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. will plead guilty to driving under the influence after being arrested on June 13, according to Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel, who spoke with Hammond’s attorney, Huntley Johnson.

Johnson believes Hammond will serve a minimum sentence as he is a first-time offender and has admitted to his mistakes.

“I think [our plea] will be accepted,” Johnson told the Sentinel. “He’ll get the same treatment as somebody else [former defensive end Carlos Dunlap]. He’s accepting responsibility, and he’s going to be better for it.”

Dunlap got six months of probation and 50 hours of community service after pleading guilty to the same offense in January.

Hammond, after immediately being suspended from all team activities by University of Florida administration, returned to working out with the team this week. He was arrested for DUI and possession of alcohol by a minor just under a month ago.

As OGGOA exclusively reported on June 15, the Gators adopted an “if one falls, all fall” mentality that was taught in practical application immediately after an impassioned meeting the team held following Hammond’s arrest.

He is not expected to receive more than a one or two-game suspension.

From OGGOA‘s original story on Hammond’s arrest:

Hammond was allegedly “speeding, swerving and driving” with two open 750-ml bottles of Crown Royal whiskey in his car (one in the back seat, one in the trunk). He was traveling faster than 45 miles per hour on Gale Lemerand Drive at 2:09 a.m.; [UF] campus is a 20-mph zone.

The police report described Hammond as “uncoordinated” with “glassy” eyes and slurred speech. He failed his on-site sobriety tests and registered breath samples of more than double the legal limit (.08) at .188 and .191.

TWO BITS: Haslem’s future, UF’s logo complaint

1 » Seemingly one of a few free agents unable to be re-signed by the Miami Heat after the team acquired guard Dwyane Wade, forward LeBron James and power forward Chris Bosh, former Florida Gators PF Udonis Haslem is currently weighing his options of what team to join next. According to various reports, the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets all have interest in signing the NBA veteran who earned $7.1 million last season. It is also being mentioned that Miami does desire to keep Haslem but can currently only offer him a veteran’s minimum contract of $1.1 million. However, should president and general manager Pat Riley work out dual sign-and-trades with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, respectively, the team could theoretically re-sign all of their roleplaying free agents. Haslem has averaged 10.0 points and 8.1 rebounds in his seven-year career.

In related news… Former Gators PF Chris Richard has joined the Chicago Bulls‘ summer league team after being waved by the team following the 2009-10 season.

2 » Florida is very conscious of its intellectual property being utilized without consent elsewhere – whether it is for a money-making gimmick or, apparently, the mascot of a small rural school in Arkansas. According to the Associated Press, the Two Rivers School District in Russellville, AR, is being forced to change “the look of its mascot after the University of Florida said it infringed on their trademarked Gator logo and design.” The school will need to spend approximately $8,000 to remove the brand new logo from their gymnasium. Public relations-wise, UF does not come off looking too good here, but the school must protect its intellectual property…and this logo is as bad as it gets!

Photo Credit: Gary Dineen/Getty Images

TWO BITS: Vols WR arrested, Bullard profiled

1 » Four-star wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers (Calhoun, GA) was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after getting into a fight early Friday morning with “seven to 10” of his Tennessee Volunteers teammates at a nightclub in Knoxville, TN. “I don’t know why. I don’t know what happened, but several of the guys started beating up the other customer,” club co-owner Sandy Morton said. “I want to guess there was seven to 10 guys beating up this one gentleman. [...] My husband saw them picking up bar stools and starting to swing them. […] There happened to be a friend of ours who was an off-duty police officer outside. He tried to help, and he ended up getting knocked out in the street and proceeded to be kicked while he was down on the ground.” Rogers, who was first committed to Georgia before swinging to Tennessee, was recruited heavily by the Florida Gators for quite some time.

UPDATE: Sophomore safety Darren Myles, Jr. was also charged in the incident after being arrested for assaulting a University of Tennessee police officer and both resisting and evading arrest. Rogers was released on $1,000 hours after being arrested. More arrests are expected after conversations are held and tapes are reviewed.

2 » As readers of OGGOA are aware, we have been keeping you up-to-date with the trials and tribulations of former Gators defensive end Thaddeus Bullard – now known as Titus O’Neil to wrestling fans – in his quest to become a professional wrestler with the WWE. The Gainesville Sun was able to get a hold of Bullard and discuss a number of topics related to his new endeavor.

On joining WWE: “It’s the largest sports-entertainment company in the world. That’s what drives me. I want to compete at the highest level. I didn’t get in it to just go halfway. I’m in it to try to compete at the highest level I can.”

On his character: “My character is basically me being myself. What the WWE wants you to do is be yourself and then turn it up two or three notches when you are on camera.”

On his decision to wrestle: “I was always amazed at the physical things that they can do in a small amount of space. The entertainment aspect of it also appealed to me.”

On Tim Tebow as a pro wrestler: “I think [he] could pretty much do whatever he sets out to do. I’ve had the chance to talk to him a few times. He’s an amazing human being.”

Miller, Heat agree on five-year, $30 million deal

With three perennial NBA All-Stars in guard Dwyane Wade, forward LeBron James and power forward Chris Bosh now committed to play for the Miami Heat, team president and general manager Pat Riley is in the process of filling out the remainder of his roster. Riley hopes that former Florida Gators guard/forward Mike Miller will go a long way to doing just that after quickly signing the widely desired free agent to a five-year, $30 million contract Friday morning.

The former Florida star decided to accept a deal rumored to be substantially less than a “big” sum of money also offered by the Los Angeles Clippers.

Miller, extended almost the exact same contract by the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on July 1, was rumored to have been given a deadline of Thursday night to decide whether or not he would take the Heat’s offer.

Miami is able to bring in an additional free agent after trading PF Michael Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 2011 second-round pick and the option to swap an undisclosed future first-round pick.

Teaming up with Wade, James and Bosh, Miller will have the opportunity to become the third former Gators star to win an NBA Championship with the Heat, following PF Udonis Haslem and point guard Jason Williams. San Antonio Spurs F Matt Bonner has also captured a league title.

He averaged 10.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists last year with the Washington Wizards, his only season with the team.

OGGOA RELATED: Knicks send Lee to Warriors via sign and trade

Knicks send Lee to Warriors via sign and trade

After waiting with bated breath for six-time NBA All-Star LeBron James to announce the destination of his choosing and being dejected when he selected the Miami Heat, the New York Knicks have agreed to send former Florida Gators forward/center David Lee to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade that will earn the former New York fan favorite $80 million over six years.

Lee – who met and spoke with a number of teams including the Heat, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns – will be a key frontcourt starter for the Warriors alongside Andris Biedrins.

In return, the Knicks are expected to receive a package of players including former LSU Tigers power forward Anthony Randolph, former Kentucky Wildcats guard/forward Kelenna Azubuike and and power forward Ronny Turiaf.

“David’s excited,” Lee’s agent Mark Bartelstein said. “[Golden State] put a lot of effort into trying to get him. It was a very difficult and complicated process that we went through. [...] I think he’ll fit in great with that style. They have a really interesting team. With Monta Ellis, Steph[on] Curry and David, they can make a run for the playoffs.”

Over the last two seasons, Lee has averaged 18.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game.

Photo Credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

OGGOA RELATED: Miller leaning toward signing with Heat for less

TWO BITS: Haden ready to sign, Nelson helps

1 » Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Joe Haden wants to get paid, but he refuses to hold out through the start of training camp. According to Haden and his agent, Malik Shareef, the former Florida Gators star will be practicing with Cleveland right way. “We’ve been in contact with the Browns and expect to begin negotiating next week,” Shareef told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “Our main objective is to get Joe in camp on time so he can perform to the best of his abilities. A holdout would not be in anyone’s best interests.” Picked No. 7 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, Haden points out that he could not agree now even if he wanted to. “I can’t sign yet,” he said via Twitter. “[Cleveland] hasn’t even sent an offer. It goes in order of [where you are picked].”

Other former Gators still awaiting NFL contracts include: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper and New England Patriots linebackers Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes.

2 » One former Florida player who is already under contract is Buffalo Bills WR David Nelson, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent back in April. Nelson, who is making strides with Buffalo and may impact the team as soon as the 2010 season, participated in a Christmas in July celebration at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo on Wednesday. “I have a favorite ornament that my grandma made me,” Nelson said. “She made one for all her grandkids. It’s a small figurine of me when I was about 6 years old. The figurine was how she viewed us. Mine has me with curly hair and holding a football. Making ornaments today with all the kids at the hospital was so much fun and really reminded me of my grandma making her ornaments by hand.”

EA Sports “gets it” with NCAA Football 11 ads

EA Sports may not be advertising the upcoming release of NCAA Football 11 on OGGOA (heaven knows we did enough free promotion for them already), but that doesn’t mean they don’t respect what we’re all about.

Just take their advertising campaign for the video game as an example. Though we initially had a tough time locating a copy of the television commercial being aired across the country, we have finally found it thanks to the help of one of our Twitter followers. (The first few seconds of the video are what counts here.)

This online ad also showcases the theme that the company has created.

Our point? We don’t have one really. It is just cool to see OGGOA (even as a phrase) being used to promote a big-time product…just as it was last year throughout the “Finish the Mission” campaign for Nike Pro Combat apparel. Now if EA Sports would only see the value in advertising here like some of our other sponsors.

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