No. 1 Florida baseball sweeps Miami in series

No. 1 Florida Gators baseball (10-1) completed a three-game series sweep of the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes (4-7) over the weekend with a 5-3 win on Sunday.

Florida was also victorious 8-3 on Friday and 1-0 on Saturday to sweep Miami in Gainesville, FL for the first time in school history.

The Gators have now won nine of their last 10 match-ups against the Hurricanes including six-straight. This weekend they did so in front of a combined crowd of 13,552.

Friday: Sophomore left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson (3-0) struck out nine in five scoreless innings to help Florida prevail. Senior second baseman Josh Adams (3-3, 3 RBI, R) and sophomore third baseman Austin Maddox (2-5, HR, 2 RBI, R) led the way for the offense as the Gators scored eight unanswered runs and eventually won 8-3.

Saturday: Sophomore right-handed pitcher Hudson Randall picked up right where Johnson left off, tossing seven one-hit innings while striking out five before being relieved by RHP Anthony DeSclafani in the top of the eighth. After DeSclafani (2-0) forced three consecutive ground outs, Florida decided to bring in senior Bryson Smith to pinch hit with Adams on second after a lead-off walk. Smith (1-1, RBI) knocked Adams home with a single to right center and DeSclafani struck out two in the top of the ninth to end the game. The 1-0 series-clinching win marked UF’s first shutout of UM since 2004.

Sunday: Tied 2-2 heading into the sixth, the Gators rallied for three runs and eventually prevailed 5-3 over the Hurricanes. Freshman RHP Karsten Whitson took the hill for Florida but gave up seven hits and two earned runs while striking out four in five innings of work. Junior RHP Tommy Toledo (2-0) bridged the gap with two strikeouts in 2.2 shutout innings before DeSclafani (S1) eventually came on for the save opportunity in the ninth. Junior right fielder Preston Tucker (3-4, RBI, R) hit a solo shot to start off the sixth inning rally, and junior left fielder Daniel Pigott (1-4, 2 RBI) completed it with a two-run double. Florida also saw sterling offensive efforts from freshman 3B Zack Powers (2-4, RBI, R) and sophomore catcher Mike Zunino (0-2, 2 BB, 2 R).

UF, which has won 24-straight games at McKethan Stadium, looks to continue their winning ways next week with a pair of contests against Georgia Southern and USF as well as a three-game weekend series vs. Rhode Island.

Former UF track coach Jimmy Carnes dead at 76

Former Florida Gators track and field head coach Jimmy Carnes passed away Saturday. He was 76 years old.

Carnes, who coached at the University of Florida from 1965-76, lost a four-year battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife and four children.

“Jimmy Carnes is an icon in the sport of track and field. His contributions to the University of Florida, as well as his sport on a national and international level, have been immeasurable,’’ Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said in an official statement from the school. “Jimmy has been a great advocate of the sport of track and field and an outstanding citizen in the Gainesville community. Our thoughts go out to his wife, Nanette, and his family.”
Continue Reading » Former UF track coach Jimmy Carnes dead at 76

Gators win 2011 SEC title outright as No. 14 Florida takes down No. 20 Vanderbilt 86-76

No. 14 Florida Gators basketball (24-6, 13-3 SEC) put the wheels in motion Tuesday by clinching a share of the 2011 Southeastern Conference regular season title and went on to win it outright Saturday by defeating the No. 20 Vanderbilt Commodores (21-9, 9-7 SEC) 86-76 at the Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN.

All five of Florida’s starters scored in double figures and their intensity on the offensive glass (out-rebounding Vanderbilt 11-3) provided them ample opportunities at second-chance points. Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton led the Gators with 17 points, and senior forward Alex Tyus contributed a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

UF struggled early, allowing VU center Festus Ezeli to score nine points in five minutes. He and F Jeffrey Taylor, who added 10 points, scored 19 of the team’s first 21 points as the Commodores led by five early.

Vanderbilt soon went up 25-18, but Florida answered back with an explosive 16-2 run including two three-pointers by senior F Chandler Parsons and five points from both Boynton and redshirt senior C Vernon Macklin to take a 34-27 lead.

The Gators ended the first half with a contested missed trey by junior point guard Erving Walker that was rebounded by Tyus and passed back to Walker for a layup to complete a 20-5 run and give them a 38-30 lead at the break.

With Florida up 11, Vanderbilt used an 8-0 run of their own to reduce their deficit to 48-46 with 13:20 left. VU was soon down only one, but UF quickly responded with an 11-1 run capped by another three from Boynton to gain a 65-54 advantage.

Macklin and freshman C Patric Young each saw themselves in foul trouble after Macklin also committed his fourth with 6:45 left. Even without the size, the Gators did not relent. Boynton hit two more triples (including his fifth four-point play of the year) to put Florida up a game-high 14 points, 73-59, with 6:30 remaining.

The Commodores put one last run together to cut the Gators’ lead to 77-72 with 3:05 to go, but eight free throws from Walker iced the game and clinched the title for Florida.

Boynton scored his 17 points on 4-of-9 shooting from downtown. Tyus was an efficient 5-for-9 from the field and grabbed an impressive seven offensive boards. Walker contributed 16 points (10 from the free throw line) and six assists, while Parsons and Macklin added 13 apiece.

Vanderbilt G John Jenkins scored a game-high 22 points off 9-of-15 shooting. Ezeli added 16 with four blocks, and Taylor was 7-for-11 from the field with 15 points.

The Gators’ 13-3 conference record ties the 2007 team for the best in school history. With the victory, Florida won only its third outright SEC title in school history (1989, 2007) and reached 24 wins for just the fourth time ever.

UF, the No. 1 overall seed in the 2011 SEC Tournament, will face either Georgia, Ole Miss or Tennessee in quarterfinals (second round) action on March 11. The game will air live on your local SEC Network affiliate at 7:30 p.m.

POST-GAME THOUGHTS

Tyus on the win: “It means everything. It was huge. I’m really excited right now. All the guys are really excited. Just all the hard work, how far we’ve come since our freshman and sophomore years. Now we’re getting to the top of the mountain and just want to keep going.”

Parsons on all starters scoring in double figures: “That’s just everybody playing unselfish. We don’t have any guys on our team that try to go out and get theirs. Whoever’s open gets the ball and everyone really contributed tonight. Our bench was terrific in the first half. We played extremely hard tonight. It shows a lot about our team that we won it all for ourselves.”

Parsons on the celebration: “We’re going to celebrate tonight. Definitely gonna celebrate tonight. I’m not going to tell you what or what we’re going to do. There’s definitely going to be some celebrating going on in Gainesville tonight.

Photo Credit: Wade Payne/Associated Press

No. 14 Florida at No. 20 Vanderbilt Gameday

Location: Memorial Gymnasium – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 14,316]
Time: 6:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 14 FLORIDA GATORS No. 20 VANDERBILT
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Kevin Stallings
Record: 23-6 (12-3 SEC) Record: 21-8 (9-6 SEC)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Vanderbilt -4; O/U 137.5

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Vanderbilt leads the all-time series against Florida 63-57 and won both meetings last season. However, the Gators are 16-5 in their last 21 games against the Commodores including an overtime victory earlier this year. UF is also 19-11 against them under Donovan including 6-8 in Nashville.
» The Gators are 7-2 against the SEC East this season.
» Florida has won 15 of their last 18 games (and seven of their last eight) with 13 victories against RPI top 100 teams.
» UF, which has already won at least a share of the SEC regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the 2011 SEC Tournament, can win sole possession of the former with either a road victory (or Alabama home loss) on Saturday.
» If the Gators win Saturday, it will be the fourth team in school history to win 24+ regular season games. They would win the third outright SEC title in school history (1989, 2007).
» Florida is 20-1 (9-0 SEC) when holding an opponent under 70 points this year.
» The Gators, struggling all season from the line, are hitting 71.5 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe over the last seven games.
» Florida is 10-2 when senior forward Chandler Parsons takes 10+ shots from the field. He has moved into the top 20 in school history in scoring (1,364 points) and is 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 197 three-pointers, is sixth all-time at UF. He is one trey away from moving into the top five.
» UF 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).
» Vanderbilt leads Florida in points per game 76.7-71.0 (27th-116th) nationally, while the Gators hold an advantage over the Commodores in assists 14.0-13.6 (99th-129th). The teams are nearly identical in rebounding (37.7 apiece) and field goal percentage (.459-.458 [UF]). Florida holds opponents to five fewer points per game than Vanderbilt 61.8-66.8, grabs more turnovers 13.1-12.5 and coughs up fewer 12.4-13.7. The Gators rank 11th in RPI (.6352) and seventh in strength of schedule nationally compared to the Commodores being 24th (.6172) and 15th, respectively.

LAST TIME OUT

Florida and Vanderbilt will square off for the second time this season; the Gators defeated the Commodores 65-61 in overtime in Gainesville, FL on Feb. 1. Even though the Gators failed to score a single field goal in the last 6:19 of regulation and the first 2:12 of overtime, Florida was up three with 15 seconds left when Parsons hit a pair of free throws to ice the game.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Parsons…who is averaging double-digit points (11.4) while leading the Gators with 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Parsons ranks No. 1 among active SEC players in rebounds (798), No. 3 in points (1,364) and assists (306) and No. 4 steals (123). At one point he notched three-straight double-doubles and now has seven this year.
» Walker…who is leading his team in scoring with 14.4 points per game and leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (.415) and three-point percentage (.377). Walker also leads Florida in turnovers (72) 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 57.8 percent from the floor this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.5 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 37.2 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second in scoring with 13.6 points per game and makes a team-high 81.3 percent of his free throws. He is also shooting 86.2 percent from the line (50-of-58) 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 (2.27:1), while Young averages 3.1 points and 3.4 boards.
» Vanderbilt G John Jenkins…who plays a team-high 34.6 minutes and is his team’s leading scorer (19.4 points per game). Jenkins also shoots 89.2 percent from the charity stripe, hits 41.0 percent of his three-pointers and leads the SEC in scoring average.
» Commodores F Jeffrey Taylor…who is his team’s second-leading scorer (14.5) and third-leading rebounder (5.5) while playing the second-most minutes (31.0).
» Vanderbilt G Brad Tinsley…who leads the SEC in assists with 4.5 per game. He also contributes 10.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Commodores.

CHOMPING: Billy Donovan has earned 2011 SEC Coach of the Year honors

The subtext of Tuesday’s de facto 2011 Southeastern Conference regular season title showdown between the No. 14 Florida Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) and Alabama Crimson Tide (19-10, 11-4 SEC) was the competition for SEC Coach of the Year between Florida head coach Billy Donovan and Alabama head coach Anthony Grant.

Yet while plenty has been said about Donovan having been snubbed for the honor on three previous occasions (2000, 2006, 2007), little has been mentioned about why his team’s accomplishments should earn him the award over Grant this season.
Continue Reading » CHOMPING: Billy Donovan has earned 2011 SEC Coach of the Year honors

Parsons reps SEC in Conference Voices Blog

For whatever reason, it was completely unknown to us that Florida Gators senior forward Chandler Parsons was one of six college basketball players who had been writing a monthly post for ESPN Insider’s Conference Voices Blog. Though we will not reprint the posts in their entirety for you, here are portions of each so far this season along with a link to the full article on ESPN Insider (subscription only).

11/19/10: Early-season tests key for Florida

We have an experienced team that’s been through that before so we know that it matters what you do off the court, whether you’re eating right, putting the right stuff in your body. I think as an older team we realize you can’t burn the candle at both ends. I love playing a tough nonconference schedule but when I was a freshman we had a very young team. Coach Donovan didn’t necessarily schedule the hardest teams because he wanted to get our feet wet. He wanted us to play at home and get used to college basketball. This year, it’s different because we have an older team. We have Florida State on the road, Kansas State, Xavier. I’m all for it, especially going on the road because it’s like playing in the tournament. You could be playing anywhere in the country. It’s good to play in some hostile locations, not just the hostile places in your conference.

12/18/10: K-State and the SEC slate

UCF is still undefeated. I wouldn’t say it was a bad loss — they’re a good team. Afterwards, with his comments I think Coach Donovan was worried about our offense — not making the best decision when the ball is in our hands, turning the ball over, not getting the best shot. He basically wants us to play unselfish and for the people with the ball to get the best available shot. Ever since that game, I think we learned a lot from that and I think we’ve grown in the last three or four games our defense has been really good. We’re more worried about our defense. We know we have enough offensive firepower to win games.

1/22/11: No easy outs in the SEC this season

I’m sure that Auburn game was brutal to look at, it was brutal to play in, too. We were able to get a win even though we shot 15-for-53, and I think that says a lot about the character of this team. We went on the road and won in their building with our defense. […]But for us within the conference, we understand that every game is going to be a war. We understand that even if Auburn is 0-and-4, going into their place is not going to be an easy game.

3/2/11: Chandler Parsons is healthy and thriving

My teammates are going after me. I’m starting to think they did it on purpose. But no, really, at first it was Vernon [Macklin] at Georgia with the towel and then Alex [Tyus]. You see that all the time, the bench gets hyped and we’re throwing towels around and his hit me where it wasn’t supposed to. And then with the knee, it was just me and Alex both going for the rebound and he just happened to hit me.

It was close to my hip, like on the outside of my thigh, and it caused some serious swelling in my leg. My left leg was twice as big as my right one. I couldn’t put any pressure on it and I was on crutches. My trainer, who’s been training for 30 years, says it’s the worst thigh contusion he’s ever seen. Right where I got hit was bruised, but the swelling went down to my knee. It was so black and blue. I’ve never had to be on crutches in my life before that.

3/3: Donovan on Parsons, Vanderbilt, SEC

No. 14/14 Florida Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) head basketball coach Billy Donovan likes to talk – and we like to listen – which is why we have compiled some of the most important news, notes and quotes following his press availability Thursday.

KEEPING THEIR MINDS RIGHT

Capturing a portion of the 2011 Southeastern Conference regular season title is quite an accomplishment but having it all to yourself is even more special. Donovan did not distinguish between the two scenarios, noting that he was just happy the team has achieved a SEC Championship in general.

“If you win a SEC Championship, you win a SEC Championship. Anytime you’re a part of a SEC Championship, it is meaningful,” he said. “Obviously we have an opportunity and a chance to win it outright on Saturday, but we got to play against a really good team that has been exceptional at home and had a great year.”

With Alabama and Georgia squaring off before Florida takes on No. 20/21 Vanderbilt, Donovan is aware that he has to do something to make sure the Gators are focused on winning their game no matter the earlier outcome.

“I talked to our guys about this. We cannot allow ourselves to emotionally get caught up spectating in that game. That’s the human element and human nature that I’ve always talked about. They’ve got to distance themselves from that,” he said. “We’re going to know something before we go into Vanderbilt, and they’re probably going to hear things. But you can emotionally get sucked into that. We need to be focused on what we got to do in this game. We should not even worry or concern ourselves with stuff that’s going on outside of the guys that are inside that locker room. That’s something that I’ve got to address with those guys and I’ve got to talk to them about. That game should have no bearing on how we go out and play; to me, that’s easier said than done.”

Though Donovan indicated he has yet to discuss the topic with his team, senior forward Chandler Parsons seemed to have an idea what his coach’s instructions would be.

“I’m sure obviously we’re going to know who won going into the game, but I don’t think with as good of a team as we are…we’re still going to want to win the game even if Georgia happens to win, he said. “We’re still going to come out with the same mentality that we want to win the game. The same mentality we come out with for every game. It doesn’t matter what other teams do; it just matters what we do.”

FLORIDA’s FIRST SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR?

Donovan refused to prop himself up Tuesday night after his team’s big win for SEC Coach of the Year, but he had no problem heaping praise on Parsons in the hopes that he captures SEC Player of the Year honors.

“Chandler has had a terrific year. In my opinion, he should really, really strongly be considered for that,” Donovan said. “He is really multi-dimensional. He does a lot for our team. He rebounds, he passes it, he’s shot the ball better, he take sit to the basket. You can put the ball in his hands to make plays. There’s no question as far as versatility is concerned, he’s definitely the most versatile small forward in the league with all the things he can do.”

Asked who he thinks should win the award, Parsons refused to say himself, nervously stammering and trying to find the right words. Eventually he was able to answer the question in a politically correct manner.

“That’s really a tough question. I put myself in a good situation where I can be talked about, but I don’t know if I’m going to win or not. It really doesn’t matter to me. I just worry about my team right now,” he said. “It’s really flattering and stuff that people are talking about me winning it, but seriously I’m more worried about us winning Saturday, us going to the SEC Tournament and then the NCAA Tournament.”

Read what else Donovan and Parsons had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 3/3: Donovan on Parsons, Vanderbilt, SEC

Eleven Gators who must step up in 2011

With a few days until No. 14 Florida Gators basketball plays its final regular season game, OGGOA decided to allow our Twitter followers to choose a content topic for Thursday. Overwhelmingly, our readers wanted to read something – anything – about Gators football. So that is exactly what we present to you here, 11 Florida footballers who will be counted on to step up big-time next season.

Redshirt senior QB John Brantley
2010: 200/329 (60.8 percent) for 2,061 yards, nine touchdowns, 10 interceptions

There is plenty of hype surrounding freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel, but the fact of the matter is the Gators have the best chance of being supremely successful in 2011 with Brantley behind center. Say what you will about his struggles in 2010 – blame them on the coaching staff not adjusting the offense to suit his skill set, the offensive line doing a poor job in pass protection or Brantley simply not living up the billing he received before the season. No matter what you choose to believe, Brantley will be given a chance to start fresh in 2011. If he makes the most of it and pans out the way Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews have personally told us he will, Florida’s QB problems will be solved by the same player who was universally panned for causing them a year ago. Whether or not he will live up those expectations, however, remains to be seen.

Redshirt sophomore WR Andre Debose
2010: 10 receptions for 96 yards (long 26); 22 kickoff returns for 587 yards (26.7 average), two touchdowns

Like Brantley, Debose did not live up to the hype in 2010. Unlike Brantley, he was not given much of an opportunity. Debose is a dynamic athlete who is explosive in the open field, something blatantly obvious by the job he did in the return game last season. He was criticized by former head coach Urban Meyer for his inability to learn all of the offensive plays and was “rewarded” early in the season with some packages that utilized his abilities. Those packages seemed to disappear as the year went on, and Debose ended up getting injured for the second time in as many seasons (hamstring in 2009, ankle in 2010). Though the Gators have some hungry pass-catchers looking to win the job across from redshirt senior wide receiver Deonte Thompson, none of them will likely have the potential impact game-in and game-out that Debose can bring to the table.

Junior RB Mike Gillislee
2010: 58 rushes for 325 yards (5.6 average), seven touchdowns

The first thing new head coach Will Mushcamp said he wanted to implement at Florida was a pro-style offense. With senior running back Jeff Demps (5’8” 190 lbs.) a bit undersized to run between the tackles on a consistent basis, the onus will be on Gillislee (and to a lesser extent redshirt freshman RB Mack Brown) to carry the rock for the Gators in 2010. Listed at 5‘11” and 198 lbs., Gillislee can add some bulk to his frame and showed flashes in the limited playing time he received last season.

The real question for Muschamp, and more specifically offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, will be how the team can best utilize Demps and redshirt senior RB/WR Chris Rainey. Demps will likely be the kick returner once again, but the coaching staff must find a way to get him heavily involved in the offense without having him carry the ball a dozen times each game. He was the team’s best offensive weapon last year, and his absence (even when he played, he was far less than 100 percent) was one of the main reasons Florida struggled down the stretch offensively.
Continue Reading » Eleven Gators who must step up in 2011

 Page 485 of 723  « First  ... « 483  484  485  486  487 » ...  Last »