Takeaways: Florida baseball struggles on road

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com baseball writer

No. 5 Florida Gators baseball (24-9, 6-6 SEC) has gone 3-4 in its last seven games since OnlyGators.com was last able to check in following its win over Stetson on March 24. UF posted a flat 3-3 split in its last two conference series with the Alabama Crimson Tide and Missouri Tigers, book-ending a tough 8-3 loss to the Florida State Seminoles in Jacksonville on Tuesday.

In the Alabama series opener, a back-and-forth game swung in the Tide’s favor with a three-run 10th inning that pushed them ahead 12-9. The Gators evened the series with an 8-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader, and they used a late rally to win game three 7-4, claiming the series. Eight walks against Florida State allowed FSU to even the season series. While Florida looked to bounce back with a 5-1 win against Mizzou, UF was outscored 15-4 over the final two contests to drop the series.

Here are five takeaways from the last seven games:

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Former Gators jumper Omar Craddock arrested in Gainesville for felony battery

Former Florida Gators track and field star Omar Craddock, a three-time NCAA national champion in the triple jump, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with both a third-degree felony for assault and first-degree misdemeanor for resisting arrest.

Craddock allegedly punched a bouncer several times after being denied entry into a Gainesville club early Sunday, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He was booked into Alachua County jail and held on $17,500 bond.

In Gainesville to participate in the annual Florida Relays at Percy Beard Track, Craddock came away with a triple jump crown.

He is expected to compete in the event during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in hopes to representing his country in the 2016 Rio Olympics next summer after failing to do so in 2012. Craddock also won the United States’ triple jump title in 2013.

Florida coach Jim McElwain a fan of satellite camps, not thrilled with uneven rules

Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan sweater are expected to swing into Tampa at some point this June for a satellite camp right in the backyard of the Florida Gators.

To some coaches, like Auburn’s Gus Malzahn – who is dealing with a similar Harbaugh satellite camp just 74 miles from his campus – this is a huge deal. To Florida head coach Jim McElwain, who is similarly not pleased to have to deal with the in-state competition from Michigan, it is just an example of recruiting rules being uneven across the country.

“I wish they weren’t [coming down here], absolutely, 100 percent,” he said Wednesday, “and yet, I don’t blame them. There’s nothing we can do about it until we change our rule as an SEC group or actually create something on the NCAA level where we’re all on the same [level]. It’s like with any of the rules, as long as everybody is playing on the same field, you just go deal with it right. I kind of wish we’d knock it off, but more power to them.”

Continue Reading » Florida coach Jim McElwain a fan of satellite camps, not thrilled with uneven rules

Muschamp takes McElwain out of context when jabbing back about ‘insufficient’ Florida roster

Will Muschamp put his replacement in a tough spot when he left the Florida Gators – in more ways than one. Not only did Muschamp leave a roster depleted in a few key areas, he told the media and fans that he recruited so much talent that the next coach should have nothing to complain about.

“They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you they don’t have any players,” Muschamp said last November. “Tell you that right now – they got some good football players in that locker room.”

New head coach Jim McElwain‘s now had a legitimate opportunity to evaluate the depth and talent on the Gators’ roster. And while he believes there are some capable players at Florida, he also noticed that there are some deficiencies.

“You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt and right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas,” he said last Friday.

Continue Reading » Muschamp takes McElwain out of context when jabbing back about ‘insufficient’ Florida roster

Florida Gators 2015 spring practice: Alex McCalister, Jake McGee could key turnaround

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the 10th time on Wednesday as the 2015 spring practice session rolled along. After practice, he met with the media to discuss some goings on with the team.

Opening statement

“We bounced back and did have a heck of a practice today. I thought, especially in our situations, we worked two minute end of the game need field goal to push it into overtime. We worked overtime as well for the first time we were in true goal line in situations, so that was really good. And then we had a real spirited Gator drill today and so there was some good stuff leading into Friday. There will be a lot of really good film work.

“What I’m searching for [Thursday] is our guys really taking from the situational films. We’re going to start to stack some things and [Thursday’s] going to be huge for us in the meeting room as we’re moving forward. My message to them [Wednesday] was, let’s go ahead and win the meeting [Thursday]. That’s what we’ve got to kind of do one step at a time. Let’s just get a little bit better.”

Continue Reading » Florida Gators 2015 spring practice: Alex McCalister, Jake McGee could key turnaround

Forward Dorian Finney-Smith to return to Florida Gators for fifth season

The Florida Gators on Thursday announced that forward Dorian Finney-Smith has decided to remain with the team for his redshirt senior season.

“I got all the information I needed to make a decision,” said Finney-Smith after meeting with head coach Billy Donovan, according to a release on the school’s website. “He didn’t pressure me into anything, but rather let me be a grown man. Coach D is a mentor to me, I trust him and I’m happy and anxious to have another year with him.”

Continue Reading » Forward Dorian Finney-Smith to return to Florida Gators for fifth season

Report: Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan seriously considering NBA jump amid interest

Following up on a comment he made in a March column, ESPN.com‘s Marc Stein expanded on his reporting Thursday, noting that Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan is giving serious consideration to moving on from college to coaching in the NBA as soon as next season.

According to Stein, who is citing league sources, NBA executives have been led to believe that Donovan is “looking to make the jump to the NBA more than ever before.”

Continue Reading » Report: Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan seriously considering NBA jump amid interest

Florida coach Billy Donovan extended one year through 2019-20, average salary of $4 million

For the second time in as many seasons, the Florida Gators have extended the contract of two-time national championship-winning head basketball coach Billy Donovan with the parties signing a new deal in December.

According to The Gainesville Sun, which obtained the contract information through an open records request, Donovan’s revised deal runs through the 2019-20 campaign and will average $4 million per year. Florida confirmed the contract extension on Thursday.

Donovan reportedly earned $4.2 million in 2014-15, will bring home $3.9 million in 2015-16 and will see a flat salary of $4 million over each of the final four years of his new contract. (All monies not including incentives.)

Continue Reading » Florida coach Billy Donovan extended one year through 2019-20, average salary of $4 million

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