TWO BITS: Horford transfer, Easley Pro Day

1 » According to ESPN.com‘s Jeff Goodman, redshirt junior forward Jon Horford, a Michigan Wolverines transfer and the brother of former Florida Gators F Al Horford, is heavily considering choosing to play the final year of his collegiate career in Gainesville, FL. Jon Horford (6-foot-10, 250 pounds) will be a redshirt senior in 2014-15 and cleared to play without having to sit out a season. He registered 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game for Michigan last season and decided to transfer in order to get more playing time. That is one reason why a move to Florida was not believed to be on the table previously. Though the Gators are in need of frontcourt players, they do have freshman Chris Walker and redshirt junior Damontre Harris at center next season. Florida will also play redshirt juniors Alex Murphy (currently not scheduled to be eligible until the spring), redshirt junior Dorian Finney-Smith and incoming freshman Devin Robinson, though the latter two players will likely play small forward. Horford’s addition would fill UF’s remaining 2014-15 scholarship but not affect the allotment for 2015-16.

2 » Gators defensive tackle Dominique Easley has spent the last seven months rehabilitating his torn ACL but is finally getting the chance to show NFL teams what he can do on Thursday as he is participating in a private Pro Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. Joining Easley for the workout are outside linebackers Ronald Powell and Darrin Kitchens, who also participated in Florida’s first Pro Day one month earlier on March 17. Easley recently completed a visit with the Dallas Cowboys, his first private trip, and is expected to go on many more after his Pro Day workout is complete. Projections for Easley range from the second to fifth round, but he is likely to be taken on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft as long as he can prove he’s healthy.

Continue Reading » TWO BITS: Horford transfer, Easley Pro Day

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Pictures, tweets, videos: Florida Gators former and current discuss the Final Four

Support for the (1) Florida Gators (36-3) was riding high on Saturday as the team prepared to play in the Final Four of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at the AT&T Center in Arlington, TX. There was so much written about the team by former and current student-athletes, in fact, that this post had to be limited to those either with ties to the basketball program or in attendance at the game.

Though the (7) UConn Huskies (31-8) were victorious and eliminated Florida from the event, there was still plenty of well-wishers after the contest. Check out the pictures, tweets and videos below for a comprehensive look at what former and current Gators had to say before, during and after the game.

PRE-GAME

Continue Reading » Pictures, tweets, videos: Florida Gators former and current discuss the Final Four

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Pictures, tweets, videos: Florida Gators former and current celebrate advancing to Final Four

Support for the (1) Florida Gators (36-2) has been strong throughout the season and especially the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

It continued on Saturday after the team advanced to the Final Four for the fifth time in school history and first time since 2007 with a 62-52 Elite Eight win over the (11) Dayton Flyers (26-11) at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN.

Check out the pictures, tweets and videos below for a comprehensive look at what former and current Gators had to say before, during and after the game. OnlyGators.com has also added a few other choice contributions that fit in with the overall theme.

Continue Reading » Pictures, tweets, videos: Florida Gators former and current celebrate advancing to Final Four

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Fastbreak: No. 13 Florida routs Savannah State

Updated at 11:55 p.m.

The No. 13 Florida Gators (10-2) ended 2013 with a bang, routing the Savannah State Tigers (2-11) on Sunday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. Florida won 76-34, outscoring Savannah State by nearly 20 points in each half of the game as it cruised to a victory.

OnlyGators.com breaks down the Gators’ 10th win with The Fastbreak.

It was over when: Florida sophomore guard Michael Frazier II drilled a three-pointer with 10:15 left in the first half, extending the home team’s lead to 12 while kicking off a 14-0 run that lasted more than eight minutes and put the game out of reach. Frazier hit three of his five triples for 11 points, adding four boards, two blocks and a steal. He also committed four turnovers.

Prominent player: Senior center Patric Young scored a team-high 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting while grabbing six boards, blocking two shots and swiping two steals. Midway through the second half, Young became the 50th Gators player to eclipse 1,000 career points. He actually scored four-straight points to jump to 1,003 for his career and left the court to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Standout stats: Florida dominated most phases of the game, but UF’s tough defense forced 20 turnovers on Sunday. The Gators also continued to struggle from the charity stripe, going 19-for-32 and hitting just 59.4 percent of their free passes.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 13 Florida routs Savannah State

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Florida vs. Savannah State preview: point guards improve, Young’s milestone, Walker’s status

(13) FLORIDA GATORS SAVANNAH ST. TIGERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Horace Broadnax
Record: 9-2 Record: 2-10
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

TV: FOX Sports Florida (Dave Neal, Larry Conley)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: ESPN3.com [Blackout Map] | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Odds: OFF

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 2-0 all-time against Savannah State with the Gators most recently defeating the Tigers 58-40 just last season.
» UF is playing its first game at home in 19 days.
» The Gators are 62-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponent under 71 points in a game.
» Florida is 4-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign.
» The Gators defeated top-15 teams in consecutive games for the fourth time in program history and first time ever in non-conference regular season play.
» Florida has won 22-straight non-conference games in the O’Dome and 21 consecutive home games overall, the second-longest streak in school history.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

The Gators are healthier than they’ve been all season and will have two extra bodies in practice during SEC play thanks to the addition of redshirt sophomore transfer Alex Murphy (who Florida announced will wear No. 31).

But the best way the Gators can improve immediately is to get more cohesive play from their point guards – senior Scottie Wilbekin and freshman Kasey Hill. Not only have suspensions (Wilbekin) and ankle injuries (both) kept Wilbekin and Hill from playing together, the ball-handlers also had limited time to practice together prior to last week.

“I think our chemistry can get a lot better,” said Hill on Saturday. “We’re going to start practicing a lot together. We haven’t really been on the floor much together [due to injuries], but I think it’s going to get a lot better.”

Continue Reading » Florida vs. Savannah State preview: point guards improve, Young’s milestone, Walker’s status

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Duke F Alex Murphy transfers to Florida

The Florida Gators have taken a big step toward solving the frontcourt dilemma the program was expected to face in 2014-15 by adding redshirt sophomore forward Alex Murphy as a transfer starting in the spring 2014 semester.

Murphy officially announced his decision on Wednesday.

“I really appreciate the experience at Duke, playing for a Hall of Fame coach in Mike Krzyzewski,” Murphy told ESPN.com. “I learned a lot as a player and a person.

“I’ve gotten a chance to know Coach [Billy] Donovan and the program. I think it’s a great fit for me to continue my career. I think they can help me develop as a player — and that I can help them a lot as well.”

As a midseason transfer, Murphy will still have to sit out an entire year under NCAA rules, missing this spring and next fall. He will be a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility remaining when he takes the court for the Gators in the spring of 2015 unless he received a waiver.

The brother of former Florida F Erik Murphy, Alex reclassified and joined Duke ahead of the 2011-12 season (in what otherwise would have been his senior year of high school) but took a redshirt during his first year of college.

He barely played last season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 6.2 minutes per game and is seeing the same amount of action in 2013-14.

Murphy will play a much bigger role for Florida, which is losing at least three members of its frontcourt to graduation in seniors center Patric Young and forwards Casey Prather and Will Yeguete. The Gators are expected to be without redshirt junior C Damontre Harris, who is currently on the roster but not considered a member of the program, and freshman F Chris Walker, who is projected as a potential lottery selection and may declare for the 2014 NBA Draft at season’s end.

Continue Reading » Duke F Alex Murphy transfers to Florida

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SIX BITS: Noah, Murphy, Delta, volleyball, Tebow

1 » Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has long held up former South African president Nelson Mandela as one of his idols. So for Noah to easily have his best game of the 2013-14 season on the day of Mandela’s passing was certainly no surprise. On Thursday, Noah posted his second-straight double-double with 17 points (on 6-of-9 shooting) and a season-high 15 rebounds in a 107-87 win over Miami. After the contest, he was interviewed by TNT’s Craig Sager and ended the conversation like this:

2 » The Florida Gators are expected to have major frontcourt troubles next season with big-bodied seniors – center Patric Young and forwards Casey Prather and Will Yeguete – all scheduled to graduate. One of its other big men is on shaky ground and a fifth, who has yet to enroll, could be a one-and-done player. Facing a potential roster that would have its two tallest players – current redshirt sophomore F Dorian Finney-Smith and five-star incoming F Devin Robinson (Christchurch, VA) listed as 6-foot-8 – the Gators may have found some help in the form of current Duke redshirt sophomore F Alex Murphy. The brother of Erik Murphy, Alex has decided to leave the Blue Devils at the end of the fall 2013 semester and may very well be headed to Gainesville, FL. He would have to sit out two semesters per NCAA rules and would not be eligible until next spring, but Alex Murphy would nevertheless be a much-needed addition for UF. OnlyGators.com is still working to confirm his transfer destination as of press time.

3 » Florida found another way to disappoint its fans this week. In a story overlooked for the last few days by OnlyGators.com, UF’s basketball team made headlines by displacing 50 passengers on an Atlanta, GA-bound Sunday flight when Delta decided to help the Gators by chartering a new plane for the team to Storrs, CT for its showdown with UConn. According to The Gainesville Sun, a maintenance delay grounded the plane that the team usually charters, so Delta stepped in to help at the expense of customers that had already purchased tickets on the flight. “Passengers from flight 5059 were accommodated on other flights and given vouchers valid for use through Delta for future trips,” a spokesman told the paper. Florida has gone above and beyond to try and deflect any blame heading its way. The Gators have claimed ignorance regarding Delta’s decision, which he company took completely on its own shoulders.

Check out the statement and three more BITS…after the break!

Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Noah, Murphy, Delta, volleyball, Tebow

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TWO BITS: Brissett signs LOI, Murphy to Duke

1 » Four-star Florida Gators quarterback commitment Jacoby Brissett (West Palm Beach, FL) officially sent his National Letter of Intent to the University of Florida Monday morning, head coach Will Muschamp confirmed early in the afternoon. “Jacoby will be a good fit in our program,” Muschamp said in a UF release. “He is an outstanding quarterback and we are excited to have him join the Gator family.” Check out Brissett’s whirlwind commitment process and what he brings to the table.

2 » Five-star 2012 forward recruit Alex Murphy (Southborough, MA), the brother of Florida sophomore F Erik Murphy, committed to the Duke Blue Devils over the weekend after strongly considering UF and several others programs. Alex told FOX Sports‘ Jeff Goodman that telling Gators head coach Billy Donovan he would not be heading to Gainesville, FL like his brother was the most difficult part of the process. “They started recruiting me before anyone else,” Murphy told Goodman. “I had such a good relationship with Coach Donovan, obviously my brother, and a lot of their players. That was hard for me. It basically came down to them and Duke.”

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