Battle 4 Atlantis Gameday: No. 18 Florida Gators vs. No. 5 UNC Tar Heels – Donovan talks offense

Location: Imperial Arena – Paradise Island, Bahamas [Capacity: 3,500]
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

TV: AXS TV (Kenny Rice, Seth Davis, Tom Walsh)
Channels: AT&T U-verse (1106), Cox (199), DirecTV (340), Dish Network (167), Verizon FiOS (569) [Other: Channel Finder]
Streaming Video: None | Mobile Video: None

SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network Affiliates / Online

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 18 FLORIDA GATORS No. 5 UNC TAR HEELS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Roy Williams
Record: 3-2 Record: 4-1
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast

Odds: Florida +5.5 | O/U 132

Continue Reading » Battle 4 Atlantis Gameday: No. 18 Florida Gators vs. No. 5 UNC Tar Heels – Donovan talks offense

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Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

Florida Gators basketball may – or may not – be without two of its best players this week when it participates in the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas beginning on Wednesday.

Redshirt juniors guard Eli Carter (foot sprain) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (hairline fractures in hand) both traveled with the Gators on Monday though Carter is not cleared to practice and Finney-Smith has been held out of team drills in order to rest his non-shooting hand as much as possible.

“We don’t play until Wednesday. I would say probably, by after our practice Tuesday, I’ll have a really good gauge of where those guys are at. I know that’s tomorrow, but I know right now both of those guys are not really cleared for practice,” head coach Billy Donovan said on Monday.

“My feeling right now going into this is we’re going to basically have the team we had playing against Louisiana-Monroe. That’s how I’m going into it right now, how I’m approaching it.”

Continue Reading » Florida’s injured Carter, Finney-Smith travel to Bahamas but questionable for Battle 4 Atlantis

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11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

No. 8 Florida Gators basketball (2-1) needed overtime to edge the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Injuries to a pair of key players depleted Florida’s depth chart, but the Gators were nevertheless able to come from 12 points down to defeat the Warhawks 61-56.

Head coach Billy Donovan met with the media after the game to discuss his high-level concerns about the Florida basketball team and two players who may be out for an extended period of time.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE GATORS?

Florida struggled mightily against Louisiana-Monroe, falling behind by 12 in the first half, needing a 15-0 run just to take a nine-point lead in the second half (despite UF being favored by 21 against ULM), coughing up an eight-point lead with last than two minutes remaining and barely squeaking by the visitors in overtime.

Donovan has repeated week after week that the Gators have a long way to go to be a truly capable and successful team this season, and he stuck with that opinion late Friday.

Continue Reading » 11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

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Fastbreak: Short-handed No. 8 Florida survives scare from ULM, wins 61-56 in overtime

No. 8 Florida Gators basketball (2-1) was forced to deal with a second-straight scare at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida, after blowing yet another halftime lead. The difference this time is that Florida was able to pull out a victory on Friday evening, edging the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1) in overtime.

The Gators took down the Warhawks 61-56 despite UF being severely shorthanded with arguably the team’s two best players sitting out the entire contest.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Friday’s action with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when (overtime edition): Tied 54-54, redshirt senior walk-on forward Jacob Kurtz found redshirt senior center Jon Horford open in the low post after a screen down for an easy two-handed dunk. On the ensuing possession, junior guard Michael Frazier II played tremendous one-on-one defense to force a poor shot and put sophomore point guard Kasey Hill on the line with 27.7 seconds remaining. Hill made both of his shots from the charity stripe to give the Gators a four-point lead, and following a layup and missed And1 attempt on the other end, drained another to push Florida’s advantage to five with 16.5 seconds left to play. Kurtz deflected Hill’s second free throw – a miss – off a ULM player to get UF another possession. Freshman PG Chris Chiozza responded by going to the line and making 1-of-2 free throws to ice the game.

Significant stretch: Down by 12 late in the first half, Florida took off on a 10-0 run to end the opening 20 minutes. The Gators extended that scoring stretch in the second half, using a 15-0 run to outscore the Warhawks 27-6 spanning halftime. UF took a game-high nine-point lead at 44-35 but would eventually give up that advantage.

Second half head-scratcher: For the second-straight game, Florida blew a late lead by allowing ULM to score the last eight points of the second half to tie the contest 51-51 and force overtime. The Warhawks made two free throws and then drained consecutive threes, the second a wide-open look with 21 seconds remaining, to erase the Gators’ hard-earned lead and move the game into an extra period.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Short-handed No. 8 Florida survives scare from ULM, wins 61-56 in overtime

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Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. UL-Monroe – Donovan trying to turn ‘I’ and ‘me’ into ‘we’


Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Doug Bell, Jon Sundvold)
Streaming Video: SEC Network | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 108/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

No. 8 FLORIDA GATORS ULM WARHAWKS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Keith Richard
Record: 1-1 Record: 2-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Sun Belt

Odds: Florida -21 | O/U 131

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

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Story: Chris Walker primed for 2014-15 season debut on Friday

MUST-READ PRIMER: Can the Gators keep it going with a rebuilt starting five?

Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 8 Florida Gators vs. UL-Monroe – Donovan trying to turn ‘I’ and ‘me’ into ‘we’

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Florida F/C Chris Walker primed for 2014-15 debut

For the second time in as many seasons, sophomore forward/center Chris Walker is joining the Florida Gators (1-1) late as he is set to make his second-year debut on Friday against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-0).

Ahead of his freshman campaign, academic eligibility issues kept Walker out of action until the spring semester, and accusations of impermissible benefits forced him to sit a few more games. By the time Walker took the court for the first time on Feb. 4, 2014, he had not played in an organized basketball game in more than a year and was joining a well-oiled, third-ranked Florida squad that was already 19-2 on the season.

For those reasons, Walker’s impact was minimal. He averaged just 4.8 minutes per game and did not make much of a difference in most contests, though his size, athleticism and versatility certainly showed through at times.

Continue Reading » Florida F/C Chris Walker primed for 2014-15 debut

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The Fastbreak: Rodriguez explodes late, sends Miami to 69-67 upset of No. 8 Florida Gators

It all came crashing down for the No. 8 Florida Gators (1-1) on Monday as the Miami Hurricanes (2-0) exploded on a late 18-1 run and ultimately used 20 points scored by a single player in the final 6:47 of the contest to defeat their hosts 69-67 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

With the loss, the Gators ended their program-record 33-game home winning streak, which was the second-longest active streak in the nation and dated back to Nov. 11, 2012. Florida also lost its 25-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents that dated back to Dec. 22, 2010.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Monday’s action with 10 quick-hitters:

It was over when: Florida and Miami were tied at 65 when redshirt junior guard Eli Carter rounded the foul line and drove to the rack, converting a layup to put the Gators ahead 67-65 with 1:03 to play. Hurricanes point guard Angel Rodriguez missed a three on the ensuing possession, but Miami got the ball back, called a timeout and set up for another shot. Rodriguez squared off with Florida sophomore PG Kasey Hill, crossed him over beyond the arc and drained a dagger three to push UM ahead with 18 seconds to play. Carter was called for an offensive charging foul (taken by Rodriguez) on UF’s next possession, Rodriguez made 1-of-2 foul shots after he was sent to the line, and an off-balance three shot by Gators junior G Michael Frazier II clanged off the rim at the buzzer.

Significant stretch: Erasing a double-digit lead Florida held most of the game, Miami erupted on an 18-1 run late in the second half – courtesy of four-straight treys, including three-in-a-row by Rodriguez – and took a three-point lead with 3:25 to play following four-straight made foul shots. A big three-pointer by Gators redshirt senior center Jon Horford ended the long Canes run and tied the game, with a second three by Horford moments later keeping UF in the contest.

Prominent players: Rodriguez made five threes – including the game winner – and scored 20 total points in the final 6:47 of the contest. He finished with a game-high 24 on 7-of-14 shooting, draining 5-of-8 from long range. For Florida, Horford made two late threes that kept the Gators in the contest following the devastating Canes run. He finished 5-of-9 from the field (3-for-6 beyond the arc, 4-for-4 from the charity stripe) for 17 points, adding seven boards to his stat line.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » The Fastbreak: Rodriguez explodes late, sends Miami to 69-67 upset of No. 8 Florida Gators

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Florida G Dillon Graham decides to transfer

Buried on the depth chart and unlikely to get a significant opportunity to play for the Florida Gators this season, redshirt sophomore guard Dillon Graham has decided to transfer from the program at the conclusion of the fall semester.

Graham, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard who saw a total of 92 minutes of action in just 25 games in three seasons, has neither decided on a transfer destination nor what level of basketball he wishes to compete in following his time with the Gators.

“I want to thank my teammates, coaches and everyone else at UF for a great experience during my time here,” Graham said in a statement released by the school. “Even though I am moving on to the next chapter in my life and my basketball career, I will always have positive memories from my years with the Gators.”

Continue Reading » Florida G Dillon Graham decides to transfer

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