Battle 4 Atlantis Fastbreak: Georgetown takes down No. 18 Florida 66-65 on late jumper in OT

A fast-paced, back-and-forth overtime period included plenty of ties and lead changes, the last of which was the Georgetown Hoyas (4-0) hitting a late jumper to edge the No. 18 Florida Gators (2-2) in the opening round of the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Georgetown pulled off a 66-65 victory by making eight of its last nine field goals starting at 6:36 in the second half and ending with three seconds to play in the contest. Florida moved in to the loser’s bracket following its defeat. breaks down Wednesday’s action with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when (overtime edition, again): After Paul White drained a triple to put Georgetown up four with 2:04 to play, Florida pushed ahead with a 6-1 run including a tip-in layup by redshirt senior center Jon Horford, a dunk and layup by redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith and a steal by redshirt junior guard Eli Carter (which created Finney-Smith’s layup). A clutch three-pointer by the Hoyas’ L.J. Peak put Georgetown up 64-62 with 30 seconds left, but sophomore point guard Kasey Hill responded out of a timeout by driving the lane and completing an old-school three-point play to push Florida ahead by one. It would not be enough, however, as D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera drained a jumper with three seconds remaining to send Georgetown to a one-point victory.

Prominent players: Smith-Rivera hit 7-of-14 shots for a game-high 17 points despite playing with four fouls in overtime. For the Gators, Finney-Smith led the way with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting even though he only played 28 minutes in the contest. He was also third on Florida’s roster with six rebounds.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Battle 4 Atlantis Fastbreak: Georgetown takes down No. 18 Florida 66-65 on late jumper in OT

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Battle 4 Atlantis Gameday: No. 18 Florida Gators vs. Georgetown Hoyas

Location: Imperial Arena – Paradise Island, Bahamas [Capacity: 3,500]
Time: 9:30 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

Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Thompson III
Record: 2-1 Record: 3-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big East

Odds: Florida +1 | O/U 127.5


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Story: Eli Carter, Dorian Finney-Smith questionable for Bahamas

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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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2014 Battle 4 Atlantis bracket released; Florida Gators to open tournament vs. Georgetown

The Florida Gators will take on the Georgetown Hoyas in the opening round of the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, which will be held from Nov. 26-28 at the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Guaranteed to play three games in as many days, the winner and loser from the Florida-Georgetown game will take on either Wisconsin or UAB. With consecutive victories, the Gators would play in the tournament’s championship game.

UF is 2-2 all-time against GU. The teams last met on the deck of the USS Bataan in the 2012 Navy-Marine Corps Classic in Jacksonville, Florida. The game was halted at halftime due to condensation collecting on the court and did not resume.

Florida’s first game will tip on Nov. 26 at 9:30 p.m. and air live nationally on AXS TV, which is available on major television providers including AT&T Uverse, Charter Cable, Xfinity TV, DirecTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FIOS, among others.

Should the Gators lose that showdown, both of their remaining contests would remain on AXS TV. If Florida wins, its latter two games would air live nationally on ESPN.

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Top 12 for 2012: Off the Field Stories of the Year

For as much as the Florida Gators accomplished on the field in 2012 (check out Monday’s post), the Gator Nation was making plenty of news off of it as well. From crazy occurrences and strange decisions to receiving major awards and being involved in the biggest sports stories of the last 12 months, Florida was spread all over the sports landscape in 2012. Below are OGGOA‘s Top 12 Off the Field Stories of the Year.

For every major story and exciting moment that occurred in 2012, there were plenty of instances in which Gators fans could not do anything but shake their heads, furrow their brows or shrug their shoulders at something they just saw or heard. Below is a list-within-a-list of the 10 most absurd moments of the year (sorted chronologically). Don’t worry, the rest of these stories are much shorter, so keep reading.

(1) Right in the middle of spring practice on Feb. 17, with coaches raving about team chemistry and noting massive improvement from the previous year, junior safety Matt Elam tweeted out a picture that looks like junior defensive end Dominique Easley riding his scooter inside the Florida football facility and around the Gator Head the players touch before heading out to the field each week. (2) One week after playing his last game as a member of the Gators basketball team, then-senior point guard Erving Walker found himself in trouble with the law when he was charged on March 30 with two misdemeanors for allegedly stealing a taco from a street vendor and evading police in Gainesville, FL. (3) Need a lesson on how to turn off an employer? Veteran wide receiver Jabar Gaffney went off on an epic Twitter rant on April 12, sending out derogatory statements about his wife and cousin (fellow former Gators star cornerback Lito Sheppard) only to claim three hours later that his account was hacked. (4) What better way to honor your favorite player than to get your hair cut and designed to look like him? That’s what San Antonio Spurs fan Patrick Gonzalez did for forward Matt Bonner. Gonzalez’s hair cut nearly got him suspended from school on May 16, but it also got Bonner’s attention and resulted in a pair of tickets and a meeting at a playoff game. (5) After some rather mundane barbs went back-and-forth between Florida head coach Will Muschamp and Texas A&M Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin over the summer, Mayor Nancy Berry of College Station, TX decided to post a comedic video of her poking good-natured fun at the former Texas defensive coordinator on June 1.

(6) Hours after taking home the first NCAA Outdoor Championship in program history on June 10, Gators track & field suffered a serious scare in the air when its plane suffered a cracked windshield at 37,000 feet and underwent a rough landing in Tuscaloosa, AL. The windshield shattered after the plane landed but everyone was OK. (7) How do you answer a quarterback controversy and answer questions about which signal caller is going to start the first game of the season? Start both of them! That’s what Muschamp did on Sept. 1 when sophomores Jacoby Brissett (quarterback) and Jeff Driskel (wide receiver) both came out with the starting offense on its first play from scrimmage against Bowling Green. (8) With Muschamp leading the team, he is sure to find his way on this list at least once per year. In a 13-day span, Muschamp made headlines by being himself. After Florida defeated LSU at home on Dec. 7, he decided to celebrate by crowd surfing over his own players in the locker room. Two weeks later, at halftime against South Carolina, Muschamp vented his frustration about the officiating to Brady Ackerman of the Gator Radio Network. He saw an official walking by as the teams headed to their respective locker rooms and made sure to make it known how upset he was at some of the calls in the first half. “Well, we just gotta continue to capitalize on what we’re doing and OVERCOME THE ADVERSITY ON THE FIELD!” (9) With ESPN’s College GameDay in Gainesville for the South Carolina game, having former Gators swimmer Ryan Lochte on set as the guest picker was an easy and obvious decision for the network. Never did ESPN guess that he would find difficulty in reading off the list of picks provided for him. (10) Why is Chad Johnson in Gainesville … and why is he meeting with Florida? Those were questions fans asked on Nov. 2 when it was revealed that the NFL free agent wide receiver – fresh off being embarrassed on national television when he was cut by the Miami Dolphins after being arrested for allegedly hitting his wife – had shown up in town and was taking pictures with players on the team one day before UF took on Missouri.

Continue Reading » Top 12 for 2012: Off the Field Stories of the Year

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TWO BITS: Georgetown game, Donnie Jones

1 » The Navy-Marine Corps Classic on Nov. 9 aboard the USS Bataan at Navy Mayport Station in Jacksonville, FL was suspended at halftime after condensation that landed on the court made for unsafe playing conditions. At the time of game stoppage, the Florida Gators led the Georgetown Hoyas by four points. The game itself is currently classified as an exhibition as there was not a victor but that could very well change if an agreement between the two schools can be reached over the next few weeks. “Our school has reached out to Georgetown about completing and finishing the game,” head coach Billy Donovan revealed Tuesday evening. “There are some dates and there are some possibilities of that happening.”

The Gators would likely reimburse the Hoyas for a portion of their travel expenses considering the team would have to fly in to Jacksonville to play in an arena while UF would just have to drive a few hours. Donovan said there are a few dates in early January that work for both teams and the game would be forced to begin where it left off by NCAA rules. USA Today spoke with Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, who said that his team is also interested though nothing is set in stone yet. “I’m not opposed to it. We’ve got to see what happens. A whole lot of things have to fall into place,” he said.

2 » Donovan on Tuesday emphatically defended the character of former Florida assistant coach Donnie Jones, who has been the head coach of the Central Florida Knights since the 2010-11 season. UCF under Jones was recently found guilty of being involved with runners for sports agents and paying recruits. The basketball team received a one-year postseason ban, five years of probation and scholarship reductions; it was also forced to vacate all victories from the 2010-11 campaign. Jones himself was hit with a three-year show-cause penalty and is limited in how he can recruit players this season. Below is what Donovan had to say about the entire situation:

“Oh yeah, I spent a lot of time talking to him. I really personally thought it was really unfortunate. Donnie is a good, good person in this profession. I think the hardest thing that sometimes as human beings you go through is, you go through what he’s going through and all of a sudden people think that, well, he’s not doing his business the right way. That couldn’t be anything further from the truth. I spent a lot of time…obviously with how serious the matter, he couldn’t share a lot with me, but I wanted to spend time on the phone just kind of letting him know I’m there.

“I would tell you this right now: There’s a lot of things in terms of NCAA and decisions that are made. People get show-causes put on them and everything else. I know Donnie Jones. I worked with him for 13 years. He is good for college basketball. He is good for those kids at Central Florida. He’s a great family man. He’s a great father. He’s a great husband. He is the salt of the Earth. There is not a better human being.

“I think some of the things that happened, in my opinion as I look at college basketball, were very, very unfortunate. With that being said, I just tried to be there for him. … He is good for college basketball. There’s a lot of bigger problems in college basketball than Donnie Jones. To me, what happened to him does not reflect who he is as a coach, a person, his integrity, his character and what he stands for. I will stand behind that for as long as the day is because that’s what he is. That whole thing that happened, again, I don’t know all the ins and outs of what happened, but that guy is a quality human being, to me, that got dragged through the mud and it was not deserved.”

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Navy-Marine Corps Classic photo gallery

OGGOA was lucky enough to be on-site for the Navy-Marine Corps Classic on Friday at Navy Mayport Station in Jacksonville, FL featuring the No. 10 Florida Gators and Georgetown Hoyas. Though the game itself was suspended at halftime, the event was one to remember and provided plenty of great sights for the military, players, coaches, staff, media and fans in attendance. Below are 40 choice pictures, including a few panoramas, taken by OGGOA at the event. Click on the first picture below and then click the “next” arrow to view each additional picture (click to enlarge).

» Head coach Billy Donovan on what his team can take away from the event: “The thing that I think any coach is trying to do is I think share a lot of values that the military shares. Our guys are not in life and death situations. Just talking to a lot of the men and women and captains and admirals, the thing that stands out to me is the sacrifice, the unselfishness, being a part of something bigger than themselves, to realize that they’re putting their life in the hands of someone else, someone else is putting their life in the hands of them. I think those are messages you try to get across to our team. I would say not at the same level; the guys are not going to war. As it relates to their basketball future and career, there are so many valuable teaching lessons in this. For our guys to see 3,000 people working on the ship, to see the discipline, the focus, the attention to detail, all those things are things we want our basketball team to do. It was really a great experience. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t finish out the game. It was really great.”

» Senior guard Kenny Boynton on his experience: “I had a good two days here. It was an honor to be here playing in this game. I’ll always remember it. … It’s been a great experience, I think for us and them. We look up to them, and they seemed like they enjoyed us here. I had a great time here, and if I could do it all over again, I would.”

» Junior center Patric Young, who was one of a number of players to give his jersey to a member of the military after the game: “He didn’t even ask for it. I just gave it to him. That was probably the first time I’ve ever did that. I wish I could have gave him more just to let him know how thankful we are for what he’s done.”

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No losers Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Classic

The 2012 Navy-Marine Corps Classic was not supposed to end with the head coaches of the participating schools apologizing for ending the game at halftime. Yet while Billy Donovan of the No. 10 Florida Gators and John Thompson III of the Georgetown Hoyas echoed each other’s sentiments and explained that player safety was of paramount importance, the jam-packed 3,500-person crowd on the USS Bataan nodded in agreement and ultimately left just as happy as if it had watched a full game.

“We were very, very disappointed,” said Donovan, explaining to the crowd that condensation that accumulated on the court at halftime would not allow the game to continued. “We certainly want to play. The problem is the floor right now. We do not want anybody to get hurt out here.” [Video at end of story.]

Florida led Georgetown 27-23 at the half. Gators junior forward Will Yeguete once again showed improved offensive proficiency, going 4-for-5 for the field for a game-high eight points and adding a team-high four rebounds.

Both teams went into the locker rooms with their respective coaches trying to figure out how to win the second half but emerged to see dozens of staff members on their hands and knees trying to dry up the gathered condensation off the court.

The squads eventually returned to the hardwood for shoot around; however, when the buzzer sounded to end the session, the court remained soaked and the game was called to ensure the players were not harmed physically.

Florida and Georgetown, which had already spent a full day on Thursday at Navy Mayport Station in Jacksonville, FL meeting with members of the military, taking pictures and signing autographs, were not quick to get off the ship.

Read the rest of this story…after the break!
Continue Reading » No losers Friday at Navy-Marine Corps Classic

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