FOUR BITS: Tebow, Tishman, Shepard, tennis

1 » For all of the flack that former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has received about his mechanics and throwing motion, perhaps forcing a player to tinker with something that they have used to reach a high level of success is not the best thing to do. (Who would have thunk it?) Bruce Feldman of ESPN breaks down an instance where adjustments like these did an injustice rather than facilitated an improvement, focusing on the story of Steve and Chris Walsh of the Miami Hurricanes.

Additional note: ESPN NFL Draft talking heads Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay have both upgraded their projections, agreeing that Tebow will likely be a second-round pick in the upcoming event. However, both made sure to state that picking him that early is indeed “a reach” by any team that does so.

Three more BITS on Tishman, LSU’s Sheppard and women’s tennis after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Tishman, Shepard, tennis

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Florida baseball takes weekend series at Miami

Coming off their first loss of the season in the inaugural Florida Four tournament to No. 6/3 Florida State, No. 5/6 Florida Gators baseball (7-2) extracted two wins over a three-game series this weekend against the No. 16/11 Miami Hurricanes (7-3) on the road in Coral Gables, FL, at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Read OGGOA’s full recap of all three Florida-Miami games after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida baseball takes weekend series at Miami

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SIX BITS Baseball, softball, gymnastics, tennis win

1 » After suffering their first loss of the season against No. 6/3 Florida State in the inaugural Florida Four tournament, the No. 5/6 Florida Gators traveled to Coral Gables, FL, for a three-game series against the No. 16/11 Miami Hurricanes. OGGOA will wrap-up the series on Sunday, but on Friday, the Gators (6-1) took down the Hurricanes (6-2) 7-1 in the series’ first game. Sophomore starter Alex Pantelidois (3-0) held Miami hitless into the fifth inning and registered a career-high eight strikeouts. Fellow sophomore Nick Mardone earned his first career save by striking out seven over 3.1 innings without giving up a hit or run. Three Gators acquired two RBI in the contest.

Five more BITS including a softball doubleheader, gymnastics triangular meet and SEC openers for men’s and women’s tennis…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS Baseball, softball, gymnastics, tennis win

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TWO BITS: Schintzius recovers, Henderson out

1 » Former Florida Gators All-American center and NBA first-round draft pick Dwayne Schintzius‘ long battle with leukemia has hopefully come to an end. Schintzius, 41, is the Gators’ fifth all-time leading scorer (1,624 points); the team’s career blocks leader; the only player in SEC history with more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 blocks; and a nine-year NBA veteran who was drafted No. 24 overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1990. He received a bone marrow transplant on Jan. 12 from his brother Travis, and his family, friends and Gators fans prayed each day that his condition would improve. The Tampa Tribune, which spoke with Schintzius’ father, reports that he is in the process of making a full recovery and has even been released from the hospital. “The doctors are very optimistic,” Ken Schintzius said. “He has been declared leukemia-free. There’s a ways to go before he’s back where he was, but it’s moving in the right direction.”

2 » Though Florida was on his short long list heading into National Signing Day, it is unlikely that five-star 2010 offensive tackle recruit Seantrel Henderson would switch over to the Gators should he be displeased with the NCAA’s investigation into the USC Trojans. Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel confirms a previous OGGOA report that the Miami Hurricanes would be one of the frontrunners for his services.

Extra BIT » Former Florida forward/center Joakim Noah his being held out of action for three more weeks by the Chicago Bulls due to his nagging plantar fasciitis.

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Gators and Noles set to square off at Florida Four

For the first time in history, four universities from the state of Florida will compete in The Florida Four, a two-game baseball tournament being held at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL, on Tues., March 2, 2010. The No. 5/6 Florida Gators (5-0) will square off against the No. 6/3 Florida State Seminoles (6-0) in the second game of the event, which begins with the Miami Hurricanes (5-1) taking on the South Florida Bulls (1-5) at 4 p.m. The winners of each game do not face each other.

“We’ve been working with the [New York] Yankees for a few years now to bring another premier event to our community,” Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission Rob Higgins said in an organizational press release. “We hope it serves as launching pad to Omaha for the four programs. This is a story that will start in March and we hope continues on to June.”

“On behalf of the World Champion New York Yankees, it is with great pleasure and pride that we welcome The Florida Four Baseball Classic to George M. Steinbrenner Field. As a past collegiate coach, it is George Steinbrenner’s dream to create this event for Tampa”, said Felix Lopez, the Yankees’ Senior Vice President. “We welcome the great schools of Florida to our facility and look forward to continuing this event for years to come.”

Following their participation in the event, the Gators will travel to Coral Gables, FL, for a three-game series against the Hurricanes. Florida will face Florida State at home on March 16 and on the road on March 30 and April 13. The Gators swept the Bulls 6-2, 9-1, 7-6(10) in their season-opening three-game series Feb. 19-21.

Tuesday’s Gators/Seminoles game will air in Florida. Check your local listings.

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Florida impresses recruits at first Junior Day

Recruiting contributor Zach Abolverdi takes a look at Junior Day for OGGOA…

The Florida Gators’ first Junior Day of the 2011 recruiting cycle was a successful start to the season, despite the absence of head coach Urban Meyer. By all accounts, interim head coach and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was firing on all cylinders, doing a good job selling the program to the prospects in attendance. He emphasized how coaches, players and recruits united when uncertainty surrounded the program just over a month ago and claimed it was a testament to the resiliency of Gator Nation.

Recruiting requires many crucial components and qualities, one of which is developing relationships early in the process. Addazio and the coaching staff got that chance this past Saturday, when they saw familiar faces mixed with some brand new ones. There were no drills, workouts or whistles, just an opportunity for prospects to take in the city, campus and everything the University of Florida has to offer.

Find out who visited and what their impressions were of the Gators after the jump!
Continue Reading » Florida impresses recruits at first Junior Day

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TWO BITS: ‘Canes threatened, Andrews’ stalker

1 » In South Florida, it remains “all about The U,” but some including former Miami Hurricanes defensive back Bernie Blades are worried that the Florida Gators are taking all of the state’s elite talent. “If we allow these kids to leave South Florida and go to the Gators, we will keep starting below the curve,” Blades told The Miami Herald. “I love Randy Shannon. But if we cannot start keeping these kids at home, then we have to focus on finding someone who will.”

2 » Former Florida dazzler turned ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews continues to fight as she faces her stalker in a California courtroom. In a sentencing memo that was filed Monday with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, CA, Michael David Barrett appears to have uploaded videos of 16 women aside from Andrews into the same online account. According to the document, Barrett allegedly conducted 30 background checks on various women and uploaded 32 videos in all. Barrett accepted a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to interstate stalking and agreed to spend 27 months in prison. Andrews and her attorneys have not approved that sentence, are demanding $335,000 in restitution and are scheduled to make their case heard in court on March 15.

Extra Bit » OGGOA wants to send its warmest wishes to former Gators golfers Billy Horschel and Brittany Nelson, who got engaged to each other Tuesday evening. You can congratulate them at their respective Twitter pages here and here.

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TWO BITS: Tebow’s ad, McCartney’s decision

1 » Along with his mechanics and future as an NFL quarterback, former Florida Gators star Tim Tebow and his decision-making have come into question over recent weeks in regard to his Focus on the Family advertisement which will run during Super Bowl XLIV. Sally Jenkins, a sports columnist with the Washington Post, believes the problem is not with the message of Tebow’s ad but rather those criticizing it. Jenkins, who Is pro-choice, writes: “As statements at Super Bowls go, I prefer the idea of Tebow’s pro-life ad to, say, Jim McMahon dropping his pants. […] We’re always harping on athletes to be more responsible and engaged in the issues of their day, and less concerned with just cashing checks. It therefore seems more than a little hypocritical to insist on it only if it means criticizing sneaker companies, and to stifle them when they take a stance that might make us uncomfortable.”

2 » Four-star wide receiver recruit Ivan McCartney (Miramar, FL) has yet to declare where he intends to play college football in 2010. For a while, he has been down to the Gators, Miami Hurricanes and West Virginia Mountaineers. Though four-star defensive end commit Lynden Trail (Miami, FL) has tried to convince him to join Florida’s class, McCartney is believed to be heading elsewhere. However, he did give this sterling quote about his experience with the Gators to the Miami Herald: “There’s something about Florida I don’t feel for the other schools, a very strong, loving feeling. The atmosphere is wild. The campus is outrageous. They have swagger, too. And it’s an awesome place, no matter who is coaching there.”

Extra Bit » Good stuff from The Gainesville Sun on Florida senior swimmers and two-time Olympians Omar Pinzon and Shaune Fraser, who are looking to leave a mark.

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