Florida opponent previews – Missouri and Georgia

By Mike Brandes – OnlyGators.com Contributor

After squaring off against two bitter rivals, the Florida Gators will square off against one of the two newest additions to the Southeastern Conference, the Missouri Tigers.

The 2013 Florida squad drew comparisons to Missouri’s 2012 team, under-performing because of excessive injuries that ravaged its roster. The Gators hope to replicate what the Tigers did in 2013 as well as the program rebounded from that injury-plagued season to win the SEC East with a 7-1 conference record.

Head-to-Head

FLORIDA GATORS MISSOURI TIGERS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp (Year: 4) Head Coach: Gary Pinkel (Year: 14)
2013 Record: 4-8 (3-5) 2013 Record: 12-2 (7-1)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Common Opponents: 3-3 Common Opponents: 5-1
Scoring Offense: T-112th (18.8 ppg) Scoring Offense: 13th (39.1 ppg)
Scoring Defense: 15th (21.1 ppg) Scoring Defense: 34th (23.1 ppg)

Continue Reading » Florida opponent previews – Missouri and Georgia

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Florida baseball fights past mid-week losses, earns impressive sweep of Mizzou in Gainesville

By Andrew Olson – OnlyGators.com Contributor

No. 12 Florida Gators baseball ended a rough week on a high note by sweeping its third-straight Southeastern Conference home series.

It looked like any momentum Florida had from last week’s sweep of Georgia had faded when UF dropped back-to-back mid-week home games to the Jacksonville Dolphins (3-1) and Florida A&M Rattlers (4-3).

The Gators (30-15, 15-6 SEC) managed to turn things around over the weekend against the Missouri Tigers (19-24, 6-15 SEC), complementing standout performances on the mound with terrific run support at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Continue Reading » Florida baseball fights past mid-week losses, earns impressive sweep of Mizzou in Gainesville

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Fastbreak: No. 1 Florida upends Mizzou 72-49

Breaking free from a tie score at the break, the No. 1 Florida Gators (30-2) powered past the Missouri Tigers (22-11) on Friday afternoon, doubling up the lower seed in the second half on the way to a dominant 72-49 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.

Florida got better and better over the latter 20 minutes, never trailing in the second period. UF ended the game with its largest lead (23 points) and extended its winning streaks to 24-straight games dating back to Dec. 2, 2013

OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: Pulling away and already up 14 with less than five minutes to play, sophomore guard Michael Frazier II drained a three on an assist from freshman PG Kasey Hill to push UF ahead 17 points with 4:20 remaining in the game. The lead had already been to be too much for the Tigers to overcome, but the Gators put the game away with Frazier’s well-timed triple.

Prominent players: Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin was dominant on Saturday, scoring 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range, grabbing four steals, pulling down three rebounds and dishing two assists. Joining him with a terrific offensive effort was Frazier, who matched Wilbekin with 15 points while hitting 5-of-7 attempts from downtown. He added four boards and two steals of his own.

Significant stretch / Perfect play: With effort and tenacity, Florida exploded on a 12-0 run just when it needed it the most – up only two points midway through the second half . After senior forward Will Yeguete scored a layup, he called for the press on defense. Wilbekin immediately stole the ball on the ensuing inbounds play, saved it from going out of bounds on his deflection and moved beyond the arc where he hit a wide open a three. The Gators pushed their lead to 14 points with seven minutes left to play thanks in large part to another Wilbekin three.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 1 Florida upends Mizzou 72-49

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Gameday – 2014 SEC Tournament – Georgia Dome: No. 1 Florida Gators vs. Missouri Tigers

Location: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA [Capacity: 26,000]
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPNU (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 108/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(1) FLORIDA GATORS MISSOURI TIGERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Frank Haith
Record: 29-2 (18-0 SEC) Record: 22-10 (9-9 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -12 | O/U: 132

HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS

» The Gators won the outright 2014 SEC regular-season title earned the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament, earning two byes and playing its first game Friday in quarterfinal action. The championship is the program’s second-straight title, third in the last four seasons, seventh overall and fifth outright.
» The Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals after pulling off a 91-83 double-overtime victory against Texas A&M on Thursday.
» UF is 38-45 all-time in the SEC Tournament with a 23-14 record under Donovan and three-straight SEC Tournament Championships from 2005-07.
» Florida is 2-1 all-time against Missouri, 1-0 during the 2013-14 season, topping Saturday’s opponent 68-58 on Feb. 4 in the O’Dome.
» UF enters Saturday’s regular-season finale on a program-record 23-game winning streak and at 19-0 have set a school mark for most conference wins in a single season. Its 29 wins are also the most the Gators have captured in a single season. Florida has won 28 of its last 29 games.
» The Gators are the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in league play. UF is also the first team from a major conference, since Indiana in 1976, to go 18-0 in league play.
» Florida has gone two-straight seasons without losing at home, holding a 32-0 record since the start of the 2012-13 campaign (17-0 in conference games).
» The Gators have won nine-straight SEC road games, also a program record.
» Florida is 80-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF is 13-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. Florida is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators are 11-2 in true road games this campaign with both losses coming against ranked opponents during the first month of the season. UF lost those contests by a combined seven points.
» 2013-14 was the first time that Florida has ended the regular season ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation. The Gators have achieved a No. 1 ranking in four separate seasons and currently hold a 19-5 record playing as the top team in the country.
» Florida’s senior class is the first in school history to win three SEC championships.

Continue Reading » Gameday – 2014 SEC Tournament – Georgia Dome: No. 1 Florida Gators vs. Missouri Tigers

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Fastbreak: No. 3 Florida outlasts Missouri 68-58

No. 3 Florida Gators basketball (20-2, 9-0 SEC) fought tooth and nail on Tuesday night, taking down the Missouri Tigers (16-6, 4-5 SEC) with a strong finish on the way to a 68-58 home victory at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

UF set a school record by winning its 14th consecutive SEC home game, a streak that dates back to Jan. 9, 2013. The Gators have also started the season 9-0 in league play for just the third time in school history and second time in as many seasons (11-0, 2007).

Florida won its 14th-straight game and picked up a victory for the 19th time in its last 20 contests. The Gators also clinched a 20-win season for the 16th consecutive campaign. OnlyGators.com breaks it down with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: Florida senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin hit five of six free throws over the final 2:24, ensuring UF maintained most of its double-digit lead down the stretch and effectively clinching the victory. Wilbekin scored a career- and game-high 19 points on the evening, 13 of which came on 16 free throw attempts. He also registered four dimes but did turn it over five times (mostly travels).

Prominent player: Gators sophomore guard Michael Frazier II was ice cold in the first half, missing all four of his attempts from beyond the arc. That was not the case in the final 20 minutes when Walker drained 4-of-7 threes to thrust UF into the lead for good. He scored a 14 points adding three boards, two assists, a steal and a block.

Significant stretch: Frazer drained three-straight triples, one in response to a made trey by Mizzou, to spark a 16-3 run that broke a tie and put Florida ahead 59-48 with just over three minutes to play. UF never trailed again.

Freshman focus: Forward Chris Walker entered the game and saw his first action as a collegian with 11:28 left in the first half. He picked up two blocks and a rebound during his short stint on the court, registered two alley-oop dunks in the game (see below) and finished with four points, two boards and two fouls.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 3 Florida outlasts Missouri 68-58

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Gameday: No. 3 Florida Gators vs. Missouri Tigers; injury updates, Chris Walker debuts for UF

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, Dick Vitale)
SiriusXM: 85 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(3) FLORIDA GATORS MISSOURI TIGERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Frank Haith
Record: 19-2 (8-0 SEC) Record: 16-5 (4-4 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -12 | O/U: OFF

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida and Missouri are 1-1 all-time against each other with each team winning a game on their respective home court in 2012-13. The Gators and Tigers only play once during the 2013-14 campaign.
» UF is currently riding a school-record 27-game home winning streak (third longest in the nation). Florida has also tied a program record with 13 consecutive home wins against league opponents and is looking to break that record on Tuesday.
» The Gators have opened league play with a 8-0 record for just the third time under Donovan. The school record for best SEC start is 11-0, set in 2007.
» Florida is on a 13-game winning streak and has won 18 of its last 19 games.
» The Gators are 71-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF has started 19-2 through 21 games for the third time in school history. The first two times the Gators achieved that mark, they won the national title (2005-06, 2006-07).
» Florida is 8-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. UF is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» 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 is 2-2 against ranked opponents this season with both losses coming in true road games and the victories occurring in a home contest and neutral-site game.
» The Gators are 5-2 in true road games this season.
» Missouri is 5-3 under Haith against top 10-ranked opponents.

Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 3 Florida Gators vs. Missouri Tigers; injury updates, Chris Walker debuts for UF

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Florida F Chris Walker set to play, Gators react

Much has been written about Florida Gators freshman forward Chris Walker, who is set to play in his first career college basketball game after serving a 12-game suspension handed down by the NCAA.

Practicing with the Gators since Dec. 14, Walker has seven weeks of work under his belt and is expected to play a reserve role for Florida, primarily serving as a backup for seniors center Patirc Young and F Will Yeguete.

Here is what head coach Billy Donovan and his players had to say about Young heading into Tuesday night’s home game against the Missouri Tigers.

» Walker on playing his first game for the Gators (via Florida’s school website): “I’m going to be nervous, but I think it’ll go away once I get on the court and get up and down a little bit. It’s going to be crazy when I check in, the crowd and all. But I feel that will be good for me. I appreciate all the support they gave when I was dealing with this stuff. Now, I’m going to get a chance to do what I love to do. … Being a home game, my first game, I think my motor is going to be running like crazy. It’s going to be ridiculous. I’m just so excited. … I’m going to play like a maniac.”

» Donovan on working Walker into Florida’s regular rotation: “He was separated from our team and there was a lot of attention given to the fact of when he was going to be cleared to play. Right now there should be no attention to Chris because it’s about our team. He’s now a part of our team. He needs to be in a role with our team that, however he can contribute and help our team, that’s the most important thing. He’s a humble kid. He understands that coming in he has to do whatever he can to help, whether that’s three minutes, two minutes, 10 minutes or 20 minutes. It’s all going to be predicated on how he’s doing and what he’s doing to help our team with foul trouble, fatigue and those things. Chris is no different than any member of our team right now. He’s been here for over a month. He’s caught up somewhat – not fully caught up, but he’s caught up somewhat – and I’m happy for him that he can now put a uniform on and go out there and play and all this stuff is behind him. As it relates to anything else, he’s part of our team. It’s not our team and Chris Walker’s suspension; he’s part of our team.”

Continue Reading » Florida F Chris Walker set to play, Gators react

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FOUR BITS: Noah, Foley, Mizzou, Donovan

1 » You will be seeing plenty of center Joakim Noah on ESPN during the 2013-14 NBA season and not just because the Chicago Bulls are expected to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Noah was chosen to star in one of ESPN‘s comical NBA on ESPN tour bus television advertisements, which you can check out below.

Though Noah has recovered from the plantar fasciitis that forced him to miss large chunks of the last two seasons, he was recently shut down for the remainder of the preseason due to a groin injury. According to the Chicago Tribune, he is in “serious jeopardy” of not being available for the Bulls’ season opener, though the player is not concerned. “I want to be out there,” Noah said. “We’re looking good. But I have to be healthy. It sucks, especially this early in the season. … Of course I would rather be playing right now. But we have to do the right thing. This is the right thing to do. Just move forward and let it heal. I’ll be back in no time.”

Read three more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Noah, Foley, Mizzou, Donovan

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