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!
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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!
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SIX BITS: SEC titles, softball sweep, gymnastics

1 » No. 3 Florida Gators women’s track and field won the 2010 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championship Sunday, its first since the 2004 season. Scoring 110 total points, the team was led by junior Charlotte Browning and senior Shara Proctor, who were named co-winners of the Cliff Harper Trophy for the SEC’s high-points scorer. The men’s team finished second at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, AR, as the home team Arkansas Razorbacks beat them out for the men’s crown 123-119. Both the women’s and men’s teams also captured numerous individual SEC titles over the weekend.

2 » No. 3/11 Gators softball (12-1) swept the Northwestern State Lady Demons (8-5) 15-0, 5-0 and 10-1 over the weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie powered Florida’s offense by going 5-8 (.625) with a double, triple, home run and six RBI, while junior OF Kelsey Bruder joined her with similar 5-8 performance for four runs, two homers, six RBI and 11 total bases. Junior pitcher Stephanie Brombacher (10-1) won each game of the series, striking out a combined 13 and only allowing three walks.

Read four more BITS on gymnastics, lacrosse, men’s tennis and Senior Day…
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Replacing Edwards as defensive coordinator

After Charlie Strong was officially hired as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, the Florida Gators took a month to replace him with former Miami Dolphins inside linebackers coach George Edwards. Now, after less than a month on the job, Edwards has left to be defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills leaving head coach Urban Meyer and, more specifically, interim head coach Steve Addazio with another staff position to fill. Assistant head coach, defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney and assistant defensive coordinator/safeties coach Chuck Heater are currently the Gators’ leading replacement candidates, though the team may hire someone from the outside.

Check out some potential candidates to replace Edwards after the jump!
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TWO BITS: Murphy’s playing time, UF’s dynasty

1 » Florida Gators basketball fans may have noticed that freshman forward/center Erik Murphy’s minutes have diminished over the last few games. After a pretty awful performance against the Arkansas Razorbacks to games ago, Murphy only received two minutes of playing time against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday. Head coach Billy Donovan denied claims that Murphy’s injury was hindering his performance or affecting his minutes. “I’ve got total confidence in Erik,” Donovan said. “He’s a freshman, he’s going to be a very, very good player. You know I think this is great opportunity for him to rebound as a player to understand that you know the last two games, maybe he didn’t play a great game against Arkansas and didn’t get a chance to play in the second half against South Carolina. But we still need him and he can still make a really positive impact on our team.”

2 » Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated wonders where former hoops dynasties like Florida, the North Carolina Tar Heels and the UCLA Bruins have gone in his latest column. He then goes on to make many of the same points that OGGOA has in the past about the Gators’ recent struggles in recovering from the departure of the Oh-Fours.

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Status updates for UF’s top recruiting prospects

Rather than write you a long, worthless introduction, just go ahead and make the jump for a ton of recruiting news on the following recruits: Matt Elam, Jeff Luc, Chaz Green, Christian Green, Chris Dunkley, Kardon Boone, James Louis, Cody Riggs, Lamarcus Joyner, Sharrif Floyd and Ronald Powell.

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Brown being pursued, Riggs stays silent

It should be no surprise to Florida Gators fans that if a player is committed or being sought after by the Orange and Blue, Tennessee Volunteers head coach Lane Kiffin is one step behind trying to swipe them away. The same goes for four star running back commitment Mack Brown (Lithonia, GA), who committed to the Gators back on July 24.

Brown, who contends that his “commitment [to Florida] is strong,” said the Vols, Alabama Crimson Tide and North Carolina Tar Heels are still pursuing him. In fact, Kiffin even made a theatrical entrance to one of his games in an attempt to impress. “I saw a red helicopter over my head and I was like, ‘who’s in that up there?’” Brown told Rivals. It was Kiffin, of course, angling for Brown to take a visit to Knoxville, TN. The only visit Brown has planned is one to Gainesville, FL, for the Gators game against the Florida State Seminoles. “I talk to Florida every two days at least,” he said. “They like my running style and they want me to come in at 215 (pounds) to be an every down runner.”

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Basketball’s Donovan honored with Wooden award, Gators football award updates

University of Florida men’s basketball head coach Billy Donovan will be honored with the John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching Award” in April 2010. This award recognizes successful coaches who exemplify Wooden’s high standards of integrity on the court. Winners are selected based on character, success, student-athlete graduation rate and coaching philosophy. Donovan will be one of only four active coaches who have both guided teams to multiple NCAA National Championship titles (20006, 2007) and received this honor. The others are the Duke Blue DevilsMike Krzyzweski (3), North Carolina Tar HeelsRoy Williams (2) and Connecticut HuskiesJim Calhoun (2). Donovan is 310-126 (.711) in 13 seasons as coach of the Gators with 11 consecutive 20-win seasons, nine NCAA tournament appearances and three SEC Championships.

Two Florida Gators defenders have been nominated for the 2009 Rotary Lombardi Award. Given annually to the nation’s top college football lineman, the trophy is awarded for not only on-field ability but also discipline resembling that of Vince Lombardi. Middle linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive end Carlos Dunlap were nominated this year in a group that is very defense-heavy. Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is considered the overwhelming favorite to win.

In this week’s Scripps Howard Heisman Trophy poll, senior quarterback Tim Tebow earned eight of the 10 first-place votes. The rest of the top five – Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy, Cincinnati Bearcats QB Tony Pike, Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Jimmy Clausen and Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum – did not receive a single first-place vote. Scripps is simply a straw poll conducted to determine the sentiment among college football writers throughout the country.

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