Fastbreak: Gators earn needed signature win as Florida obliterates No. 9 West Virginia 88-71

In desperate need of a signature win, Florida Gators basketball got just that on Saturday, defeating a top-10 opponent for the first time in 13 tries with a dominant 88-71 victory over the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida (14-7) put together a dominant offensive performance for the second time in three games as it rained threes and was extremely efficient from the charity stripe. West Virginia (17-4) simply could not get back into the game after a hot start for the Gators.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s important win with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when: Though Florida held the lead for 39:49 of the 40-minute contest and was up by nearly 20 late in the game, West Virginia had its opportunities to come back. It was not until a dagger three-pointer by sophomore guard Chris Chiozza with 2:35 to play that all hope was lost for the visitors. The Gators jumped ahead 84-67 and scored eight-straight points to earn a game-high 21-point advantage with 1:03 to play. Chiozza finished 4-of-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from downtown with 10 points, six assists and two steals, though he did cough up the ball a team-high six times.

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Fastbreak: Florida powers past Navy 59-41

Florida Gators basketball (1-0) opened the 2015-16 season Friday by taking down the Navy Midshipmen (0-1) in the Veterans Classic at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Maryland.

With the 59-41 victory, the Gators won their first game under new head coach Mike White in what was the team’s first road season opener since 2000-01.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Friday’s season opener with seven quick-hitters:

It was over when: Redshirt freshman guard Brandone Francis-Ramirez drained the first three-pointer of his career to put Florida up 40-26 with just over 11 minutes to play. The Gators used a 9-0 run to take a 17-point lead shortly thereafter and held on to their sizable advantage – pushing it as high as 20 – for the duration of the contest. Ramirez made 2-of-6 shots with five point sand three rebounds in his first game.

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Florida Gators 2015-16 exhibition: What to know, how to watch on TV, live stream online

Florida Gators basketball, which will begin the 2015-16 season unranked, will take the court for the first time under new head coach Mike White on Thursday night in an exhibition game against the Division II Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

The Gators have been looking forward to playing real basketball for quite some time, and following a “secret scrimmage” against Central Florida over the weekend, everyone is ready and raring to go for the contest. “It’s an exciting week to get started for the staff and I, but I’m sure a lot more exciting for our players, especially our seniors,” White said Wednesday. “It’s been a long preseason. We’ve put in a lot of time and work and energy. I know our guys have been chomping at the bit for probably more than 2-3 weeks now to play someone else.”

Here’s a look ahead at Thursday night’s exhibition game: what to know and how to watch Florida-Palm Beach Atlantic.

Viewing information

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: None

Streaming Video: SEC Network+ | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app (iPhone) / (Android)
SiriusXM: None | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

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Florida Gators C Schuyler Rimmer granted immediate eligibility by NCAA

Florida Gators walk-on center Schuyler Rimmer, a midseason transfer last year who was not scheduled to be cleared for action until the spring semester, announced Friday that he has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA.

“The wait is over!! So thankful that the NCAA has granted me immediate eligibility!” Rimmer tweeted. Can’t wait for the season to start! Go Gators!”

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Florida basketball: Gators begin practice under Mike White with positive early returns

With one week to go until Florida Gators basketball begins its ramp up to the 2015-16 season with a secret scrimmage against the UCF Knights – and three until the official start of the campaign – new head coach Mike White has been working with his team to get it prepared for what should be a challenging next few months.

During the month of October, White has spoken at length about progress he has seen from the Gators during practice and what some of his early expectations are for Florida ahead of the season.

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Florida Gators basketball adds fourth walk-on … this one from the track team

With a roster spot still available and no more scholarship players joining the program ahead of the 2015-16 season, Florida Gators head basketball coach Mike White has added redshirt freshman guard Jhonny Victor to the team.

Victor (6-foot-4, 178 pounds) is on scholarship as a high jumper and triple jumper with Florida’s track & field program. Out of Orlando, he will remain with Gators basketball for its entire season and return to the track for outdoor competition in March or April.

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Florida Gators junior guard Michael Frazier II set to declare for 2015 NBA Draft

Updated on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Florida Gators junior guard Michael Frazier II has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, a source close to the player confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Thursday.

Frazier, Florida’s second-leading scorer in 2014-15 with 12.1 points per game, is expected to make his decision official on Friday, a source said.

He will sign with Andy Miller and Matt Ramker of ASM Sports, according to a source, as first reported by Darren Heitner of Heitner Legal.

Update: Frazier released the following statement via his personal Twitter account on Friday afternoon …

“Thank you to my coaches, teammates, and the entire Gator Nation for 3 special years of my life. I will be pursuing a career in professional basketball and have signed with Matt Ramker of ASM Sports. I will never forget my time in Gainesville and look forward to returning each summer to complete my degree. I will always be representing the Gator Nation. Go Gators.”

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FOUR BITS: baseball, Wambach, NFL, Rimmer

1 » Tuesday’s baseball game between the No. 5 Florida Gators and Florida A&M has been postponed due to weather with no make-up date yet scheduled. Florida (3-0), which moved up 19 spots from No. 24 in the latest USA Today Coaches’ Poll, will next take the field for its first road game of the season when it faces USF on Wednesday in Tampa. UF will then return home to host No. 14 Miami in a three-game series over the weekend. OnlyGators.com will provide a Gators baseball update after Wednesday’s game and following the conclusion of the series with the Hurricanes on Sunday.

2 » Former Florida striker Abby Wambach was announced Sunday as the honorary starter for this year’s Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. Wambach, whose international goal scoring world record is up to 177, will lead the United States Women’s National Team as it prepares to compete in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup beginning June 6.

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