FOUR BITS: 200 FR title, WNIT, Murphy, Crowder

1 » Competing in the first night of the finals of the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship meet, the Florida Gators women’s team has already taken home a national title. UF’s 200-yard free relay team – seniors Gemma Spofforth and Stephanie Napies and sophomores Shara Stafford and Sarah Bateman – won the title behind a school-record 1:27.79 time. The Gators are in fourth place with 107 points after the first day of competition, even with their 101st national title being captured.

2 » Though they failed to reach the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the Florida women’s basketball team (15-16) got off to a quick start in the WNIT with a 61-54 win over the South Florida Bulls (15-16) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Senior guard Steffi Sorensen scored a team-high 16 points as sophomore center Azania Stewart contributed 11 of her 15 points in the second half. The Gators move on to face the Miami Hurricanes (19-13) on Sunday at the BankUnited Center.

3 » Sophomore right-side/setter Kelly Murphy of the Florida volleyball team has been announced as one of 24 players selected to the roster of the 2010 U.S. Women’s National A2 team. The 2008 AVCA National Freshman of the Year, Murphy ranked third in the SEC in hitting percentage (.344) and seventh in assists per set (7.04) in 2009. She is the 35th Gators volleyball player to receive this honor since 2001.

4 » One of OGGOA’s favorite all-time Florida football players is Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that one of our all-time favorite Gators’ mom’s is his very own – Pauline. Aside from helping raise Channing and supporting him throught his life, Pauline has started a Football 101 for Women & Friends class that has become quite popular in South Florida. You can read more about it here.

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FOUR BITS: Top 100, bracketology, SEC loss, track

1 » ESPN college football analyst Joe Schad took some time out to compile a 2010 Top 100 College Football Stars list featuring names you need to know going into next season. Among his 100, Schad listed four Florida Gators: redshirt sophomore quarterback John Brantley (19), freshman wide receiver Andre Debose (54), sophomore cornerback Janoris Jenkins (77) and redshirt sophomore running back Chris Rainey (88). Brantley was his eighth of 29 QBs, Debose was his eighth of 15 WRs, Jenkins was seventh of 10 DBs and Rainey was 19th of 21 RBs.

2 » Also from ESPN, bracketology expert Joe Lunardi has released his latest edition, and Florida remains a part of the projection. Lunardi has the Gators even after a close home loss to the No. 13/19 Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday. He lists Florida as a No. 11 seed squaring off against the No. 6-seed Baylor Bears in first-round action in Buffalo, NY.

3 » Competing in 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament first-round action Thursday, the No. 7-seed Gators women’s basketball team (14-16) fell 74-61 to the No. 10-seed Auburn Tigers (15-15). Senior guard Steffi Sorensen led the team with 14 points (12 in the first half), while senior forward Sharielle Smith contributed 11 points.

4 » Three members of Florida’s women’s track and field team were awarded end-of-season honors from the SEC Thursday. Head coach Mike Holloway was named Women’s Coach of the Year, senior jumper Shara Proctor won Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and sprinter Lanie Whittaker shared Women’s Freshman Runner of the Year. The ladies won the 2010 SEC Indoor Championship on Feb. 28.

Bubble Watch » Richmond (23-7), which beat the Gators 56-53 on Dec. 19, took down Dayton (19-10) 60-56. Dayton was on bubble and is now considered out of the running.

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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…
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: SEC titles, softball sweep, gymnastics

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FOUR BITS: Women’s basketball upsets Georgia

1 » Led by a strong effort from seniors guard Steffi Sorensen and forward Sharielle Smith, the Florida Gators women’s basketball team (14-13, 7-7 SEC) achieved a 64-57 upset over the No. 20 Georgia Bulldogs (20-7, 7-7 SEC) in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Sunday. Sorensen and Smith combined for 31 points and 14 rebounds as the Gators earned their first victory against a ranked opponent in more than a year.

2 » No. 7 men’s tennis (7-2) continued its terrific play this season, taking down the South Florida Bulls (3-5) 6-1 on Sunday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The No. 10-ranked doubles duo of redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau and junior Alexandre Lacroix won its 20th match of 2009-10 with an 8-2 victory. Lacroix, ranked No. 17 as a singles competitor, took down No. 91 Jamal Adderley, 6-2, 6-4 for his 11th win against a ranked opponent this season.

3 » Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is one of the most famous Gators fans in professional sports. From attending games to razzing teammates who are fans of opposing teams, Pierzynski is not shy about his Florida pride. That includes wearing orange and blue shoes around MLB camp last week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

4 » The Gators want three-star tight end Michael McFarland (Tampa, FL) to gain weight. His high school basketball team? Not so much. “They want me to put 10 to 15 pounds of solid muscle on before I get there,” McFarland told the St. Petersburg Times. “I want to start [working out] so bad.” McFarland, at 6’6” 240 lbs., is his team’s starting center and has two weeks to go before he can begin Florida’s workout routines.

Extra BIT » High school junior Lindsey Cooper, the younger sister of former Gators wide receiver Riley Cooper, recently made unofficial visits to Florida and Florida State as she decides where to attend college on a soccer scholarship. A standout at Clearwater Central Catholic High School, Cooper hopes to sprint for a university’s track and field team as well.

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SIX BITS: A.C. Leonard, golf, tennis, b-ball, softball

1 » ESPN has taken to praising 2011 athlete recruit A.C. Leonard (Interlachen, FL), a current Florida Gators commitment. Called “a jack-of-all-trades in high school,” Leonard is projected as a tight end or defensive end in college and worked out extensively at the former position during the Jacksonville, FL, Under Armour combine over the weekend. Leonard continues to impress and remains a solid verbal commitment.

2 » No. 4 Florida men’s golf took home its seventh straight SunTrust Gator Invitational title on Sunday, shooting a team score of 279 (-1) in the final round at the Mark Bostik Golf Course. Up nine strokes going into the final round, the Gators doubled it up and won by 18. Seniors Tyson Alexander and Tim McKenney, along with redshirt junior Andres Echavarria, tied for third place with a total score of 212 (+2).

Four more BITS on tennis, women’s b-ball and softball’s rebound after the jump!
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SIX BITS: Lee, Spikes, Cooper, Tebow, Jones-Drew

1 » New York Knicks forward/center David Lee, a former Florida Gators standout who is averaging a double-double of 20 points and 11.4 rebounds in his fourth professional season, has been selected as a replacement reserve for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Lee will take the place of Philadelphia 76ers point guard Allen Iverson (personal reasons) and will join Atlanta Hawks F/C Al Horford in Dallas, TX.

2 » Former Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes has decided to continue training in Gainesville, FL, as he prepares for the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine at the end of February. His agent, Terry Watson, spoke with The Gainesville Sun about Spikes. “He’s doing well,” Watson said. “He continues to work out hard and he’s eating well. He’s fully committed to a plan that will get him ready for the Combine.” Also in Gainesville working out with Florida strength and conditioning coordinator Mickey Marotti is wide receiver Riley Cooper. “Coach Mick is the best,” Cooper said. “I’m following the same plan Percy (Harvin) did a year ago under Coach Mick.”

Four more very informative Florida Gators BITS after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Lee, Spikes, Cooper, Tebow, Jones-Drew

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FOUR BITS: McCray’s ring, Sunday sports wrap

1 » On Sunday, New Orleans Saints defensive end Bobby McCray became the 13th former Florida Gators football player to win a Super Bowl as his team defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Miami, FL. The Saints’ starting defensive end, McCray totaled two tackles and a quarterback hurry during Super Bowl XLIV. He is the first former Gators defensive player to win a ring since DE Kevin Carter did it with the St. Louis Rams in 2000 (Super Bowl XXXIV).

2 » While most of the country was focused on the Super Bowl, the Florida women’s basketball team (13-10, 6-4 SEC) was in Gainesville, FL, hosting the Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-9, 6-5 SEC) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators kept it close all game, eventually pulling out a hard-earned 80-78 double-overtime victory. Senior guard Lonnika Thompson scored all of her 11 points in overtime while classmates G Steffi Sorensen and forward Sharielle Smith each recorded double-doubles. Redshirt sophomore G Jordon Jones was responsible for the game-winning free throws with only 2.7 seconds left to lift Florida for the win.

3 » Following in the footsteps of their male counterparts, the No. 7 Gators women’s tennis team (5-0) completed a sweep at home over the weekend. The Florida women took on and defeated the Troy Trojans 7-0 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. No. 13-ranked freshman Allie Will and No. 81-ranked senior Marrit Boonstra each won their singles matches and combined as the No. 26 doubles duo to take the event’s first doubles match 8-1.

4 » The Florida club cycling team took home the annual Swamp Classic in Gainesville, FL, on Sunday. Called “one of the most dominant teams in the nation,” by The Gainesville Sun, the Gators group seemingly dominated the event from start-to-finish. For more, read Ray FItzGerald’s report here.

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SIX BITS: Dungy on Tebow, Jaguars, weekend

1 » Former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and current NFL analyst for NBC Tony Dungy continues to stand behind former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and believes he will succeed at the next level. “I know a lot of people are saying he will play another position and he might, but I think he’s going to be a great leader, a winner, and I think some team is going to take him and tailor their offense to the special qualities he has,” Dungy told George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel. “I think he’s going to be a fantastic player in the NFL. If I am a coach, I say to myself: ‘I’ve got a special, unique talent and I am going to structure my team a little differently to take advantage of that.’ People are starting to do that. Tennessee did that with Vince Young and was very successful. I think somebody is going to do it. […] Tim won a lot of games in high school, a lot of games at the University of Florida and my belief is that he will win if he gets with the right team in the NFL.”

2 » Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith told The Florida Times-Union that his team’s experiment with the 3-4 defense is over. Part of the reason for the change is a belief of Smith in former Gators defensive end Derrick Harvey, who only had two sacks in 2009. “The third year is usually a defining year for what you’re going to become,” Smith said as he indicated that Harvey will begin camp as the starting left end. Former Florida safety Reggie Nelson, who had an outstanding rookie campaign but has since floundered with the Jaguars, may be cut if he does not show significant improvement throughout training camp.

Women’s basketball, lacrosse and men’s & women’s tennis after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Dungy on Tebow, Jaguars, weekend

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