Florida athletics receives largest-ever $12.5 million donation for student facility

The University of Florida’s University Athletic Association on Friday announced receipt of $12.5 million from an anonymous donor, which is being billed as the largest-ever donation to the program.

The $12.5 million will go towards a massive $25 million renovation to the Office of Student Life, which the Florida Gators believe will be a huge benefit to current athletes and a massive recruiting tool for future Gators.

The renovation will improve academic programs for all 480 Florida athletes across 21 varsity sports. Renovations will begin in March for what will be named the Otis Hawkins Center for Academic and Personal Excellence.

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Fastbreak: Florida routs Jacksonville 79-34

Florida Gators basketball (6-4) won its third-straight game by running roughshod over the Jacksonville Dolphins (2-9) on Sunday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

UF only held a 10-point lead at the half but routed JU in the latter 20 minutes, using a 28-4 half-spanning scoring stretch to run the Dolphins out of the building as the Gators picked up an impressive 79-34 victory at home.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Sunday’s action with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when / significant stretch: The Gators opened the second half just as hot as they closed the first, erupting on a 22-4 run (28-4 spanning the half) with a pair of threes from junior guard Michael Frazier plus one each from redshirt juniors forward Dorian Finney-Smith and G Eli Carter to double-up the visiting Dolphins with a 56-28 lead. Florida never looked back, using a game-ending 15-0 run (including another Frazier trey) to extend its advantage to a game-high 45 points.

Prominent players: Finney-Smith was dominant on Sunday, posting a career-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting (5-of-7 from beyond the arc). He also added six boards and two dimes to his line. Nearly equalling his teammate’s effectiveness was Frazier, who went 8-for-14 from the field and 6-for-11 from long range to finish with 22 points and six rebounds. The duo combined for 59.4 percent of the team’s scoring and 84.6 percent of its makes from downtown.

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Gameday: Florida Gators vs. JU Dolphins

Florida Gators basketball (5-4) is back above .500 and looks to turn over the weekend with consecutive victories when it hosts the Jacksonville Dolphins (2-8) on Sunday.

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

TV: Fox Sports Network (James Bates, Larry Conley)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 102/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS JACKSONVILLE DOLPHINS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Tony Jasick
Record: 5-4 Record: 2-8
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Sun

Odds: OFF

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Fastbreak: Florida drops Texas Southern 75-50

Florida Gators basketball (5-4) broke .500 with a wire-to-wire 75-50 victory over the Texas Southern Tigers (1-7) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Friday’s action with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when / significant stretch: Following an 8-0 run by Texas Southern that cut Florida’s lead to 13 with 13:18 remaining, Gators redshirt junior guard Eli Carter banged in a three to kick off an 8-0 response that put UF back ahead by 19 midway through the second half. Florida cruised from there, at one point extending its advantage to 25 points with three minutes to play. Carter only played 14 minutes but finished 2-for-3 with six points and two rebounds.

Prominent players: Freshman forward Devin Robinson appears to be putting things together after being a black hole and air-ball gifter through the first seven games of his young career. Robinson scored a career-high 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, hitting 2-of-3 threes and all three of his free throws. He also added four boards but committed four fouls as well. Sophomore F Chris Walker also shined for Florida, notching 12 points and a career-high four blocks in 16 minutes.

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Florida Gators progressing towards potential indoor practice facility for football

While the Florida Gators were in the midst of hiring a new head football coach, the University of Florida continued to progress in its plans to potentially build an indoor practice facility for the program with a completion date as early as July 2015.

In October, a notice of bid/request for a proposal requiring “design/build services” for “Project UAA-35, Indoor Practice Facility (Main Campus)” was submitted to the Florida Department of State, with the University Athletic Association noting that it was “considering the possibilities of providing an indoor practice field for the football program on its current practice site” as well as “a new storage building … to provide space for a satellite athletic training space, hydration station, toilet, and field maintenance equipment.”

A UAA spokesman told The Gainesville Sun in October that there were no plans on the horizon to build an indoor practice facility, and that may have been the case at the time, but the early stages of planning have continued.

The UAA hired RDG Planning & Design to mock up plans for a potential indoor practice facility, which the company did by creating three options that would require adjustments to the current site of Florida football’s practice fields.

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Fastbreak: Yale fails at Florida, Gators win 85-47

Florida Gators basketball (4-4) got back to .500 on the season in dominating fashion, obliterating the Yale Bulldogs (8-3) on Monday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida beat Yale 85-47 and held a 49-point lead during the contest, winning both halves with ease while potentially turning a corner after a rough start to the season.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Monday’s action with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when/significant stretch: The second half began. Already leading by 26 coming out of the break, Florida extended its advantage to 35 with an 11-2 run to open the latter period. A pair of threes from redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith, plus another from junior guard Michael Frazier II, gave UF its large advantage, which it would be expanded to 49 with 7:14 to play.

First half focus: Combining a pair of long runs, Florida broke out of the doldrums with a 24-8 scoring stretch over the final 7:21 of the first 20 minutes to lead 46-20 at the break. Frazier was 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from downtown for 15 points in the opening period, while redshirt senior forward Jacob Kurtz was 4-for-4 for eight points of his own. UF started 2-of-8 from the floor but made 19 of its final 24 shots.

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Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Yale Bulldogs

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Joe Dean)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network Affiliates

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS YALE BULLDOGS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: James Jones
Record: 3-4 Record: 8-2
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Ivy League

Odds: Florida -10 | O/U 117

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11/21: Pain ahead for Gators, Donovan worried about Carter, Finney-Smith not with team

No. 8 Florida Gators basketball (2-1) needed overtime to edge the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1) on Friday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Injuries to a pair of key players depleted Florida’s depth chart, but the Gators were nevertheless able to come from 12 points down to defeat the Warhawks 61-56.

Head coach Billy Donovan met with the media after the game to discuss his high-level concerns about the Florida basketball team and two players who may be out for an extended period of time.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE GATORS?

Florida struggled mightily against Louisiana-Monroe, falling behind by 12 in the first half, needing a 15-0 run just to take a nine-point lead in the second half (despite UF being favored by 21 against ULM), coughing up an eight-point lead with last than two minutes remaining and barely squeaking by the visitors in overtime.

Donovan has repeated week after week that the Gators have a long way to go to be a truly capable and successful team this season, and he stuck with that opinion late Friday.

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