4 BITS: Wilbekin, McDonald, Murphy, Hernandez

By Adam Silverstein
March 5, 2015

1 » Florida Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin has led the Cairns Taipans to the Grand Finals in Australia’s National Basketball League. WIibekin, who registered team-highs of 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the team’s semifinal-clinching victory on Sunday, is a serious contender for league Most Valuable Player honors. (He was recently named the Taipans’ MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.) Cairns will take on the New Zealand Breakers in the best-of-three Grand Finals, beginning on Friday. As first reported by OnlyGators.com last week, Wilbekin will immediately leave Australia and the United States to participate in the NBA D-League, regardless of the outcome.

2 » Facing a variety of domestic-related allegations, former Florida defensive tackle Ray McDonald will avoid all charges, agent Tom Condon told teams, according to NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport. McDonald, a long-time starter for the San Francisco 49ers, was cut by the team after a second domestic incident in a matter of months put him under a negative spotlight. McDonald was accused of domestic violence early in the 2014 season but was never charged with a crime with the accusation eventually thrown out. Then, in mid-December, he was investigated on suspicion of sexual assault, another allegation that will not result in charges.

3 » Speaking of the NBA D-League, former Gators forward Erik Murphy of the Austin Spurs (which selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA D-League Draft on Nov. 1) is averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds through 38 games (17 starts) this season. Murphy is hitting 50.6 percent of his field goals and 40.9 percent of his threes, making his presence known on Sunday with a 21-point, 11-board double-double against the Westchester Knicks. He also averaged a 20 and 10 in three games last week.

4 » The Aaron Hernandez murder trial continues to roll along with the defense gaining a significant victory on Wednesday as Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh upheld an important ruling she made ahead of the trail. In the aforementioned ruling, Garsh determined that evidence of a separate incident – Hernandez allegedly shooting another “friend,” Alexander Bradley, in the face after the two got in an argument in a car while driving home from a strip club in South Florida – would be inadmissible for the Odin Lloyd murder trial. The prosecution argued this week that because Hernandez’s defense is that he never would have shot Lloyd because they were friends, it opened up the other case as potential evidence in Lloyd’s trial. While this was a victory for Hernandez’s team, the prosecution continues to pile up circumstantial evidence placing Hernandez at the scene of the crime. What the prosecution continues to lack, however, is a clear motive, murder weapon or any physical evidence linking Hernandez to the murder. (A chewed-up piece of gum at the scene – supposedly containing Hernandez’s DNA – covered a bullet casing and was determined not to be reliable as the two objects were separated prior to being tested.)


  1. Timmy T says:

    Congrats to Scottie. He will be in the NBA soon.

  2. Gatoralum88 says:

    I just saw on the NABL website that Wilbekin came in tied for 4th in the MVP voting with the Townsville Croc’s Brian Conklin winning the award. Still, what Scottie has done at 21 in a pro league (albeit not a great one) has been impressive. I think about how clutch he was so often last year & had he not re-classified as a junior at The Rock he could have possibly been a senior for the Gators right now. Considering they’re currently 15-15, I’m guessing they’d be at least 20-10 with him. Wishful thinking of course. From what I’ve seen of his play down under, he’s definitely better & could/should get more NBA interest soon.

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