Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gators seek bench help in NCAA

AUSTIN, Texas — Facing a Northwestern State team that utilizes about 10 players per game, Florida expects a physical contest that will require some help from its bench today.

And this week's practices have reflected that.

Freshman G Jacob Kurtz sported nine stitches in his forehead Thursday after a collision. The Gators, who primarily use seven players per game, hope for more help from a bench that includes sixth man Will Yeguete, who is still working his way back after missing eight games due to knee surgery.

"We're playing a team that's aggressive and is going to press us," said Yeguete, a sophomore forward who said he's feeling closer to his old self. "So we practiced differently to make sure we take care of the ball. We're just guaranteed one game, so we have to make sure we go out there and play hard."

TICKET TROUBLE: The games in Austin aren't drawing as many fans as organizers hoped. According to the Austin American-Statesman, among the eight host cities, Austin was the only one with lower-level seats still available.

Part of the problem is no team from Texas is in the tournament. The closest team is Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La., which is about 330 miles away — so close it rode a bus. All other schools are more than 1,000 miles away.

NBA TALK? NOT NOW: Miami sophomore G Shane Larkin has had such an impressive season — 14.6 points per game for the ACC regular-season and tournament champs — he's fielding questions about his future.

So Larkin asked his father, Hall of Fame baseball player Barry Larkin, to handle all phone calls related to the draft.

"Right now, I'm really just focused on the tournament," Larkin said. "He's really helped me with that because he hasn't put any pressure on me on which decision I should make. He's just really been supportive.

"He just really wants me to focus on this NCAA Tournament and try to go out there and win these games with my teammates because that's the most important thing right now."

Hello, again: Colorado had been to the tournament just 10 times between 1940-2011. But since coach Tad Boyle arrived in 2010, the Buffaloes look like a program on the rise.

He has led them to the tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1962-63. And today, the No. 10 seed is a trendy upset pick against No. 7-seeded Illinois.

"We're the pretty girl right now," Colorado F Spencer Dinwiddie said. "Everybody wants to pick us."

Colorado wouldn't have been anyone's pick until Boyle arrived from Northern Colorado. Under him, it has averaged 23 wins.

"When Coach was recruiting me, he talked about wanting to build Colorado into a perennial Top 25 program. I think you see the strides that we're making toward that," Dinwiddie said. "And we are just going to get better."

FAREWELL: When Pacific's run ends — possibly today against Miami — it will mark the final game for coach Bob Thomason, who is retiring from his alma mater after 25 years.

"One of my personal goals in the beginning of the year was to make sure that Coach will be able to leave on a great note," junior G Lorenzo McCloud said. "It's a great opportunity for all of us, and I'm thankful that he can retire in a good way."

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

A

A

C

N

2

0

1

3

Gators seek bench help in NCAA 03/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion

    Golf

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.