Thursday, February 22, 2018

Florida basketball faces Duke in Jimmy V Classic

GAINESVILLE — Mike White knew what was coming.

As he stood at the lectern to take questions from reporters Monday, the second-year UF men's basketball coach knew he'd get grilled about playing against Duke, coach Mike Krzyzewski, and his own father, Kevin White, the Blue Devils athletic director.

He didn't want to hear any of it.

"This isn't about me or my dad," he said. "It's not about any of that stuff at all."

Instead, White said, it's about the opportunity for his No. 21 Gators to secure a signature win against the No. 5 Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden tonight at 9 in the Jimmy V Classic.

White said his players look at it like any other game, and that forward Devin Robinson came up with a slogan the team has adopted generally and applies especially to this game: "It's another game. It's another day. It's another gym.''

Still, White admitted that playing Duke brings a special energy to any team, calling it "a potential storm-the-court game" regardless of opponent. Guard Canyon Barry said that while the team is approaching it like another game, it's hard to ignore the implications.

"It's a bigger game," he said. "It's Madison Square Garden. It's Duke. But I think that just adds to the atmosphere and the fun of college basketball."

Duke leads the all-time series 12-4. Florida won their last meeting, in the 2000 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.

CLEAVES CLEARED: A judge in Flint, Mich. dismissed all charges against former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves, 39, who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a charity golf event and a visit to a bar in 2015. Judge Cathy Dowd said there were credibility problems with the woman's testimony.

MEN'S POLL: Villanova moved up a spot to No. 1 in the AP poll, replacing Kentucky. UCLA, which defeated the Wildcats, moved from No. 11 to second.

USF WOMEN NO. 22: The Bulls (6-0) are No. 22 after nearly cracking last week's top 25. USF has defeated two teams (Georgia, Jacksonville) that reached last season's NCAA Tournament, and is No. 8 in RPI. UConn edged past Notre Dame for No. 1. The Huskies visit the Irish on Wednesday.


FOURNETTE TO NFL: LSU junior running back Leonard Fournette said he will enter the NFL draft. Fournette has 3,830 career yards rushing and needs 6 in the Citrus Bowl on Dec. 31 to move into the SEC all-time top 10.

NOTABLE: Michigan center Mason Cole, from East Lake, made the All-Big Ten second team. … Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's best defensive player). The other finalists: Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, FSU cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins. … Jeff Brohm, 45, is leaving Western Kentucky to become coach at Purdue.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

Big Ten football honors

First team offense

Quarterback—J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, 6-2, 222, Jr.

Running backs—Saquon Barkley, Penn State, 5-11, 223, So.; Justin Jackson, Northwestern, 5-11, 193, Jr.

Tackles—Erik Magnuson, Michigan, 6-6, 305, Sr.; Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6-6, 314, Jr.

Guards—Dan Feeney, Indiana, 6-4, 305, Sr.; Billy Price, Ohio State, 6-4, 315, Jr.

Center—Pat Elflein, Ohio State, 6-3, 300, Sr.

Tight end—Jake Butt, Michigan, 6-6, 250, Jr.

Wide receivers—Austin Carr, Northwestern, 6-1, 200, Sr.; Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 197, Jr.

All-purpose player—Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, 6-1, 205, Jr.

Placekicker—Emmit Carpenter, Minnesota, 6-0, 199, So.

First team defense

Ends—Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-6, 272, Sr.; Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State, 6-4, 266, Jr.

Tackles— Jaleel Johnson, Iowa, 6-4, 310, Sr.; Malik McDowell, Michigan State, 6-6, 276, Jr.

Linebackers—Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State, 6-2, 243, Jr.; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, 6-1, 205, Jr.; T.J. Watt, Wisconsin, 6-5, 243, Jr.

Cornerbacks—Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 203, Sr.; Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, 5-11, 186, Sr.

Safeties—Nate Gerry, Nebraska, 6-2, 220, Sr.; Malik Hooker, Ohio State, 6-2, 205, So.

Punter—Cameron Johnston, Ohio State, 5-11, 198, graduate senior, Geelong, Australia.

Coach of the year: James Franklin, Penn State.

Offensive player of the year: Saquon Barkley, Penn State.

Defensive player of the year: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan.

Newcomer of the year: Mike Weber, Ohio State.

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