GAINESVILLE — For the second consecutive year, the Florida men's basketball team will open the season ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press preseason rankings, but the season will open with the team in turmoil.
Coach Billy Donovan said Thursday that Damontre Harris and Dorian Finney-Smith are suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and will miss tonight's exhibition game against Florida Southern. Along with senior guard Scottie Wilbekin, who was suspended throughout the spring and summer, that brings to three the number of suspended players.
Harris is a junior forward-center transfer from South Carolina. Finney-Smith is a sophomore forward transfer from Virginia Tech who was a member of the ACC all-freshmen team. At South Carolina in 2011-12, Harris averaged 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, and was named to the SEC all-defensive team. Florida will have six scholarship players and two walkons available tonight.
The Gators are one of two SEC teams ranked in the Top 10 of the Associated Press poll. Kentucky is No. 1 (poll, For the Record, this page).
"I would say we're not even remotely close to being No. 10 in the country right now," Donovan said."
Iowa State: Forward Melvin Ejim likely is out 4-6 weeks after hyperextending his left knee in practice. The Big 12's top rebounder last season will miss tough nonconference games against Michigan, BYU and Auburn.
Michigan State: Big Ten media made the Spartans a unanimous pick to win the conference, and guard Gary Harris was selected preseason player of the year.
ucla: Isaac Hamilton lost his appeal to void the national letter of intent he signed with UTEP, so the freshman guard can't play for the Bruins this season. Hamilton can practice with the team and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
MURRAY UP FOR AWARD: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, a former Plant High standout, is among 16 finalists for the William Campbell Trophy, which honors football's top scholar-athlete.
Each finalist receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The winner will be announced Dec. 10 by the National Football Foundation and will receive an additional $7,000 scholarship.
The other finalists: Trevor Adams of Northwest Missouri State; John Arena of John Hopkins; Max Bullough of Michigan State; Derek Carr of Fresno State; Gabe Ikard of Oklahoma; Spencer Long of Nebraska; Niccolo Mastromatteo of Coastal Carolina; Jeff Matthews of Cornell; James Morris of Iowa; Perry Simmons of Duke; Eric Soza of Texas-San Antonio; John Urschel of Penn State; Dustin Vaughan of West Texas A&M; Tony Washington of Appalachian State; and Eric Westerberg of Augustana, Ill.
pelini update: FAU athletic director Pat Chun said there were reports of other university violations committed by Carl Pelini, who resigned as coach Wednesday because of drug use. The nature of the violations was not revealed.
BYU: Senior linebacker Austen Jorgensen's career appears over with the announcement he will have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee, which he injured after playing eight games this season.
notre dame: Quarterback Everett Golson, suspended from the university for academic problems in May, will be eligible to practice with the team if he is accepted back into the university, coach Brian Kelly said. That would help him get ready for next season.
usc: Receiver Marquis Lee, who has been slowed by a sprained left knee, was upgraded to probable for Saturday's game at Oregon State.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.