When March rolled in last year, it was no different from any other month for Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith.
He was in the first year of his transfer from Virginia Tech and had to sit out the season per NCAA rules. He practiced, but as the Gators made their run to a third consecutive Elite Eight, Finney-Smith was watching on TV. So you can imagine what the newly crowned SEC sixth man of the year feels like today....
Gators senior C Patric Young was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, and the award caught him by surprise.
Hear what he had to say about winning, and his joy over his teammates also being honored.
When/where: Today-Sunday; Georgia Dome, Atlanta.
Outlook: It has been a tough season for the league, with only No. 1 Florida ranked in the final regular-season polls. There's a lot at stake for several teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble or trying for higher seeds, including Arkansas and Tennessee. The Razorbacks are coming off a bad loss to Alabama but have won seven of nine. The Vols have won five of six, including four straight. But don't sleep on Georgia, which was one of the most improved teams in the league in the second half....
Three days after becoming the first SEC team to go 18-0 in league play, Florida earned four major conference awards, voted on by the league's coaches.
Florida coach Billy Donovan was voted SEC Coach of the Year and senior guard Scottie Wilbekin is the SEC Player of the Year. It is the second consecutive season Donovan has been voted Coach of the Year.
Senior center Patric Young was named Defensive Player of the Year and junior Dorian Finney-Smith was named Sixth Man of the Year. Senior F Casey Prather joined Wilbekin as an All-SEC First Team selection....
Florida RB Matt Jones is among the players who are scheduled to miss the Gators' spring football practices due to injury.
Jones, a Tampa Armwood alum, suffered an MCL in his knee in October and missed the remainder of the season. He underwent a second surgery in January to repair damage to the knee, ending any chance to particpate in spring drills. He is expected to be cleared to play in May....
Billy Donovan is not going to ask his Gators to tank in the SEC tournament that begins Wednesday, and if Florida can win it all he most certainly wants that. But his longstanding concerns about the timing of conference tournaments and the start of NCAA play resurfaced this week.
Florida is expected to start the NCAA Tournament next week in Orlando, which begins on a Thursday. If the Gators advance to the SEC tournament final on Sunday, that means a very short turnaround....
Florida Track and Field coach Mike Holloway has been named the South Region Indoor Women's Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association.
Florida’s Arman Hall and Cory McGee were named the USTFCCCA South Region Indoor Men’s and Women’s Athletes of the Year.
Hall, a sophomore, is the No. 2 collegian and No. 3 in the world this year in the 400m (45.28) and No. 3 in the 200m (20.58), good for sixth in the world. Both times came at the SEC Championships, where he won the 200m title and finished runner-up at 400m en route to moving to No. 7 on the all-time collegiate indoor performers list. Hall additionally ran the anchor leg of the runner-up 4×400 relay that tied the old collegiate record and set a new Florida school record (3:03.50)....
Florida will enter the postseason ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history.
The Gators remained No. 1 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches poll - the final regular season polls of the season.
It is the first time the Gators have been No. 1 at the end of the regular season.
The Gators closed out the regular season with a victory over Kentucky on Saturday, becoming the first SEC team to finish the season 18-0 in conference play. Florida is currently on a 23-game winning streak....
Florida sophomore guard Michael Frazier had one of the best weeks of his Gators career last week, earning him Co-SEC Player of the Week honors in the final week of the regular season.
Frazier shares the weekly award with Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes. It is the second Player of the Week honor for Frazier this season.
Frazier's recognition comes following a record-setting performance for the player from Tampa, who averaged 23 points in the Gators' wins over South Carolina and Kentucky last week....
This time, they cut down the nets.
After declining to participate in a net-cutting ceremony after last week's win over LSU because there were two regular season games remaining, the No. 1 Florida Gators celebrated an 84-65 win over No. 25 Kentucky Saturday afternoon by cutting down the nets.
With the win, the Gators became the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in SEC play, only the second team this season to have a perfect league record (along with Wichita State)....
GAINESVILLE — If someone had told Casey Prather four months ago that Florida would become the first team to go 18-0 in Southeastern Conference play, he knows exactly what he would have said.
"I would have told them to get out of my face, I don't believe you," Prather said.
But as he stood outside the locker room at the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon with remnants of a basketball net still hanging around his head and neck, he and his three senior teammates basked in the glory of just that accomplishment....
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 25 Kentucky
When/where: Noon; O'Connell Center, Gainesville
TV/radio: Ch. 10; 1250-AM
Records: Florida 28-2, 17-0 SEC; Kentucky 22-8, 12-5
Notable: Florida seniors Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete and Patric Young will play their final home game as part of a senior class that is the first in school history to win three SEC championships and the first SEC team to win three outright conference championships in four years since Kentucky did so in 1995, '96 and '98. The Gators are trying to extend their school-record winning streak to 23 games and 32 in a row at home. Kentucky leads the all-time series 94-35 and has a 33-23 record in Gainesville....
Will Yeguete believes he and his fellow Gator teammates knew shortly after they met they could be destined for something special.
Four years later, their expectations have become a special reality. The Gators will play Kentucky on Saturday with a chance to become the first team to go 18-0 in SEC play.
The senior class is the first in UF history to win three SEC championships.
"We knew how close we are and how much we could accomplish as a group," he said. "We had a lot of fun here, especially with this group this year, and we're just excited for what's next and we know there's more out there for us."...
GAINESVILLE — Now, the talk of perfection is acceptable conversation.
For weeks as the victories mounted and the ranking improved, the Florida Gators avoided talk of going undefeated in SEC play at all costs.
No SEC team has gone 18-0 in conference play, but with a win today, the No. 1 Gators can accomplish that feat.
Coincidentally, it is No. 25 Kentucky, the program steeped in tradition, national titles and multiple undefeated conference seasons with shorter schedules, that stands in Florida's way. Students have been camping for days and tickets for the sold-out game were being resold for four times the face value, yet the Gator players insisted Friday that they're approaching this as just another game....
The Florida-Kentucky basketball game is such a highly-anticipated event ticket prices are soaring, according the website seatgeek.com.
At an average ticket price of $249, it's the most in-demand regular season college basketball game in the state of Florida since at least 2009 when seatgeek began monitoring the secondary market.
The least expensive seats available are selling for more than 4x face value on the secondary market....