Antonya English, Times Staff Writer

Antonya English

Antonya English has covered University of Florida sports for the Times since 2001, a tenure that has included three head football coaches and three national champions. A former news reporter, she moved to the sports department at the Gainesville Sun in 1993 for what she thought would be a short stint, and never looked back. She came to the Times from the Dallas Morning News in 1997.

Phone: (813) 226-3389

E-mail: english@tampabay.com

Blog: Gator Report

  1. Florida's new offense generates lots of optimism

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Six hundred and six.

    If you're a Florida fan looking for just the slightest light at the end of what has been a really dark tunnel since September, Saturday afternoon's 606 yards of offense between the Orange and Blue teams during the spring game might help.

    New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's spread, uptempo scheme generated offense and optimism during the Gators' final practice in front of 35,834 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium....

    Florida’s Jeff Driskel, in his first action since breaking his right leg Sept. 21, goes 18-of-32 for 167 yards and a touchdown.
  2. Gators Will Muschamp happy with spring practice

    Blog

    Florida concluded its 2014 spring practices today with the annual Orange and Blue game.

    Gators coach Will Muschamp said he was pleased with the overall practices, including the installation of Florida's new up-tempo offense under Kurt Roper.

    Hear Muschamp's postgame comments: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SBhi6bbbyu8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>...

  3. Florida Gators hope offense springs to life

    College

    GAINESVILLE — When Florida's football season ended in December, offensive lineman Max Garcia was among a handful of players in the postgame locker room who were adamant that changes in the offense were desperately needed.

    Fast-forward four months.

    As the Gators prepared this week to conclude spring practice with the annual Orange and Blue game today, there was a noticeable difference among the players....

     "I made a lot of mental and physical changes because we are up-tempo,'' offensive lineman Max Garcia said. "I'm just really excited. We haven't even scratched the surface yet and we're doing some big things."
  4. Chris Walker to return to Florida basketball

    Colleges

    GAINESVILLE — Florida forward Chris Walker will return for his sophomore season, he announced Wednesday.

    Walker played just 87 minutes this season but was projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick by draft analysts.

    "This year has been a great one," Walker tweeted. "And I'm happy to say I will be joining the gatornation again for one more year!"

    Walker, 6 feet 10, did not join the team until December due to academic reasons then didn't play until Feb. 4 because of NCAA violations prior to enrolling. He played in 18 games, averaging 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 4.8 minutes....

  5. Vernon Hargreaves focused on becoming a leader for Gators

    Blog

    After a freshman season that earned him All-American status, Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves said he's pleased with what he was able to accomplish this past season, but focused on the future.

    Hargreaves said Wednesday afternoon he is trying to become more of a leader after the Gators lost many upperclassmen on defense, and are in need of players to step up.

    Hear more from Hargreaves on the secondary and what to expect in this weekend's spring game:...

  6. Connecticut tops Kentucky for NCAA title

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas

    Back in early January, when the Connecticut basketball team was struggling and the team was starting to unravel a bit, coach Kevin Ollie took his squad for an unplanned visit during a road trip to play SMU in Dallas.

    To AT&T Stadium — site of the 2014 NCAA Final Four. He wanted his players to see what could be if only they would believe in themselves and each other....

    Shabazz Napier, also part of UConn&#8217;s 2011 title, celebrates after his Huskies defeat Kentucky. The senior is named the tourney&#8217;s most outstanding player.
  7. Low seeds in high places

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas — When No. 8 seed Kentucky and No. 7 seed Connecticut meet in the NCAA Tournament national championship tonight, the game will feature the two lowest seeded teams to ever play for a national championship. It is also the first title matchup in 48 years between teams that didn't make the tournament the previous season.

    Based on the way the Wildcats and Huskies were playing toward the end of the regular season, a title game between them might have seemed impossible....

    DeAndre Daniels, shooting over Florida&#8217;s Michael Frazier, and UConn enter tonight&#8217;s NCAA national title game as a No. 7 seed facing eighth-seeded Kentucky.
  8. NCAA to ponder changes to keep with times

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas — On the eve of the final college basketball game of the year, NCAA president Mark Emmert and other top college athletic administrators acknowledged it's time for the NCAA to take a hard look at many issues concerning student-athletes, including recruiting, one-and-done athletes and monetary compensation.

    "I've been at this 35 years now," said Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "As I look back on that time there's really been a lot of change, and yet there's a lot of stuff that's exactly the same. We, in some ways, have been unwilling or unable to make meaningful change, and it feels like for a variety of reasons we now have an opportunity to do that. … It's a good time for us to think about redefining what a scholarship looks like."...

    We defend: Ryan Boatright, on right with Florida&#8217;s Scottie Wilbekin, says UConn&#8217;s veterans are unlikely to give Kentucky&#8217;s late-game sharpshooter Aaron Harrison a good look from beyond the arc in the final seconds.
  9. UConn-Kentucky matchup

    College

    No. 7 Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats

    Connecticut

    Record: 31-8. Conference: American Athletic

    NCAA Tournament history: 57-29; champion 1999 (beating Duke at Tropicana Field), 2004, 2011

    Kentucky

    Record: 29-10. Conference: SEC

    NCAA Tournament history: 116-46; champion 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012...

  10. NCAA finalists missed '13 tournament

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Monday's title game will be between No. 8 seed Kentucky and No. 7 Connecticut, neither of which was in the NCAA Tournament last year.

    The last time two teams that missed the tournament the previous year made the final was 1966, Texas Western versus Kentucky.

    UConn coach Kevin Ollie said he had faith the Huskies would make the final. He also thanked Florida coach Billy Donovan after UConn beat the Gators in the semifinals Saturday....

    UConn forward DeAndre Daniels (2) celebrates in the final seconds of the Huskies' victory over Florida.
  11. UConn stuns top-seeded Florida, 63-53, in NCAA Tournament semifinal

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Florida senior forward Casey Prather sat at his locker inside AT&T Stadium, his eyes red from crying, and tried to put his heartbreak into words. Freshman guard Kasey Hill couldn't hold back the tears.

    For the first time in 30 games, the Florida Gators felt defeat Saturday night, and it came in the biggest game of the season.

    The No. 1 overall seed Gators' record-setting season came to an end at AT&T Stadium with a 63-53 loss to No. 7 seed Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament national semifinal....

    Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier, who scores 12, drives to the basket over forward Dorian Finney-Smith in the first half.
  12. Florida, UConn have experience in huge arena

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Florida has played all three of the other teams participating in tonight's Final Four, but the Gators and Kentucky may have a slight advantage because both have played at AT&T Stadium. The Gators played in it in an NCAA regional last year, and Kentucky played at the stadium against Baylor on Dec. 6.

    "This is definitely the biggest arena I have played in, but it helps to have played here just last year," Gators senior F Casey Prather said....

  13. Wilbekin prepared for rematch with UConn in Final Four

    Blog

    Florida senior G Scottie Wilbekin is expected to be one-half of a highly-anticipated matchup with UConn's Shabazz Napier when the Gators and Huskies meet Saturday night in the NCAA national semifinal game.

    The two teams played earlier this season, with UConn earning a 65-64 victory.

    Wilbekin talked about the previous game and the upcoming Final Four game during press conferences on Friday....

  14. Gators' Wilbekin, UConn's Napier key Final Four matchup

    College

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Scottie Wilbekin was lying on the floor in the Connecticut visitors' locker room in December, his sprained ankle packed in ice as his Florida teammates tried to close out the final 3½ minutes of the game. There was a game clock but no television in the locker room, so he got updates from a student manager. Ultimately, the crowd told him everything he needed to know....

    Florida&#8217;s Scottie Wilbekin was injured and did not play the final minutes of the Dec. 2  meeting against UConn and point guard Shabazz Napier.
  15. Final Four matchup: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Wisconsin Badgers

    College

    No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats

    Wisconsin

    Record: 30-7 Conference: Big Ten

    NCAA Tournament history: 29-18; champion 1941

    Kentucky

    Record: 28-10 Conference: SEC

    NCAA Tournament history: 115-46; .champion 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012

    Wisconsin's starting five...