GAINESVILLE — Florida's Michael Frazier will forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft, the shooting guard from Tampa confirmed Thursday.
Frazier had an injury-filled season that was marred by disappointment and the Gators' failure to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season. He played in 26 games but missed seven after injuring his ankle Feb. 7. He returned for the final three games, including two in the SEC tournament, as Florida finished 16-17, its first losing season since 1997-98....
Michael Frazier II has played his final game for the Gators.
The junior guard has decided to bypass his senior season and enter the 2015 NBA Draft.
The decision comes at the end of an injury-filled season that was marred by disappointment and the Gators' failure to make it into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Frazier played in 26 games this season, but missed seven after suffering a high ankle sprain on Feb. 7, then returned for the final three games, including two in the SEC Tournament, but was not at full capacity....
TALLAHASSEE — The odds were stacked against Florida Gulf Coast University because it was playing No. 2 seed Florida State — on the Seminoles' homecourt.
Entering Monday night's women's NCAA Tournament second-round game, nobody all season had been able to defeat FSU at home.
That distinction still stands.
Executing a high-powered offense nearly to perfection for a double-digit lead in the first five minutes then, coupled with stifling defense, Florida State dominated No. 7 FGCU on its way to a 65-47 victory in front of 4,772 at the Donald L. Tucker Center....
One week after winning national championships in the long and triple jump, Florida track and field athlete Marquis Dendy has been named the 2015 USTFCCCA (United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association) National Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.
Dendy previously earned SEC and USTFCCCA South Region Field Athlete of the Year honors.
Dendy, a senior who is on The Bowerman Award Watch List, has now swept both jumps at the last three championship meets: the 2014 NCAA Outdoors, 2015 SEC Indoors and 2015 NCAA Indoors....
Jim McElwain and the Gators staff will get a better idea of how well spring practice is going when the Gators finally put on pads for the first time today.
“We get to start to do something that resembles football out there (today)," McElwain said. We’ll be looking forward to some of the things. We’ll get some of our combo concept run game in, which will be good. Wor- heavy, play action stuff as we get with that first day in pads.”...
When he was inserted into the lineup late in a game on the road against Tennessee last season, nobody was more stunned than Florida QB Treon Harris.
“It shocked me, you know," Harris said afer practice Wednesday night, his first interview with the media since arriving at UF. "Coming in as a freshman and Jeff (Driskel) was a redshirt junior, I didn’t think I’d play. And when coach Muschamp just called me and was like ‘Get ready’, everything just seemed unreal to me. But I just went out there and played my role. I know what I had to do and took advantage of the game.”
Harris led the Gators to a come-from=behind victory, and eventually started six games last season. He is currently in a position battle with redshirt freshman Will Grier, but said the experience last season has him feeling confident as the Gators opened spring practice this week.
"That (position battle) don’t mean nothing that’s anywhere, everywhere," Harris said. "Everyone has to compete for a spot. Me and Will, we're just going out there every day, just getting better, getting each other better."
Harris said although spring practice has just begun he has learned quite a bit already from the new coaching staff, including head coach Jim McElwain who is known for developing quarterbacks.
"I learned a lot from coach," Harris said. "Different things from last year to this year. I learned how to read things and which way to go with things, everything. He’s teaching me mechanics, techniques, everything. How to read low techniques, safeties, watching corners and how their butts are turned, everything. He’s teaching me everything.”
The new offense will feature the quarterback under center much more than in the past, and McElwain said that will require some adjustment for the quarterbacks.
"What we try to do is basically (Wednesday) we introduced pistol and in the gun," McElwain said. "We pretty much were under center the first practice. So today, we tried to in the script, we tried to be about 33 percent each, whether we were in gun, pistol or under. But (we) continue to work under because these guys haven't done it a lot, and so learning how to pressure with the bottom hand and riding the center. And one of the things we've got to do is our center has to anticipate the snap count a little bit. They're a little bit late getting is up. Some things like that, but we'll work it everyday and it will be part of our offense."
Harris said the change hasn't been too difficult to adjust too.
"It's going great," he said. "I haven't been in it (under center) in awhile so everyday I’m getting better practicing. I did it in high school but I didn’t run it in a game, we just did it in practice."
Harris said he spent the offseason working on getting his drops right from under center and "getting out of there, no hops, just get from out of there."
Asked how the offense suits him?
"It’s pretty good," Harris said. "It’s the same exact thing as a spread offense, we just have to go under center a little bit."
Harris said the injury he suffered to the right thumb on his throwing hand caused him problems with his throwing late in the season, but said the hand has mostly healed. Occassionally it will hurt when he moves it a certain way, but he said it isn't hampering him.
As for that quarterback competition, Harris understands that no matter who ultimately wins the job, the backup has to always stay ready to play. He learned that firsthand last season.
“Yes, like just myself I had to be ready to step in when Jeff had to get out," he said. "That’s what me and Will are here for. Nobody is thinking about leaving, transferring schools or anything like that. We’re just competing everyday getting each other better.
"We're still friends, we're brothers, we're a team, we've gotta get each other better," Harris added. "I gotta be there for Will, Will gotta be there for me."...
When he arrived in Gainesville three years ago, Pasco alum Joey Ivie was about 257 pounds. He eventually got up to about 270, then last year he played at 285.
As spring practice began on Monday, the 6-foot-3 Ivie is at his highest weight and feeling the best he has in his career. Along with the experience he gained this past season, he's hoping it's a combination that will make him even more valuable on the defensive line for the Gators in 2015, capable of providing a lot of versatility....
Florida opened spring practice under new head coach Jim McElwain on Monday to pleasant results, the coach said.
McElwain said even without pads in the first several days, there is "a lot" that can be discovered about this team.
"You can see how guys communicate," McElwain said. "That's first and foremost. I was excited to hear the guys actually communicating with each other, because if you're all on the same page, even if it's not maybe the exact thing that you wanted, but at least all 11 are working the same way. So from a communication standpoint, that was really good to see."...
Former Florida DL Dante Fowler, Jr. has severed ties with NFL agent Jimmy Sexton and signed with a new firm.
According to Darren Heitner in an article for Forbes, Fowler has terminated his relationship with Sexton's Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and signed with Relativity Sports - a CAA rival.
Fowler, a St. Petersburg native, is a potential Top 5 pick in the April NFL Draft....
Team to beat: Duke
Duke, with its 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, is the top seed and playing its best basketball at the end of the season, despite its loss to Notre Dame in the ACC tournament semifinal. With a talented group of freshmen who have been battle-tested in the highly competitive ACC, and the senior leadership of G Quinn Cook, Duke is poised to make a deep run....
After winning an SEC tournament championship Sunday afternoon, Kentucky turned its attention toward winning it all.
On Sunday night, Kentucky (34-0) was selected as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats continue their quest to finish undefeated and win a national championship.
UK, which was placed in the Midwest Region, has 12 wins over 10 teams that are in the 68-team field: Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisville, Providence, Texas, Buffalo and UCLA....
GAINESVILLE — Jim McElwain and his football staff have spent countless hours watching film of the Florida Gators since December. Beginning today, they'll see in person what type of talent actually exists on this squad, and how well the personnel will fit with what the new coaching staff hopes to run this fall. McElwain said every player will get a fair chance.
"It's more seeing what people do individually and seeing the things that they were successful at," McElwain said of the early film study. "Without being out there with them and practicing, there really are no preconceived notions going into what we've got going on this spring. There's been a lot of film watched, believe me."...
Many times last season Florida State guard Maegan Conwright wanted to step up, take charge and lead, but as a transfer who was sitting out the season per NCAA rules, Conwright just didn't feel she had earned that right.
"It was so hard for me last year because I didn't feel like I was able to say stuff to the team because I wasn't on the court with them, I wasn't playing with them, I was on the scout team," Conwright said. "And I wanted to step in so bad. I was just like 'They need somebody to lead them.' But as soon as that season was over and we started postseason practice, I was in it and I was full-go."...
When Florida begins spring practice on Monday, the Gators will be in search of new players to help formulate a dominating pass rush next fall.
What they won't be in search of, first-year coach Jim McElwain said, is a "replacement" for projected NFL first round draft pick Dante Fowler, Jr.
It's just not going to happen, McElwain said.
"I'm a believer in this: "You don't replace a Dante Fowler. The guy is going to be a top 10, whatever, a top-five pick in the National Football League. That's a pretty good league, by the way. So you don't replace that guy."...
Florida women's basketball coach Amanda Butler has signed a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2019 season, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley announced today.
Butler just concluded her eighth season at Florida. The Gators finished 13-17 this past season, ending their season with a 71-49 loss to Auburn in the first round of the SEC tournament.
"Clearly, the results of last season were not what anyone, including coach Butler, had hoped," Foley said. "That said, I continue to strongly feel that Amanda is the right person to get Florida women's basketball to be a contender in this league and nationally. She's a Gator and will keep working tirelessly to elevate this program."...