Already you can count Florida junior 6-foot-2 forward/center Murriel Page as one of the Southeastern Conference's players to watch next season.
Page, who led the SEC in rebounding but often played in the shadow of first-team All-America forward DeLisha Milton, led the nation in several categories during the first three games of the NCAA Tournament.
Page was tied for second in the tournament in single-game scoring (35 against Southern Cal), tied for first in rebounding (16 against USC) and second in field-goal percentage (77.8 percent against USC).
All starters but Milton return for the Gators next year; guards Dana Smith and Mahogany Hudson will be seniors and forward/guard Talatha Bingham will be a junior.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Milton was named the Mideast Regional's most outstanding performer, while Page also made the all-regional team. Rounding out the team were Ticha Penicheiro, Mery Andrade and Aubrey Eblin of Old Dominion.
FLORIDA FIRSTS: The Gators strung together a number of milestones this season, including their first top-10 ranking, first appearance in the Sweet 16, first SEC tournament final appearance, first victory over powerhouse Tennessee and first time hosting an NCAA Tournament game.
Also, Milton is UF's only first-team basketball All-American (men or women), and the team's first SEC Player of the Year.
CENTURY MARK: Milton closed her career by scoring in double figures for the 100th time. She finished with 18 points and 19 rebounds.
ET CETERA: Crowds for the Mideast Regional were disappointingly sparse, with fans not even filling the bottom half of the Mackey Arena. After Monday night's game, the 33-year-old floor was to be torn up and the pieces sold to Purdue boosters.
_ SHARON GINN