SEC News & Notes

News and notes from Auburn's Southeastern Conference rivals are featured.

Carol Ross, head women's basketball coach at Florida, unexpectedly resigned in late March after serving for 12 years as head coach. Ross established herself as the program's all-time winningest coach with a 247-121 record and nine trips to the NCAA Tournament. Before Ross' arrival, the Lady Gators had never been to the NCAA tourney. Ross was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2001, and was a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award in 2001 and 2002. However, the Gators failed to make a serious run at an NCAA championship and that is the reason the former Auburn assistant coach says she is stepping down. Florida's performance during the 2001-02 season was marked by a late-season collapse, with a 90-52 loss to BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as well as a 70-57 loss to Auburn in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

Trena Peel of the LSU softball Tigers received National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors last week. The 20-year-old senior was 10-for-21 with a home run and four triples. Peel has 10 triples on the year and is just one shy of the SEC record with plenty of softball left to play in the season. LSU is ranked fifth in the nation after two series sweeps over SEC teams South Carolina and Georgia and is now 12-2 in SEC play. Peel has a .404 batting average with 21 RBIs and nine stolen bases.

The Kentucky Wildcats are just beginning their second week of spring football practices and the competition for playing time at key positions is heating up. First string quarterback Jared Lorenzen, who played last year at 270 pounds, tipped the scales at nearly 300 the week before spring training. Left-handed Lorenzen, who will be a junior this year, put up impressive passing numbers against highly ranked SEC teams such as Tennessee and Georgia last year. Lorenzen passed for 406 yards during the Tennessee game as the Wildcats nearly upset the sixth-ranked Volunteers. Because of his weight, though, the door is open for redshirt sophomore Shane Boyd to step up and grab the QB spot, UK coaches noted. Boyd is also a relief pitcher for Kentucky's baseball team.

The Tennessee Volunteers are in their fourth week of spring football practice. Tennessee's offense looks impressive, with Junior Casey Clausen returning at QB. Clausen passed for 2,969 yards last year as a true sophomore with a 64.12 completion percentage and should be dangerous this year. His go-to man at wide receiver is expected to be true sophomore Kelley Washington, an extremely talented walk-on who made the 2001 Freshman All-America Team. Returning senior Will Ofenheusle is expected to lead the way at offensive tackle. An enormous physical presence at 6-8, 320 pounds, Ofenheusle made the move from guard to tackle at the beginning of the 2001 season after injuries forced Tennessee to shuffle its lineup. The move has been a good one for Ofenheusle, who quickly adapted to the position and started in all of Tennessee's 13 games.

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