Gator News and World Report (1/11/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Wednesday, Janaury 11, 2006. Defining Florida's fast break; These Gators believe in their team, victory; Excitement over Gators reaches a fever pitch; Hangin' out with Sha brooks; Gators aside, Dogs have another burden; Florida beating opponents and expectations; Showdown of the surprise teams; Gators thrive at home; Noah plays pretty; Meyer searches for stability at linebacker and more...

Florida Gator Basketball

Defining Florida's fast break
With the ball in his hands, sophomore Florida forward Corey Brewer feels as comfortable starting a fast break as he does finishing it.

These Gators believe in their team, victory
The prevailing thought last October was the Florida basketball team would endure some rocky moments in 2005-06.

Excitement over Gators reaches a fever pitch
The hottest ticket in town will give you a ride with a basketball squad sailing unchartered waters.

Home is so sweet for No.2 Gators
The Florida men's basketball media guide has two pages devoted to the O'Connell Center's crazy atmosphere.

Florida's Noah Finds His Niche
Joakim Noah can't be serious. "My confidence is at an all-time low right now," the University of Florida forward is saying Monday with no trace of sarcasm in his voice and no trace of a smile on his face. "Especially after those Georgia fans."

Gators aside, Dogs have another burden
As if the task for Mississippi State wasn't difficult enough ...As if the Bulldogs, who figure to start three freshmen, didn't have to play their first SEC road game.

Florida beating opponents and expectations
Not much was expected of this Florida basketball team - at least not this early. But after a 14-0 start to the season, the Gators are ranked No. 2 in the polls heading into tonight's home game against Mississippi State.

Showdown of the surprise teams
If there is one thing Mississippi State and Florida have in common, it's that no one expected either team to produce as many wins as both currently have at this point of the season.

MSU takes aim at unbeaten Gators
The Florida Gators began the 2005-06 basketball season with all sorts of questions. Now they're the nation's No. 2-ranked team. "It's very obvious," MSU coach Rick Stansbury said, "we are probably going to play the biggest surprise in college basketball. After losing three high-profile guys (David Lee, Matt Walsh and Anthony Roberson) to the NBA Draft, and for them to be playing at the level they're playing at, it's no fluke. Florida is a difficult place to play. We have our work cut out for us."

Gators thrive at home
When Billy Donovan arrived a decade ago as head coach at Florida, one of the first priorities was making the O'Connell Center into a definite advantage for his team.

Noah plays pretty
Maybe it's the hair. Maybe it's his enthusiasm and interactions with the crowd. Or maybe it's his hustle and endless determination.

Tonight No.2 Florida vs. Mississippi State
WHEN/WHERE: 7; Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville. RADIO: 1250-AM. RECORDS: Mississippi State 11-3, 1-0 SEC; UF 14-0, 1-0. COACHES: Mississippi State - Rick Stansbury (170-68, eighth season); UF - Billy Donovan (207-92, 10th season; 242-112 overall).

Florida Gator Football

Meyer searches for stability at linebacker
Urban Meyer realized the Gators had depth issues at the linebacker position when he converted fullback Billy Latsko to the position last summer.

Gators' Dickey out of football
Florida backup quarterback/receiver Gavin Dickey will not play football next season, opting to concentrate solely on baseball.

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

Hangin' out with Sha brooks
The basics ...Sha Brooks (pronounced "Shay") is a 5-foot-7 freshman point guard from Jackson, Tenn. Brooks' defensive tenacity and 3-point shooting has quickly made her one of the top newcomers in the Southeastern Conference. She has been described by head coach Carolyn Peck as a "defensive gnat."

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