Gator News and World Report (2/16/2007)

The Gator News and World Report for Friday, February 16, 2007. Gators, 'Canes open series today; Defense sparks yet another Gator rally; Clean SEC mark is aim, not focus; UT coach isn't a Pearl to others; Texas travels to Flordia for two tough matches; No fear: 'Dores say Gators are ‘beatable'; #1 Gators Ain't Feelin' the Love and more...

Florida Gator Basketball

Defense sparks yet another Gator rally
Florida junior center Al Horford is not looking forward to trailing by 18 points again anytime soon. "We don't intentionally want to fall behind," Horford said. Yet if the No. 1 Gators have proved anything this season, it's that no lead on the opposing side is safe. Florida's rally from 18 points down Wednesday night against Alabama was its third double-digit comeback this season.

Clean SEC mark is aim, not focus
Grab a bar of soap and scrub away. Use hot water and spend a minute cleaning your hands. That's Florida coach Billy Donovan's message to his basketball players. He wants them to wash their hands as often as needed - four, five, six times per day, if necessary.

UT coach isn't a Pearl to others
Coach Bruce Pearl has injected some life into the Tennessee men's basketball program, endeared himself to fans and made the sport relevant in Knoxville again.

SEC Power Poll
1. FLORIDA Seventeen-game winning streak says more about the Gators' mental toughness than amazing talent.

Wisconsin has No. 1 student section
This must be a sign of the apocalypse: Duke's basketball team might not make the NCAA Tournament, and the Blue Devils' student section isn't the best in college basketball (at least in the estimation of one observer). Eric Lacy's top five student sections:

No fear: 'Dores say Gators are ‘beatable'
Vanderbilt says Florida is not invincible. The Commodores get another chance to prove it Saturday when they host the No. 1 Gators, who are 11-0 in Southeastern Conference play, have won 17 straight games and appear to have serious designs on repeating as national champions.

#1 Gators Ain't Feelin' the Love
The Florida Gators are the #1 team in the country. But you wouldn't know it from a quick scan of ESPN's College BB section.

Billy D special to air
Now that the euphoria of a national title and No. 1 recruiting class has worn off, or at least subsided to a level where fans can function normally again, it's time to turn the attention to a once-in-a-generation basketball team.

Florida Gator Football

Rants & Raves
What a disappointment to get the renewal for our season tickets and find the Jaguars had increased ticket prices 23 percent! And not only that, but the previous monthly payment option, which lets the medicine go down, has been replaced with one payment or seven easy payments of more than double what we had been paying. Couple that with parking, whether you pay for it ahead of time or the day of the game, and it won't be much longer before these "loyal since Day 1" season-ticket holders won't be able to afford the luxury of being season-ticket holders - which is what it has become, a luxury.

Florida Gator Baseball

Gators, 'Canes open series today
Matt LaPorta was eating a ham sandwich Thursday afternoon in Florida's locker room when his phone rang. On the other end was Miami starting pitcher Scott Maine, who will oppose the Gators tonight when the teams open a three-game series at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium.

Cold weather won't chill UM-UF rivalry
For some good entertainment -- much of the off-field version fairly rude -- University of Miami and Florida Gators fans might want to consider a five-hour drive today to Gainesville.

Florida Lady Gator Tennis

Texas travels to Flordia for two tough matches
As cold as it has been in Austin lately, a trip to Florida sounds nice to Texas' women's tennis team. Although they're looking forward to the warmer weather, the Longhorns face a tough, early season road trip against No. 4 Florida and No. 8 Miami.

Media News

A new voice in talk radio
The scope of sports talk radio in Jacksonville is about to change. The First Coast will have a 50,000-watt radio station with a 24-7 all-sports talk format beginning in April. An official announcement is expected today.

Fightin Gators Top Stories