Workouts are on going and this is a time for upperclassmen to rise up and be
leaders. Some of the guys working hard are Guss Scott, Max Starks, Bobby
McCray and Todd McCollough. McCray is a surprise, considering he is
naturally gifted and did not work this hard a year ago. He went into last
season with high expectations and did not produce. McCray has to go down
as the biggest disappointment of last season defensively. Maurice Mitchell
is doing fine and will be ready to go when practice begins on March 17th.
One reason for the move of Travis Harris to defensive end is new defensive
coordinator Charlie Strong. Strong moved outside linebacker Kalimba Edwards to
end at South Carolina, where he became an NFL prospect and an All-SEC performer.
Offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbreaker is excited about the new spring because of
the depth and quality he is going to have at receiver. He also thinks he
can go three wide with the necessary ingredients, "speed".
In Florida's loss to Tennessee, the Gators saw the fans storm the court for
the second time this season. UF's perimeter players struggled and settled at
times for their shots which caused lulls in the offense. Anthony Roberson's
1-10 night carried over in the win over New Orleans as he went 1-9 in 22 minutes
in getting the start for Brett Nelson. He seems to have lost his legs and is
forcing shots instead of creating for others and can use the time this week to
practice. I do believe Nelson will get back into the starting lineup come
tournament time if he can get back on track physically and with his shot. The
Tennessee loss forced many experts to forecast Florida as a number 2 seed in the
tournament. Florida's RPI is 5th in the country. They still have three
tough road games left with Vanderbilt, Auburn and Georgia. With the 77-48 win
over New Orleans the Gators now have won 18 consecutive games at home. That ties
the longest streak in school history set in 1987, it should get to 19 against
South Carolina but 20 will take a monumental task against Kentucky on March 8th.
Matt Bonner needs 16 points Saturday to move into the top 10 in Florida history
in scoring. Florida's 10 three pointers in consecutive games gives them 11 for
the season. UF is 10-1 in those games.
The Gators were able to salvage a split in the weekend series versus Miami.
Justin Hoyman was a big reason, giving UF solid starting pitching, extending his
streak of not allowing unearned runs to 10. In two starts his era is 1.74
and 1-0. Ben Harrison is off to great start, leading the team in hitting (.476)
with 10 hits and a .714 slugging percentage. Jonathen Tucker, who needs to
improve defensively, is 4th on the team in total bases and keep an eye on his on
base percentage. He has reached base 10 times. With his speed he can
disrupt any pitcher. Tucker hit in the second spot behind Brett Dowdy on
Saturday and had 3 stolen bases. Florida had it's 15 game winning streak
in February broken with the 9-2 loss Friday night. The only inning the
Gators have not scored in this season is the 9th. Florida A&M comes
into town Wednesday night and then Hofstra is schedule for a three game set this
weekend. Mike Pete got the start in last Wednesday's game versus
Snippets and Tidbits:
Florida will send seven players to the NFL combine this weekend - Earnest
Graham, Aaron Walker, Todd Johnson, Taylor Jacobs, Tron Lafavor, Bam Hardman and
Mike Nattiel. Nattiel's stock is rising in the post season and he could
move up to be a first day guy at the outside linebacker spot with good workouts.
Rex cannot go to the combine because he is an underclassman. Pete Prisco has him
rated 15th overall with his top prospects. UF is not the only school to release
it's start date for Spring Football. Check out these other SEC Schools.
Vandy begins this Thursday, Alabama-March 3rd, Auburn-March 4th, Arkansas-March
9th, LSU-March 17th, Georgia-March 3rd, Ole Miss-this Friday, Miss St.-March
17th, South Carolina-March 22nd. Tennessee-March 6th and Kentucky-March 31.
Coming soon spring depth chart previews and analysis.