Ack's Insights

Here is this week's version of Ack's Insights with information and news regarding Florida football, basketball and baseball.

Football Notes:

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".

Basketball Notes:

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.

Baseball Notes:

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 Charleston Southern.

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.

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