Some bad news for the Gator baseball team, lots of SEC men’s hoops action, boys high school basketball regionals begin for area teams and more in our Thursday Sports News and Notes…
** The Gator baseball team, set to open its season Friday against Duke, will have to do so without projected No. 2 starting pitcher Karsten Whitson who is out indefinitely with shoulder fatigue. Freshman Tucker Simpson moves up to the No. 2 slot and outfielder Justin Shafer will be the third starter on Sunday.
** Both the Gator lacrosse and softball teams picked up wins over Jacksonville University on Wednesday. Lacrosse won 15-4 while softball moves to 6-0 on the year with an 11-3 win.
** The Florida women’s basketball team tries for its third straight SEC win tonight when it faces Texas A&M on the road.
** Lots of boy’s high school basketball regionals tonight with many area teams involved. Gainesville High travels to face Citrus; Eastside visits St.John’s Bartram Trail; St.Francis hosts Oveido Master’s Academy and PK Yonge travels to play Daytona Beach Father Lopez.
** In SEC men’s hoops, Tennessee downs Vanderbilt 58-46; Arkansas beat Florida’s next opponent, Auburn, 83-75; Texas A&M edged Ole Miss 69-67; and Missouri ripped Mississippi State 78-36.
** Kentucky men’s basketball gets horrible news when it was revealed that freshman center Nerlens Noel will be out for the season with a torn ACL. He suffered the injury against Florida on Tuesday.
** Former Gator Al Horford scored 26 points as his Atlanta Hawks ripped the Orlando Magic 108-76 in NBA action.
** In college hoops, Duke won its game with arch rival North Carolina 73-68. Miami won its game with rival FSU 74-68 to give the Hurricanes their 20th win on the year.
** Speaking of Miami, published reports say the baseball team, a team Florida will play at home later this year, was tested for performance enhancing drugs in the aftermath of stories reporting that several former UM players were linked to a now closed clinic that allegedly provided PED’s to players.
** Former UF wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales has been hired for the same job by Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. The two worked together at Florida and other schools as well.