ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

Florida’s Women’s Hoops Falls to Wisconsin 51-48 at Home

By on December 11th, 2014

The Florida women’s basketball team (5-4) just couldn’t seem to find their focus Wednesday night in a 51-48 home loss to Wisconsin (3-5).

Florida shot just 29 percent from the field and was inconsistent its free throws, shooting  just 55 percent from the stripe.  The only player to score in double figures for Florida was junior January Miller with 12 points.

Despite the poor numbers, Florida led 31-29 at halftime.  But that lead quickly went away as Wisconsin started the second half on a 12-4 run resulting in a 41-35 lead with 14:37 left.

Florida coach Amanda Butler says her team’s poor defense gave the Badgers an edge.

“Our transition defense was just really disappointing; that helped them set the tone for the second half and we weren’t able to regain that momentum.”

With 22 seconds left in the game, Florida cut the Wisconsin lead to one point after Cassie Peoples, who sat out the entire first half due to a violation of team rules, hit two big free throws making the score 49-48.

But the Gators just could not finish the job. The Badgers got a put back to go up three and Peoples missed a potential game tying three point try that could have sent the game into overtime.

“Wisconsin played a great game,” said Butler. “They did a great job on defense and you have to give the all the credit for the result. You have to give them the credit for setting the tone and executing their game plan really well.”

Next up for the Gators is another home match up against Stetson on Sunday. You can listen to the game right here on ESPN 850 WRUF, with coverage beginning at 12:45. Tip-off is set for 1pm.

For audio clips click the links below:

Butler on 2nd half defense

Butler on Wisconsin

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Gator Women’s Hoops Ready to Take On Wisconsin at Home

By on December 10th, 2014

Coming off of an 77-51 loss to Florida State (8-1) Sunday in Tallahassee, the Floridad women’s basketball team (5-3) tries to get back on the winning track when it hosts Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Florida struggled against the Seminoles, shooting only 39% from the field. Florida also had a large number of turnovers with 30. Gator coach Amanda Butler says that the team knows their weakness.

“The turnovers just seem to be multiplying and that’s certainly a concern. You know going in that there’s a certain amount that you’re going to have to live with as a coach, but the numbers that we’ve been reaching are just unacceptable.”

Florida also gave up 36 points in the paint, 24 points off turnovers, and scored no fast break points in comparison to FSU’s 10.

“You want to play against people that can put you in that situation so we can figure out as a coaching staff those people that need to be out there in the first four or five minutes to set the tone. We’ll probably look into some different assignments going into Wednesday’s game” said Butler.

With a match up against a 2-5 Wisconsin team Wednesday, Butler and her team looks to get a win and execute their team’s strategy.

“The adversity that losing presents you is a great gift if you use it the right way,” Butler said.

For Audio Clips Click the Links Below:

Butler on turnovers

Butler on line-up changes

Butler on adversity

 

 

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Wednesday Sports Update (12/10)

By on December 10th, 2014

Gator news, some NFL quarterback news, NBA and a big free agent signing in baseball headline our Wednesday Sports Update…

** The Florida women’s basketball team tries to get back on the winning track tonight when it hosts Wisconsin.   Florida comes off a road loss at FSU Sunday.

** In the NBA, Chris Bosh scores 34 to help Miami beat Phoenix 103-97.  Miami is at Denver tonight while Orlando hosts Washington.

** In the NFL, the Cleveland Browns say rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel will get his first career start this Sunday when Cleveland faces Cincinnati.

** Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is involved in a car accident on Tuesday that leaves his playing status for the Panther game this weekend against Tampa Bay in doubt.  The injuries are not serious but there is a chance Newton could miss this weekend’s action.

** Big game in the NFL tomorrow as St.Louis hosts Arizona in a key NFC West game.

** In baseball, the Winter Meetings continue in California and the big news so far is the decision of pitcher Jon Lester to sign a six year deal with the Chicago Cubs.   Lester turned down offers from his old team, Boston, the San Francisco Giants and others.

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Michael Frazier II drops 18 points as Florida Men’s Basketball dominates Yale

By on December 9th, 2014
Kasey Hill SOARS for the one-hand jam against Yale for his easiest two points of the night.
Kasey Hill SOARS for the one-hand jam against Yale for his easiest two points of the night.

Florida has blown double-digit leads to Miami and Kansas so far this season but they weren’t going to let it happen again a third time.

The Gators cruised to 85-47 victory over Yale on Monday night at the O’Dome. Four players scored in double-figures for Florida as the team shot 63.8% from the floor.

“I thought the ball moved very well,” said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “I thought we got good shots. I thought the biggest thing was we had a presence at the basket with our guards and front-court players… I thought we got good three-point shots where our guys were set (and) I thought we were well-balanced.

The Gators were also scorching from behind the arc, knocking down 10 of their 18 shots from three-point land.

Junior Michael Frazier II found his groove, leading the team with 18 points (7-for-11 from the floor, 4-for-7 on three-pointers). It was his most efficient shooting performance this season.

“Last year (Frazier) could just move and play off those other four guys (Scottie Wilbekin, Patric Young, Casey Prather, and Will Yeguete) and they found him and it was easy,” Donovan said about Frazier. “Now it’s a lot more challenging and we don’t need him to necessarily score. We need him to take open shots and good shots and when he does that, it creates spacing and it creates opportunity for other guys.”

Frazier’s hot shooting proved to be contagious as the rest of the team flourished offensively. Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points while Jacob Kurtz had a career-high 10 points.

Sophomore Chris Walker had a career-high 13 points as well just days following his performance against Kansas where he put up a then career-high 12 points.

“He got exposed,” Donovan said about Walker’s performances earlier this season “He really got exposed especially in the Bahamas and he wasn’t exposed because he’s not a good player – he got exposed because he didn’t play at the level of intensity he needed to play at.”

“I think the last two games now he’s played at a really high level of intensity (and) we’ve tried to simplify things for him to get him engaged into the things he can do well,” Donovan added.

Kasey Hill was also a bright spot for the Gators, filling the box score with eight points, 10 assists, and three steals. It was his highest assists total since his 10 assist performance against UCLA in the Sweet 16 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

While Donovan was pleased with the production of his team, he’s looking for his team to stay consistent moving forward.

“Yes it was a good win against, in my opinion, a quality opponent,” said Donovan. “I don’t think they played to their defense like they have maybe in some previous games against Providence and UConn for whatever reason. But we need to keep getting better because at the end of the day, whatever we do in terms of what we earn will be there for us.”

Next up, the Gators (4-4) will host Texas Southern (1-6) at the O’Connell Center on Friday night.

To listen to audio from the story, click below:

Donovan on the positive takeaways from the win

Donovan on Frazier’s growth this year

Donovan on Walker’s great performance

Donovan on the win and going forward

Posted in College Basketball, Gators Men's Basketball | 1 Comment

Tuesday Sports Update (12/9)

By on December 9th, 2014

Gator men’s hoops bounces back, Heisman finalists, Monday Night Football and more in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The Florida men’s basketball team squares its record at 4-4 with a big 85-47 home win over Yale on Monday.  Michael Frazier II scored 18 to lead Florida.

** The Heisman Trophy finalists have been announced; Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.

** The AP All SEC Team is announced and Florida defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III is a first team member.   Making second team is punter Kyle Christy and linebacker Antonio Morrison.

** Monday Night Football sees Green Bay win at home, downing stubborn Atlanta 43-37.

** Ten candidates on the ballot of Major League Baseball’s Golden Era Committee failed to get the necessary votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Former players Dick Allen and Tony Oliva missed by one vote each.

 

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Gator Hoops looks to get back on track, hosting Yale tonight

By on December 8th, 2014

The Florida men’s basketball team is 3-4 going into tonight’s contest against Yale.

The Gators lost three games all of last season.

As Gator Nation realizes that this year’s team is not yet deserving of a preseason number seven ranking, Florida has an opportunity tonight to get a quality win against the Bulldogs (8-2).

“You just have to deal with the hand that you have,” Florida head coach Billy Donovan said on Sunday. “We’ve had a lot of different guys start… Jon Hoford had a bursa sac on his knee so he was in and out the other day – just kind of banged knees with somebody, and then we’ve had times where Chris (Walker) has kind of been in and out.”

Florida has used six different starting lineups in their past seven games. This is partly because junior guard Eli Carter has been in and out of the lineup after sustaining a sprained left foot in practice a few weeks ago.

Despite being given the ‘okay’ by medical staff, Donovan insists that Carter is out for tonight’s game.

“He’s cleared to play,” said Donovan on the status of Carter. “He’s just still having pain and the trainers are still trying to work with him. The doctors are still trying to work with him and figure it out.”

The Gators will miss his shooting services as they face a Yale squad that’s coming off a buzzer-beating 45-44 victory over UConn on Friday.

“They’re a very, very good team,” said Donovan on tonight’s opponent. “They’re experienced, they’re tough, they’ve been seasoned, they’ve been hardened. A lot of those kids had an opportunity to play as freshmen and sophomores and they’ve grown and gotten better.

The Bulldogs will be paced by senior guard Javier Duren (averaging 14.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists this year) and junior big man Justin Sears (14.8 points, 9.6 rebounds).

“They’re a really good team and this is an incredible challenge because this will be another 40 minute game for us,” Donovan added.

Tipoff tonight is set for 7:00 p.m.

Catch live radio coverage of the game on Country 103.7 The Gator starting at 6:25 p.m.

To listen to audio from the story above, click below:

Donovan on the different starting lineups he’s used this season

Donovan on Eli Carter’s status tonight

Donovan on Yale

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Dolphins Lose to Ravens 28-13, Fall Further in Wild Card Race

By on December 8th, 2014

With a loss to the Baltimore Ravens 28-13 on Sunday, the Miami Dolphins dug their playoff ditch deeper, as they dropped to 7-6, allowing the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens to move ahead of them in the race for the last AFC wild card spot.

After holding an early 10-0 lead after a 46-yard Caleb Sturgis field goal and a three yard TD catch by Brian Hartline from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Ravens went on a 28-3 run to end the game with Joe Flacco passing for 269 passing yards with two touchdowns and two picks.

After the loss, former Florida Gator, and current Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins said the loss was tough to take.

“It’s definitely disappointing, having the lead and the upper hand early on, and then falling apart. Got to see how it happened, watch the film.”

Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace who finished with three catches for 39 yards, his fourth lowest game in terms of receiving yards this season talked about the team’s performance against the Ravens.

“From that two minute drill that they ran and scored on, through the whole second half, they had it, they were hyped, we weren’t, we were flat, they weren’t, they flipped the script on us. We’re usually a second half football team, and they came out and played as a second half team and won the football game.”

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Another loss for the Bucs to the Lions 34-17

By on December 8th, 2014

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered another loss against the Detroit Lions on Sunday 34-17. This loss brings their record to 2-11 overall and to 2-5 away from home.

The first quarter was scoreless until the last couple minutes when Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a six yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson on their second possession of the game. The extra point was good bringing the score to 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter brought more action from both teams. Bucs kicker Patrick Murray was able to kick a 54-yard field goal putting the Bucs on the board. The Lions responded a couple of possessions later with a 1-yard run by Joique Bell for a touchdown. The Lions then scored again with a 46- yard field goal by Matt Prater. Finally, the Bucs scored again on their last possession of the half with a five yard pass from Josh McCown to Mike Evans. The score at the end of the half was 17-10 with the Lions ahead.

The Lions had more success in the third quarter, getting a field goal and a 10 yard touchdown catch by tight end Joseph Fauria. Detroit led 27-10

The fourth quarter brought one touchdown from each team. First the Bucs scored on a 26-yard pass from Josh McCown to Mike Evans for the second time. The Lions then responded with a touchdown of their own on a five yard pass from Matt Stafford to Joique Bell for the second time as well.

“When we get behind the sticks, you can’t get your runs out. We talked about this last week. Your number count gets down and you’re throwing a lot and it puts those guys in a tough spot because now that’s a really good front…out front the guys they’re battling but that makes it hard on them as well,” said quarterback Josh McCown.

The Bucs again came up short, losing by 17 points.

“(We) didn’t really get anything going throughout the day. Offensively I think we had three turnovers, they only had one. Third downs they dominated us. They were able to run the football, we weren’t able to. All areas, all three phases we didn’t play good football,” said Bucs head coach Lovie Smith.

To listen to quarterback Josh McCown and head coach Lovie Smith see below.

Josh McCown 1

Lovie Smith 1

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Final College Football Playoff Rankings Released

By on December 8th, 2014

The College Football Playoff Committee released the final College Football Playoff Ranking of the season on Sunday.

The Alabama Crimson Tide held steady at number one, a position they’ve held for the past four weeks since knocking off then-number one Mississippi State 25-20 on November 15.

The Oregon Ducks remained steadfast in their number two position, a position they’ve held on to for the past five weeks, after avenging an early season loss to Arizona by way of a 51-13 rout of the Wildcats in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The Florida State Seminoles moved up one spot to number three, finishing the season as the only team to appear in the top four every week since the release of the inaugural College Football Playoff Ranking (the first release took place on October 28).

The Ohio State Buckeyes, the lone newcomer, rounded out the top four following a 59-0 demolition of the then 13th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game.

The Baylor Bears moved up from six to five, while last week’s number three, the TCU Horned Frogs, dropped three spots to number six in the polls, thus ending the Big XII’s bid to have representation in the inaugural College Football Playoff.

The inaugural college football playoff lends itself to a bevy of story lines.

Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, who are considered two of the top coaches in all of college football, will face off for the fourth time and the first time since 2010, when Urban Meyer was head coach at Florida.

Saban leads the all-time series 2-1.

Although Urban Meyer is an old face in a new place, he doesn’t expect things to be too different from when he was in the SEC.

“I know exactly what I’m going to see when I flip on the film: a bunch of great football. I know who they recruit. I know the way they coach,” Meyer said. “They don’t have much transition in the coaching staff. A little bit different dynamic now on offense I think with Lane Kiffin there. He’s opened it up a little bit…I know exactly what we’re going to see. Excellent special teams. We have to be on point.”

The coaching staff isn’t the only thing that has remained constant at Alabama since Meyer’s departure from the SEC. The sustained success of Alabama has remained constant as well.

Nick Saban is still running the flagship program of the best conference in the country and doesn’t want people to forget the importance of having success in the SEC and the conference championship game.

“Everybody sort of minimizes the importance of this game now and wants to talk about the playoff,” Saban said. “But I’ll tell you what. It’s a significant accomplishment. I’ve been in this league for a long time. It’s tough to win. It’s tough to win in this division. It’s tough to win in this game.”

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes will face off in the Sugar Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 1 at 8:30 p.m. in New Orleans.

The Alabama-Ohio State game is not the only game writing an intriguing storyline.

The Oregon Ducks are preparing to take on the reigning national champion and undefeated Florida State Seminoles in what could be a battle of the past two Heisman Trophy Winners.

Oregon starting quarterback Marcus Mariota is considered the front runner to win the coveted trophy for the most outstanding player, although it is not a done deal.

If Mariota were to win the trophy, it would be the fourth match up between Heisman Trophy winners.

Although Jameis Winston has led the Seminoles to another undefeated regular season and ACC title, the College Football Playoff Committee has been unimpressed with them, having had them ranked at number four at one point.

Much of the country is worried about the talent of this Florida State team, but head coach Jimbo Fisher continues to sing the praises of his squad.

“This team is an elite team. It’s 13-0. 13 wins. No losses. No matter what happens to it,” Fisher said. “And it’s resiliency to be unbroken is amazing to me because it can take everybody’s best shot, looks you in the eye and keeps playing. Doesn’t say anything. Just keeps doing its job. I’m blessed to be able to coach them.”

Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks will take on Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles in the Rose Bowl on January 1 at 5 p.m. in Pasadena.

The winners of the two semifinal games will face off in the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 12 at 8:30 p.m. in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

For more sound from participants in the College Football Playoff, click below.

Urban Meyer 1

Urban Meyer 2

Nick Saban 1

Nick Saban 2

Jimbo Fisher 1

Jimbo Fisher 2

Jameis Winston 1

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VIDEO: Jags Safety Josh Evans Discusses Gators New Head Football Coach Jim McElwain

By on December 8th, 2014

Following Sunday’s Jags game at EverBank Field, ESPN 850 caught up with Jacksonville safety and former Florida Gator Josh Evans to discuss Florida’s new head ball coach Jim McElwain and the future of the Florida Program. Here’s what Evans had to say:

 

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