The Back Nine comes at you after a weekend of disappointment for Gator sports, but I always remind myself that when it’s a great weekend another bad one could be looming. Yes, I am too negative. And there were some good things that happened.
10. Let’s start out with basketball where Florida continues to be awful on defense. But I think it’s important to note that this team may have been wearing down before Colin Castleton’s injury. Florida has allowed 83.8 points a game in its last seven and the only coach who hasn’t been at least at 82 against Florida was fired from Ole Miss.
11. I made this comment on the radio and was shouted down by a listener – Castleton was like Anthony Richardson in a way. He always gave you a chance. Very different in demeanor, I get it. Castleton played hard all the time, I saw it. But they both gave you a chance to win with inferior personnel around them.
12. That was the same person who wanted Florida to retire Castleton’s jersey. If they retired everyone’s jersey who played hard and was popular and never won anything, there would be no numbers left to outfit a team. I think the bigger question here is Todd Golden’s failure to identify guys in the transfer portal who can really play. That must get better, but is it possible that Florida couldn’t afford enough NIL money to get better talent in here because so much was promised to football? I’m just asking.
13. I just realized that Florida not only goes up against Mike White Tuesday night but could go against him again in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals. Yikes. That was a trade (if you want to call it that) which did not work out well for anyone this year.
14. So, a real bad weekend for the Gators and when I say bad, there have been many that were worse. Softball surprisingly laid an egg out on the West Coast, but there were weather issues. Track came up short at the SECs (the horror!) finishing second in men’s and women’s indoor. Lacrosse lost by a goal. Basketball headed below the Mendoza Line.
15. And a stubborn judge wouldn’t give Trinity Thomas a 10 on two events that sure looked like 10s to me. I know, you want to know how I’m qualified. I have watched a lot of gymnastics, but seriously, I know more than some and less that anyone actually involved in the sport. But on Senior Night? Really?
16. I guess I saved the best for near the end of this column and that would be the three-homer day for Jac Caglianone and the eight-homer day for the Gators on Sunday. Cags is a bigger and stronger version of Brad Wilkerson, who is the best to ever play for Florida. The pitching is going to get better, but he is hitting .414 with six homers in eight games. And the balls go so far. I swear I was at Ironwood during Sunday’s game and one landed on the 15th fairway.
17. In conclusion, the Gators are out of order. You’re out of order. The whole trial is out of order. Sorry, when off on a rant from “… And Justice For All.” This is the everything school, but right now the things that are really lacking are football and basketball where both will likely finish under .500. It’s not ideal.
18. Attention: A couple of groups had to drop out of the 28th Bob Dooley Invitational May 13 because of family vacations. So, there are two foursomes available. You know how to reach me. Here’s your playlist:
* “Apple Tree Blues” by Caamp.
* “Solsbury Hill” by Peter Gabriel.
* And since his 80th birthday would have been this weekend, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” by George Harrison.