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Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Articles

What’s Next for the Gator Seniors?

What’s Next for the Gator Seniors?

March 24, 2017

The University of Florida is preparing for a Sweet 16 matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers later tonight. Regardless if the Gators win or lose, the season is ultimately coming to an end within the next few weeks. For Florida, that means the collegiate careers of seniors Kasey Hill, Canyon Barry, Justin Leon, and Schuyler Rimmer are coming to an end.

Of these four seniors, only Kasey Hill has been with the program since the start of his collegiate career. Leon is a junior-college transfer, Barry a graduate-transfer, and Schuyler Rimmer being a walk-on after originally playing at Stanford.

Any regular person who sees this list of seniors might think that their careers will end as members of the orange and blue. But the real question is, what do the seniors think about their future careers in basketball?

The Senior Leader – Kasey Hill

Kasey Hill came to Florida as one of the top high school recruits in the country back in 2013. To be more specific, he was given a scouting grade of 93 out of 100, and was rated as the 10th best player in his class according to ESPN Top 100.

Most people who have followed the Gators during Hill’s time there will tell you he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Now while

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

some of that may be true, you have to consider he came to Florida to be a backup to Scottie Wilbekin in his freshman season.

Not only that, Billy Donovan, Florida’s previous head coach who recruited Hill, took a job coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder. So Hill, the point guard, had to learn an entirely new offensive system under new head coach, Mike White.

It took Hill, and the rest of the Gator team an entire season to buy into Coach White’s system, but they clearly have with a berth to the Elite 8 on the line tonight. A pass first defensive minded point guard is exactly what every NBA team wants on their roster. Sure, Hill didn’t have the success that most top-ten recruits have at the college level, but he’s certainly turned heads this year.

After receiving Second Team All SEC and All Defensive Team, Hill has shown his game has progressed majorly over the last two seasons, and that maybe the NBA is more realistic than people think. Hill has mentioned that he wants to continue basketball after his time with the Gators, but it will be up to him to prove he is worthy of an NBA Roster.

The Graduate Transfer – Canyon Barry

For Canyon Barry, he’s shown the ability to be a knockdown shooter from both the three-point, and free-throw lines. Everyone is familiar with Barry’s unorthodox free-throw shot. If you are one of the very few who are unaware of how Barry shoots his free-throws, here’s a look.

 

And yes, Canyon Barry is the son of NBA Legend, Rick Barry. Much like his father, Barry shoots the ball at a very efficient clip. It took him a few weeks to get used to the Gators system, but he is still averaging close to 35% from downtown, and 88% from the free throw lines. Not only that, but Barry was also named the SEC’s Sixth Man of the year while earning and Academic All America of the Year. These types of numbers and awards can attract any NBA scout, but for Barry, he is only focused on the task at hand.

However, Barry is very confident that he continue to play ball at the next level, regardless of where it might be. It’s that kind of mindset that gets college athletes to the next level, no matter the sport. Now if Barry doesn’t make it at the next level, his Nuclear Engineering Degree is sure to land him work somewhere.

Justin Leon and Schuyler Rimmer

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Leon and Rimmer are the two that seem to fall out of the spotlight when it comes to the Gator Seniors, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t played well. In fact, Leon is often known as the X-factor for this Gator team. Leon has started every game for the Gators this season, shooting about 40% from three and 78% from the free-throw line. He’s clearly had his moments this season as well, matching his career high of 19 points, and scored double digit points in nine games. One of those games coming against Virginia in the round of 32, which sparked a huge run for the Gators in their blowout victory over the Cavaliers.

And while Rimmer hasn’t had many opportunities as a Gator, he has came in and played well in spurts to give the other big men on the roster some time to cool off. Especially since the loss of John Egbunu, who tore his ACL back in February. Rimmer hasn’t seen more than two minutes of playing time in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but most of that can be credited to the improved play of freshman big man, Gorjok Gak.

It’s hard to say where any of these seniors will end up after their collegiate careers. Whether you see some of these guys in the NBA, D-League, overseas, or wherever their careers take them after basketball, it will definitely be worth keeping track of.

Source: WRUF

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2017 in Articles

No.12 Florida Falls to Vanderbilt for Second Time this Season

No.12 Florida Falls to Vanderbilt for Second Time this Season

March 4, 2017

The No.12 Florida Gators came into Saturday’s game locked in as the two seed in the SEC Tournament and a double-bye to go along with it. However, that was the last thing on their mind. The Gators traveled to face a Vanderbilt Commodore team that previously upset the Gators at home earlier in the season. Today’s game was about revenge for the Gators, and it appeared as if they would get just that.

First Half

Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

After a Kasey Hill basket to start the game for Florida, the Commodores answered with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes of play which would eventually lead to a Mike White timeout. Florida would come out surging right after.

KeVaughn Allen and Hill scored on back to back possessions to reduce the lead to three. The two teams would continue to trade baskets for a few minutes, but then the Gators caught fire. But more specifically, KeVaughn Allen. Allen gave the Gators their first lead after hitting a pair of free throws with 8:45 remaining in the first half. Allen would then come down to hit three’s on back to back possessions to give put Florida up seven.

Vanderbilt went scoreless from the 9:30 mark, and only made four shots in the final ten minutes of the first half. A Devin Robinson layup at the buzzer would give the Gators a 40-31 lead heading into the half.

Halftime

KeVaughn Allen lead all scorers at halftime with 13 points on 50 percent shooting from both the field and three point range. The Gators continue to get a spark from Canyon Barry, who came off the bench to score 11 first half points. Jeff Roberson lead the way for the Commodores with 11 first half points, converting on all of his shot attempts while Commodore senior leader Luke Kornet had eight points on 37.5 percent shooting.

As a team, the Gators shot 52 percent from the field, 38 from three and 83 percent at the line. For Vandy, the shot only 41 percent from the field and 21 percent from three.The Commodores get 42% of their points from three, so it’s clear they needed to shoot it better from deep to climb back into it. 

Second Half

Vanderbilt would open the half on another run, this one a seven to two advantage that would lead to another Florida timeout. After a 2:33 scoring drought, Barry scores on back to back possessions to put the Gators back up four.

Then it was Justin Leon hitting on back to back possessions for his only six points of the afternoon. This extended the Florida lead back up to ten, as the Commodores go nearly four minutes without a made basket. However the Commodores would chip away at the lead yet again.

Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Riley LaChance then caught fire. LaChance connected on a three for his first basket of the game with just under five minutes remaining in the half. Following the made three, LaChance would convert on a pair of free throws and a layup during the next two possessions to give the Commodores a two point lead.

The Gators went cold just like the Commodores did in the first half, failing to convert a basket for nearly four minutes. Vanderbilt would hold on to a two point lead with 30 seconds remaining and wouldn’t relinquish it. The Gators had multiple chances to take the lead or tie the game in the final seconds, but the team elected to attack the basket rather than shooting the three. Chris Chiozza converted on two free throws and a layup during these possessions, but a missed Kasey Hill layup would seal it for the Commodores.

The Commodores would get the win on senior day 73-71. Kornet finished the game with 24 points, scoring 18 of them in the second half. KeVaughn Allen failed to score in the second half, so it was Barry leading the way with 15 points.

 

What’s Next?

With the regular season officially over for both teams, it’s time to look ahead at the SEC Tournament. The Gators clinched the #2 seed in the tournament with their win earlier this week versus Arkansas. With that, the Gators will have a double-bye and won’t play until Friday, March 10 at 7p.m. For Vanderbilt, they will be the #6 seed and will play their first tournament game on Thursday, March 9 at 6:25.p.m.

Source: WRUF

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Archive

Recap: Cavaliers Top Bucks to Win Season Series

Recap: Cavaliers Top Bucks to Win Season Series

The Cleveland Cavaliers completed their regular season series win over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 102-95 win last night. The game was tightly contested through three and a half quarters, but the Cavaliers went on a 11-0 run with just under 5 minutes in the fourth to help put away the Bucks. That 11-0 run was sparked by a LeBron James and-1 slam to put Cleveland up three at the 4:45 mark. James returned to the lineup after missing one game with an illness and didn’t miss a beat, pouring in 24 points while grabbing ten rebounds.

Cleveland out-rebounded the Bucks 51-40 and shot the ball much better at the charity stripe. Cleveland connected on 84 percent of their free throws while the Bucks hit on just 62 percent. The Bucks had dominated Cleveland in the paint in the previous three match ups this season despite only winning one of those games. However the Bucks only managed to score 38 points in the paint last night, which the Cavaliers were able to match.

Another statistic worth noting from last night’s game; Kyrie Irving became the eighth player in Cavaliers history to reach the 2,000 assist mark. Irving joins his teammate LeBron, who is first on that list of eight with nearly 6,000 assists as a member of the Cavaliers.

Individual Player Stats

  • Kyrie Irving (CLE) 25 points (10-20), 9 assists
  • Derrick Williams (CLE) 14 points, 7 rebounds
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 9 points (4-13), 8 assists
  • Malcom Brogdan (MIL) 20 points (8-15), 5 assists

Antetokounmpo had an off night for his standards. While he stuffed the stat sheet in every other category, he, along with most of the Bucks struggled shooting the ball. However there was one stat the Bucks can be happy about. They only committed eight turnovers on the night which is well under their 13.7 average. Not only that, the Bucks forced Cleveland to commit 16 turnovers on the night.

Take Away’s

Unfortunately for the Bucks, there is more bad news on the injury front. After losing Jabari Parker to a torn ACL and Kris Middelton not being healthy enough to play in back-to-back games, Michael Beasley leaves last nights game with a knee-sprain and is out indefinitely.

For the Cavaliers, they finished the month of February with a 9-2 record. Coming off the teams worst month since LeBron James returned to the Cavaliers, they managed to have one of the strongest months of basketball all season. Cavs fans have more to look forward to in the near future as well. Cleveland signed Deron Williams after his buyout with the Dallas Mavericks was complete. Williams didn’t play in last night’s game, but should be in the lineup for tomorrow night.

The Cavaliers will be on the road tomorrow night in a matchup against the No.2 team in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Articles

Gators Outlast Tarheels to Win Seventh ITA National Indoor Championship

Gators Outlast Tarheels to Win Seventh ITA National Indoor Championship

February 14, 2017

The Gators are National Champions yet again. The No. 1 Florida women’s tennis team took on the No. 2 North Carolina Tarheels in yesterday’s ITA National Indoor Championship, and what a match it was. It all came down to a battle of the underclassmen as Florida freshman Ingrid Neel took down UNC sophomore Jessie Aney to give the Gators a 4-2 win.

The Gators Road to the Title

In the ITA’s 30th year of existence, 15 teams squared off in hopes of becoming national champions. This was Florida’s 17th appearance in the event, but just their second time in the last six years. The Gators all-time record at the ITA’s is 52-13, with five of those losses coming in the NTIC Final matches. It wouldn’t be an easy road to the title, but the Gators pulled it off.

  • First Round: defeated No. 13 Michigan, 4-1
  • Quarterfinals: defeated No. 12 Texas Tech, 4-1
  • Semifinals: defeated No. 6 Georgia, 4-0
  • Finals: defeated No. 2 North Carolina, 4-2

The Final Match

With Neel and Aney facing off on court three of Yale University’s Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, the two would split the first two sets. With all the marbles on the line in the third and final set.

Keep in mind, Neel isn’t just a freshman. She’s a freshman who enrolled at the University of Florida in January, so her collegiate experience was minimal. However, the lights weren’t bright enough to keep this freshman from her ultimate goal, becoming a champion.

Neel took a 4-1 lead, but Aney would hold and break. She won the next two points before Neel was able to steal another one away, taking a 5-3 match lead. Aney would be the one to strike first in the ninth and final game, winning the first two points. But in the end, it was too much of the freshman phenom, as Neel would go on to win the next four points, clinching the title for the Gators.

https://twitter.com/ITA_Tennis/status/831258018696282113

The Gators can’t celebrate for too long, with their season continuing this Saturday. Florida will put the longest active home win streak by any NCAA Division I team in any sport on the line this weekend as the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners and the No. 4 Standford Cardinals come to town.

Source: WRUF

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Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Articles

Why Sacramento, Why?

Why Sacramento, Why?

February 14, 2017

The Sacramento Kings have been one of the most disappointing teams in recent memory. For those who are not aware, the Kings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-2006 season. You thought a 10-year postseason drought was bad, the Kings haven’t won a playoff series since 03-04 season.

However, the Kings have arguably the best Center in the NBA, Demarcus Cousins, and young talent around him which bodes well for the future. Well not anymore. News broke Sunday night after the All-Star game that Cousins was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. Might I add that Cousins was in New Orleans when he found out about the trade.

It’s not as much of a question to why Cousins was traded. The question most of the world had was why trade him for so little? The Kings received rookie Buddy HieldTyreke EvansLangston Galloway, and for the Pelicans first and second round picks in the 2017 draft. According to Kings General Manager Vlade Divac, the Kings received a better offer over the weekend, but ultimately decided trading him to New Orleans was the best choice.

On paper that looks like the Kings got a good amount in return, but if the rumors of the Kings buying out Evans’ contract are true then the Kings are essentially getting Hield and a first rounder for the best Center in basketball.

Sure, Cousins has been one of, if not the best big men in basketball since entering the league. He has also been one of the most criticized players in the league for his issues on and off the court. For those reasons, it made sense for Sacramento to part ways with Boogie Cousins.

What’s Wrong with Cousins?

What could possibly be wrong about a guy who can give you 30 and ten every night? Well there’s nothing wrong with that, but what if that player gets suspended multiple times each season? Demarcus Cousins has a history of getting frustrated mid-game and letting his emotions get the best of him. Here’s just one example of a classic Demarcus Cousins temper-tantrum.

 This was just one of the most recent outbursts from Cousins. He has a league high 19 technical fouls this year. To put that in perspective, the NBA suspends players for a game after receiving their 17th technical foul. The second half of the season hasn’t even started and Cousins has already been suspended due to techs. However this behavior has been pretty consistent throughout Cousins’ NBA career.
  • 2010-2011 Season: 14 technical fouls, three ejection(s)
  • 2011-2012 Season: 12 technical fouls, zero ejection(s)
  • 2012-2013 Season: 17 technical fouls, four ejection(s)
  • 2013-2014 Season: 16 technical fouls, one ejection(s)
  • 2014-2015 Season: 14 technical fouls, one ejection(s)
  • 2015-2016 Season: 17 technical fouls, one ejection(s)
  • 2016-2017 Season: 19 technical fouls, one ejection(s)

Why Trade Cousins Now?

With the trade deadline coming on February 23rd, Divac said moving Cousins now was the right move for the teams future and culture.

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

However the Kings are sitting just a game and a half behind for eighth place in the Western Conference. Does trading your best player for close-to-nothing really help a teams playoff  chances?

As mentioned before, the Kings received a better offer for Cousins late last week, but decided it wasn’t the right time to part ways. Sacramento didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2017 draft, so adding picks was a necessity for the Kings. Adding young talent is important for any franchise, but this years draft class is being classified as one of the best classes of this decade.

The Kings managed to get a little younger in the trade, acquiring Buddy Hield who at this time last year was the talk of collegiate basketball. Hield has had a solid rookie year, averaging just under nine points and three rebounds per game. The question still remains: why trade Cousins now?

The Future of Sacramento

Well, part of the reason why Sacramento made the trade with New Orleans might have to do with the Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. According to him, Buddy has “Steph Curry” potential. If Heild can turn into half the player Curry is, then the Kings made a good decision bringing him to Sacramento.

Cousins has been surrounded by trade rumors for the last two seasons, but he has only gotten better since the start of last season. Cousins continues to improve in all assets of the game, except the fact he can’t seem to keep his cool. Ultimately, that was enough for the Kings to part ways with Cousins.

Time will tell if the Kings made the right or wrong move, but for now, Cousins says goodbye to Sacramento as he heads to his new home in New Orleans alongside Anthony Davis.

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