Thursday, November 20, 2008
He's a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the top defensive player in college football, and he leads Florida with 70 tackles, most of which inflict a considerable amount of pain.
So, I'd understand if any of The Citadel's running backs "trip" or "dive for the extra yard" before Spikes can get to them, especially after what the junior linebacker said Wednesday.
Not only is he not letting up when the Gators host the Bulldogs this weekend, he's looking for his signature hit of the season, aka knocking someone out of the game.
Now you might be thinking, 'Hey, that lick on Knowshon Moreno was pretty solid,' but nope, that didn't satisfy The Predator, who patterns himself after guys like Dick Butkus, because "They're really violent, so I try to mold my game after guys like that."
Spikes has a little experience taking out quarterbacks, like the time in high school when he knocked a kid out cold and stood mesmerized as his victim nearly swallowed his mouthpiece and had to be carried off the field.
Meanwhile, the rest of UF's defense won't be taking it easy on The Citadel, either. The Gators are gunning for a shutout.
Standing in their way is Bulldogs receiver Andre Roberts, allegedly the "Percy Harvin of Division 1-AA."
It'll be Senior Day in The Swamp, but forget about those guys for a second. The real story here is the potential of Florida's juniors fleeing Gainesville after this season. Spikes, Harvin and Tim Tebow are all in line for huuuuge NFL paydays, and none of them have made up their minds yet.
It's a safe bet that Spikes and Harvin will bolt, but Tebow is getting really hard to figure out. My money says a national title this year will send Tebow packing. He won't want to go out without a championship of his own.
If you're looking for a senior to root for though, make it running back Kestahn Moore. K-Mo has been resigned to mostly blocking duties, and he does it with a smile. Kestahn may not have the flash Jeffery Demps or Chris Rainey provide, but he's still a valuable part of the team. Urban Meyer even thinks he has an NFL career ahead of him.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In today's feel-good news department, we turn to Brandon McArthur, the UF baseball player that has faced so much adversity in his career. He has been given the President's Volunteer Service Award. Apparently, Bush CAN do some things right.
And Florida fans that are thinking of skipping the trip to Gainesville and paying $25 to watch it on TV may want to consider that this Saturday could be the last time three great Gators suit up in the Swamp. Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes are all but gone, and Tim Tebow will face a decision after the season.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This is devastating news for two reasons. 1. She's good-looking, and we never want to let those get away from Gainesville. 2. This is going to make the inevitable arranged marriage between Nicki and quarterback Tim Tebow a lot harder to work out.
It's clear now though, Tebow is going to enter the NFL Draft, force the Atlanta Falcons to trade Matt Ryan and then join the Dirty Birds to get close to Nicki.
It's the only way. Matty, you understand right?
Anyway, it's a little surprising that Nicki would go to Tech, No. 58 in the current RPI, when she lives right next door to UF and its No. 11 Gators. I mean, it's not like her dad couldn't have gotten her a scholarship, especially since he's had no problem getting involved in gymnastics recruiting.
Hey, remember that Web site FireDanMullen.com?
Yea, not so popular after the Gators have ripped off six-straight victories, and now teams are going to be hunting Florida's coordinators and throwing money at them.
Oddly enough, UF offensive line coach Steve Addazio, best known for providing the team with his profanity-laced "Vitamin Addazio" speech the morning of games, may be the first to get a shot at a head coaching job, as his name has popped up repeatedly in the Syracuse search.
In his Monday press conference, Meyer talked about Percy Harvin's prospects as an NFL player, Utah's chances in the BCS, and Barack Obama's crusade for a college football playoff.
And read why UF's defense might be better next season, even if linebacker Brandon Spikes (right) leaves for the NFL.
Monday, November 17, 2008
If there is a more fundamentally sound player out there, I sure haven’t seen him. Once again Werner did all the little things in UF’s 81-58 win over Bradley on Sunday. But he also dropped 17 points.
Could it be that the gritty Dan Werner is selling out? Has he traded in his lunch pail and hard hat for the glitz and glamour of offensive stardom? Say it aint so, Thunder. Say it aint so….
Did you happen to catch the game? If you did, you probably saw UF “center” (and we use that term very loosely) Alex Tyus getting abused by 7-foot Bradley giant David Collins.
It probably didn’t help that his backup, freshman Kenny Kadji, looked scared to death every time he got the ball.
As much as we here at CS love “The Valley” no mid-major school should push around an SEC team like that. Good luck against Syracuse, guys.
Nick Calathes was cleared of wrong doing in a gambling investigation conducted by the UF Athletic department. Calathes reportedly lost $600 playing online poker. Online poker is not prohibited by the NCAA. So, no big deal really. The most interesting thing about this story is we found out Calathes sucks at poker. You’re invited to my next game, Nick. Maybe you can bring your boy Teddy “how can you rape someone you love?” Dupay.
In shocking news, the women’s basketball team lost again . Way to go girls. You’re really keeping the Carolyn Peck legacy alive. The Gators were beat by Florida Gulf Coast. A school that is still making the transition to Division I. I’m sure Tennessee and LSU should be no problem at all.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Preseason Polls are a projection of how good a team will be, regardless of what anyone says.
Billy D has assembled a young, talented squad with as much right to be No. 19 as anyone else.
But let’s assume they have point.
(Yes, this is kind of like when your wife says, OK let’s assume you have a point, so she can just yell at you for something else and then go back and say the assumption is all wrong).
I’m just here to tell you Florida men’s basketball team should not be ranked No. 19. The Gators are not the 19th-best team in the country. They’re not now, they won’t be midseason, and come March, they’ll be fighting for a NCAA Tournament berth.
To prove this to you, let me show you some examples of things that are No. 19.
Heading into this weekend’s games, the Florida State football team are No. 19 in the USA Today/Coaches' poll. At 7-2, the Seminoles have been a welcome surprise on the field, although they have struggled in conference play a bit. While hard for Gators fans to hear, the Florida State football team deserves more praise than the Florida men's hoops team. They're better.
But see this goes beyond sports. Ali Larter is No. 19 on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women of 2008. Let’s just say Florida men’s basketball team does not get me excited the way the 32-year-old’s character – an Internet stripper with multiple personality disorder (what makes her unique?) and super strength – does.
In fact people believed her impersonation in Esquire of an imaginary budding celebrity. Maybe for her next act, she’ll pretend to be my girlfriend. Hey, a man can dream, right?
But if you want an excuse of how things could go wrong in polls, Britney Spears was ranked No. 19 in Maxim’s Top 100 this year. Let’s see: Spears started out on the Mickey Mouse Club and then later hit rock bottom and is now staggering to make a late comeback, although things might not be able to be saved.
It’s OK though, Billy D can probably relate to the situation. A soft schedule allowed Florida to start strong, the Gators later struggled, and then Donovan locked his team out of its gym to right the ship. Now everyone thinks all is well.
To recap: The Gators want to be like the hot girl on Heroes, not the has-been pop teen singer.
Girls really do always get the final word.
Staples talks about the two kinds of Gators fans: ones who will always appreciate what Spurrier did for Florida and hold a soft spot in their hearts for him, and those "You're either with us or against us" assholes that will probably hold up stupid signs during the game.
Here's one of those assholes.
According to commenter 'blair' who we'll assume is Blair Bolick, author of the story where Bates died in a plane crash, the stories were done as part of a class assignment to practice web formatting, and the teacher assured the class they wouldn't be available to the public.
Whoops. The stories still show up on Google and can be viewed with the 'Cached' link, leading to some rumors that Bates had died in Italy, a plane crash or of a heart attack while riding a horse.
The stories got widespread enough that Bates' kids had to put up Facebook messages assuring people their father was alive and well.
When practicing obituaries (a major hobby of mine) I usually tend to either choose people who are actually deceased or make someone up, not pick someone who is alive and make up quotes from former teammates about how he will be missed.
Nice work Rocky Top.
The "Wildcat" is becoming popular in the NFL, Arkansas used the "Wild Hog" with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, and coach Houston Nutt brought that with him to Ole Miss, calling it the "Wild Rebel."
So what's Urban Meyer's name for UF's version with Percy Harvin? You guessed it, the Wild Duck.
That's just a cover though. He really calls it the "Let's get Percy some touches before he kills Jeffery Demps" formation.
The Orlando Sentinel's Mike Bianchi claims UF fans would like to see Steve Spurrier and his loveable gang of Gamecocks beat the Gators on Saturday, then clarifies.
Linebacker Ryan Stamper is basically a swiss army knife for the Gators' defense, playing at all three LB spots and doing it well. He's also considered one of the team's major leaders. Check him out.
Bucky Dent's son signs to play baseball for UF (way at the bottom).
He was the Tennessee player famously run over by Hershel Walker who went from undrafted free agent to special teams dynamo and one-time Pro Bowler for the Dallas Cowboys (that second link is definitely worth a watch).
Bates was a fan favorite with both teams, which makes the fact that the UT journalism school's news Web site wants him dead surprising.
The cleverly-named Tennessee Journalist held two stories on its site, four days apart, both claiming Bates was dead.
The stories are now 404'd, but that magical 'cached' link on Google saves the day.
Story 1: Published Oct. 24, Bates dies in a plane crash en route to giving a motivational speech in Kansas, complete with quotes from former teammates.
Story 2: Four days later, Bates' wife confirms he died in Rome, Italy, but he apparently also died of a heart attack in Texas while riding a horse (near bottom of story). Merrill Hoge gives a touching remembrance quote.
Outside of the obvious major factual differences between the two stories (the second one even puts different ages in the headline and first paragraph) there's another big problem.
Bill Bates isn't dead. Not even a little. He even owns a Cowboy Ranch.
Clearly, things aren't going well in Knoxville right now. Two weeks ago, the Vols gave coach Phil Fulmer the axe and they're trying to kill off Bates.
Watch your back, Peyton Manning.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
You never know what you might find, maybe some exotic pets, dangerous stunts or a racist rant. It's a real mixed bag.
So when Gators defensive back Jacques Rickerson got popped for smacking his girlfriend around, I checked out his Facebook page. He was still in jail at the time, but his wall was blowing up with comments ranging from "keep your head up" to "you're a piece of shit," "U make me sick Jacq," and the kicker: "you w[i]ll never play footbal[l] again and [y]ou better hope i dont get to you," apparently written by a friend of the victim.
When point guard Jai Lucas announced he would transfer away from Gainesville recently, I took a look at his page, which featured a ton of "we'll miss you" posts, but one stood out.
A UF student named Andrew Hoffman (left) dropped this little gem: "have fun in D-II, get your weaksauce shit outta the o-dome. what a bust."
Wow. Really? This guy wore a "I'm a Werner Witness" t-shirt to a basketball game (below), and he's going to rip on Lucas?
Sure, I think Jai jacked up a few too many shots every once in a while, but nothing warrants what this dude said. A little background on Hoffman, he likes Scrubs (ouch), created a group in his own honor called "Hoffman is a BAMF," and his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org (had to get creative with the spelling since those pesky middle schoolers always snatch up those names first).
Please, e-mail or message Hoffman and tell him he's an asshole. It needs to be done.
Apparently, Ms. Logue was in desperate need of a stall.
Hint: Unless you like listening to drunk chicks rambling, just skip ahead to the about the 1:05 mark.
I have to give her credit for taking a more direct angle to her target than Kyle Jackson ever did as a Gator, but the best part has to be her friend, just as Leah crashes and burns, saying 'Oh my God, I love her. Like seriously' so calmly when for all she knew, Logue was sporting a broken nose.
Anyway, after being featured on Keith Olbermann's show (although he got some details wrong), Leah will probably wake up tomorrow with about 1,000 Facebook friend requests. Join the club!
As the reigning Heisman Lord, Tim Tebow has a vote in who gets the award this season.
He said a few weeks ago that Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was on his radar screen, but apparently The Chosen One is prepared to choose himself if he can play up to his lofty standards in the last three games.
Now, voting for himself seems out of character for the humble Tebow, but let's look at his recent voting record. He wouldn't come out and say it, but his religious background screams McCain voter, meaning he isn't looking for change.
No spreading the wealth here!
Anyway, winning the Heisman may have had some negative effects on Tebow's play this season, but it was probably all the hard drugs and fast women during the offseason that slowed him down.
It's clear that Tebow is the underdog in this fight, and his best hope -- winning the SEC -- won't even help him.
The junior quarterback also said he believes South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier voted for him last season, something the 'Ole Ball Coach wouldn't admit to in the past. My guess is Spurrier votes for Tebow again this year.
(In case you were wondering, that post managed to use "Tebow" three times in two headlines and at least once in every single paragraph. Only CBS can do it better.)
Speaking of Spurrier, that old curmudgeon is heading back to The Swamp this weekend as the biggest underdog he has been since arriving in Columbia. You have to figure he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
One of those tricks is a two-QB system, partly led by everyone's favorite car-scratching maniac, Stephen Garcia, who we all know has some wheels.
Yea, Click Clack
Want tickets to the SEC Championship? Good luck, those corporate fat cats already have their greedy little fingers all over them.
Finally, pick a nickname for Jeffery Demps.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Apparently Florida coach Urban Meyer’s “State of the Union” talk to his team about the BCS was a quick lesson. Meyer wanted his players to understand the possibilities, before returning to their regularly scheduled broadcast of let’s-hype-an-opponent-that-isn’t-as-good-as-us coach speak.
“I disagree. I think it is a rivalry game,” Meyer said. “You have the built in rivalry with Coach Spurrier coming back to town. You’ll have a rivalry atmosphere around here.”
Here’s another interesting storyline this week (or maybe just people grasping at straws.) One writer suggests Meyer might be mocking Steve Spurrier. Then again it’s not as if the players really remember that guy anyway. It seems the bettors are buying into a blowout as the opening line has Florida favored by 21 points. Leave it to the Old Head Ball Coach to make his own team look like more of an underdog.
In what was probably the biggest upset that no one heard about this weekend, the Florida women’s soccer team fell 3-0 to Georgia in the SEC Tournament semifinals. This after the Gators went a perfect 11-0 in regular-season conference play, the first time that’s ever been done in the SEC. The feat did not go unnoticed, however, as Florida is still a No. 2 seed and will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Monday, November 10, 2008
1. Texas Tech (48)- Heading into Oklahoma in two weeks could mean the Red Raiders’ spot at the top is short-lived, but a win over the Sooners would mean at least a trip to the Big 12 Championship Game.
2. Alabama (46)- Tide fans can thank senior safety Rashad Johnson for securing ’Bama a spot in the SEC Championship Game and the No. 2 spot in our poll.
3. Florida (41)- One blocked extra point away from being undefeated. Tim Tebow is finally awake, and the Gators are the most dangerous team in the country.
4. Texas (33)- If only someone could have "manned up Crab." Thanks to its big win over Oklahoma, the Horns still have a shot at the Big 12 and national titles but they need a little help.
5. Oklahoma (30)- Must win against Texas Tech if it has any hope of making it to the Big 12 Championship Game, let alone the BCS title game.
6. USC (25)- Not one of the Trojans’ better teams, but they will still end up in a BCS bowl.
7. Utah (19)- Can the Utes hold off Boise State for the non-BCS conference bid? We say yes…for now.
8. Boise State (16)- Still has two roads bumps ahead before locking in another BCS game appearance.
9. Penn State (9)- The Nittany Lions gave Iowa fans – and the rest of the nation –
something to cheer about for the first time since the Brad Banks era.
T10. Georgia (3)- There is no shame in losing to two of the best teams in the nation— it's years like this that the Bulldogs wished they played in almost any other conference.
T10. Oklahoma State (3)- The Cowboys’ defense was a no-show in a game that meant everything to OSU. A win against Oklahoma will help them finish a great year on a high note.
Also receiving votes- Ball State (1), Ohio State (1)
1. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech (25)- Unanimous No. 1 for our writers. The committee agrees: Harrell cannot drop from this spot until the Red Raiders lose. Keep winning and Graham will be hoisting the hardware in NYC.
2. Tim Tebow, Florida (17)- He does it on the ground and in the air, and if he played for Navy there’d be some sly Paul Revere reference here. If the Gators win out and the Red Raiders lose, the stats might not matter.
3. Colt McCoy, Texas (15)- After a disappointing loss to Texas Tech, he needs help to win it, but his numbers will be good enough to get him an invite to New York.
T4. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (8)- He runs routes and catches balls like a No. 1 receiver and finishes off runs like a No. 1 running back. Harrell will probably take too many votes away from “Crab.”
T4. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (8)- Had he not lost to Colt McCoy, he’d be No. 1 on this list. Best numbers in the nation, but it looks impossible for him to pass Tebow, even if Harrell’s Raiders lose.
Also receiving votes: Javon Ringer, Michigan State (1)
S Rashad Johnson, Alabama- This is an easy one, despite two of our writers throwing in a vote each for Tim Tebow and Graham Harrell. Johnson recorded two picks in regulation, including one for six and added another in overtime to set up the Crimson Tide’s victory. Nick Saban should take his senior out to dinner, or give him a chunk of the money he’s made breaking hearts across the Southeast United States.
QB Daryll Clark, Penn State- All Clark had to do was play well enough to win for three more games. No one was asking him to be a Heisman-type quarterback, just don't Sage-Rosenfels your team. Despite playing his worst game of the year, the Nittany Lions could have overcome his poor performance by running out the clock at the end of the game in Iowa City. Instead, Clark throws his third pick of the year, leading to the game-winning field goal for the Hawkeyes, capping a 9 for 23, 86 yards and 0 TD performance.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Entering Saturday Night's Game against Vanderbilt, defensive end Carlos Dunlap had underachieved based on what many expected of him coming into this year. Not many would make that statement after the Gators 42-14 trouncing of the Commodores, where he blocked the first two Vanderbilt punts, to secure a spot for UF in the SEC Championship Game.
Dunlap and the rest of the defense helped accomplish Urban Meyer's "Plan to Win." This requires winning the turnover battle, playing shut-down D, finishing in the red zone and winning the kicking game.
With their spot in the SEC Championship Game set, Florida just needs to worry about winning out to get back to the BCS Championship Game, thanks to Iowa.
It wasn't just the special teams and defense that dominated the game. The Gators offense was forced to punt only twice and turned the ball over just once-- it was ruled Harvin fumbled, despite video evidence that appeared to show him crossing the goal line before the ball came out.
The key seems to be putting teams away early for the Gators, as they have now outscored their last five opponents 80-0 in the first quarter.
If the four previous games since the Ole Miss upset wasn't evidence enough, then Saturday's performance should do it. Tebow is not only back in the Heisman race, he is near the top of everyone's list.
He still isn't quite at the numbers he put up last year at this time, but if he continues to score 5 TDs a game, Tebow will be there in no time.
For those who don't know, Tebow loves Jesus.
And for those who don't-- those who have never heard of Tebow-- they just have to look at his face.
A few years ago it became a trend for athletes to write messages on their eye black. Tebow is now giving TV viewers a more spiritual message. During the Vandy game, he had "Phil" under his left eye and "4:13" under his right.
It is a verse out of Epistle to the Philippians saying, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Right now, it looks like Christ is with him all the time because he is doing what ever he wants to opposing defenses.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Apparently Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson isn’t stressing over the fact that the Commodores haven’t been bowl eligible since the Regan administration. Or is he? Johnson seems to be relaxed heading into today’s game against Florida.
I know what you’re thinking. When the hell was the last time Vandy won a bowl game? Well, it was a glorious win against Auburn in the 1955 Gator Bowl.
The Commodores haven’t beaten the Gators since 1998 and it doesn’t appear like this is their year. Sorry, Bobby.
The Gators can clinch a trip to the SEC title game with a win.
Former UF and Current Jaguars' linebacker Mike Peterson returned to practice Friday. Peterson was sent home from practice Wednesday after he had an argument with coach Jack Del Rio.
It's nice to know Mike is back in good graces with every house wife's favorite NFL coach. Come on, the name just screams male porn star.
The women’s hoops team started the season in familiar fashion Friday night. You guessed it…another loss.
This time, it wasn’t even to a real team. The Gators were downed 71-62 by something called DT-3. Apparently it’s an all-star team comprised of former college and WNBA players.
We don’t know why that league still exists either. Some of lifes problems just don’t have an answer.
Friday, November 7, 2008
UF coach Urban Meyer went on record as saying there is no way his team suffers a letdown against Vanderbilt in Nashville Saturday.
Letdowns never happen in college football.
Seriously I can’t think of 1,501 example in the last few seasons. I mean, Southern Cal always handles its inferior competition in the Pac 10, and West Virginia dominates its competition year after year, thanks to a light schedule.
And I don’t know why these Division I schools keep scheduling FCS football teams, it’s not like they even have a shot of pulling off the upset of the century.
Maybe Meyer’s Gators are just different. When’s the last time an upset was pulled off against a team wearing Orange and Blue?
Urb should know better than most that, sometimes, a team is most dangerous when it’s given no chance to win.
Maybe he should give his good friend Bill Belichick a call, I’m sure he’d be willing to give Meyer a lesson in upset-aversion over some humble pie.
Did Jonathan Phillips learn nothing from Randy Shannon?
It’s not nice to run up the score with late-game field goals. But, if it were up to Phillips, the senior would have trotted onto the field for the last play of the beat down Florida put on Georgia. Sure it would have been a ridiculous 72-yard attempt, but doesn’t that make a point better than two meaningless time outs?
The Gators took the leap into the post-Jai Lucas era in Gainesville Thursday.
Florida downed Rollins College 82-53 in its second preseason game. Sophomore Nick Calathes led the team with 16 points and six assists while taking on the brunt of the point guard duties.
For the record, Chomped and Screwed would like to add Maryland to the list of possible new homes for Lucas at the end of the semester. John Lucas Jr., his father, played in College Park (where they chop cars) and the Terps were on Jai’s short list before eventually signing with the Gators.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
First, he sprains his ankle, giving pretty-boy John Brantley a leg up in the battle for the backup quarterback job. Brantley took the spot and has done well, going 7-for-11 with 105 yards and two touchdowns in four appearances.
Now, it looks like Newton (left) is going to have to chalk his season up as a loss and take a medical redshirt after being rear-ended by a truck Tuesday. The accident landed him in a neck brace.
Even when he gets healthy, it'll be an uphill climb for Newton against Brantley. He's one of my favorites for the inevitable flood of transfers that will take place after the season ends.
Looking for a reason why Florida's defense is so much better this season? It all starts in the secondary, where Joe Haden and Co. are making big plays, instead of giving them up all the time.
Safety Ahmad Black has had a lot to do with that unit's resurgence. He's leading the team in interceptions (4) and has run back two of them for scores. That's more touchdowns than USC transfer running back Emmanuel Moody has this year.
It's hard to believe that last season, coach Urban Meyer had considered Black and starting defensive tackle Terron Sanders as "recruiting mistakes."
Linebacker Dustin Doe was one of four players -- along with Haden, Black and Sanders -- to cause a turnover against Georgia last week. In fact, Doe forced two. He intercepted one pass and tipped another that Black hauled in. Basically, Doe had to just to keep his job.
Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson is faced with the unenviable task of stopping a Florida team that has beaten its last four opponents by nearly 40 points per game. His plan? Get the Gators to use 10 men and sneak a few extra Commodores on the field.
Take a trip inside the stat-obsessed mind of Urban Meyer
Looks like former UF linebacker and current Jacksonville Jaguar Mike Peterson is having some problems with Jags coach Jack Del Rio. He managed to get himself booted from practice.
Under Del Rio's rules, the next infraction has a more severe punishment. It involves Chris Hanson and an axe.
Wilson (left, I count over 30 bullet holes) dazzled us last year when he fired an assault rifle in the air outside a nightclub because he wanted a student to "know how it feels to be scared," producing a very entertaining 911 call.
He was then busted for marijuana while sitting out last season, but Urban Meyer let him back on the team for a supposed last chance.
Well, it seems he has used that chance.
Wilson was charged with one count of assault and one count of battery for his role in a fight in the early morning hours of Oct. 5. If that date seems familiar to you, in addition to being Jesse Palmer's birthday, it was the day after the Gators' 38-7 win at Arkansas.
So as soon as Wilson got back in town, he hurried off to a party and punched two chicks in the face.
Now, Wilson hasn't been at practice lately, but Meyer has yet to announce that he's off the team. He was non-committal on Wednesday, saying he hadn't spoken to Wilson in "a while," and that he didn't want to comment.
You have to figure Wilson is gone at this point, signaling a disappointing end to a promising career. Wilson was an All-SEC freshman in 2006, getting some playing time on the Gators' national title squad.
He was expected to be a diverse talent on the line -- a quality he demonstrated by switching from offense to defense when he returned this fall -- but he's showing even more diversity with his off-field problems.
He now has a gun, drug and assault charges on his record, leaving him a robbery away from the cycle.
Perhaps a more puzzling arrest is that of cornerback Jacques Rickerson, who followed Wilson's lead by trying to choke his girlfriend in the same apartment complex.
Rickerson is the bigger story here. He actually saw some meaningful playing time this season, even recording an interception, and was a real member of the team.
It's a little surprising that he could manage to get in trouble while his team is in charge of the SEC East and still in the running for a national title bid, but I guess that's what you get.
Top 1 percent of 1 percent, eh?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Jai Lucas came to Florida as a McDonald’s All-American and the No. 7 rated point guard according to Scout.com. Today, he leaves the Gators unable to secure playing time and a role on a team with a plethora of backcourt talent.
The sophomore from Bellaire, Tex made a stop in Billy Donovan’s office to inform his coach that he would be transferring at the end of the semester. Lucas will sit out any remaining games before that time.
Donovan said it had nothing to do with playing time, just like bolting for the Magic over the summer had nothing to do with money.
UF brought in point guard Erving Walker and shooting guard Ray Shipman in the off-season, congesting a rotation that already included reigning SEC Freshman of the Year Nick Calathes and senior leader Walter Hodge.
The 5-foot-8 Walker, 5-foot-6 if you get him out of those heels, is already a fan favorite and was making it very hard on Donovan to sit him at the end of the bench. Walker's playground moves and limitless range helped raise questions as to who was the best laughably undersized guard on Florida’s roster.
(Left, Lucas and Walker in a game of one-on-one to decide who stays in G-ville)
Then again, maybe Lucas really wasn’t comfortable in Gainesville, despite being extremely close with Calathes and Chandler Parsons.
Championships aren’t for everyone.
The intriguing part of this whole saga will be where Lucas, who wants to be a featured player, will transfer.
When Lucas was going through the recruitment process, he was thought to be a package deal with Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson.
Ultimately, Patterson spurned the Gators for the Wildcats and the duo was broken up. It’s hard to imagine someone jumping from school to school within the SEC (unless you’re a football coach who sandwiched an unsuccessful NFL stint between stops), but you can bet Jai will be getting a call from his friend Pat-Pat sometime in the near future.
The more realistic possibility has to be heading back to the Midwest to play for a prominent Big 12 program. That way, Lucas can get plenty of clock for a team without a prayer of winning a National Championship, and he wont have to worry about this “team concept” Donovan seems to be so keen on.
Jai’s brother, John Lucas III, took Oklahoma State to the Final Four in 2004 so don’t be surprised if first-year Cowboys coach Travis Ford blows up Lucas’ hip over the next few days.
After all, why wouldn’t the son of a former NBAer want to step back into the shadow of his supremely talented older brother? Making a name for yourself is hard work.
For Florida, Lucas joins Jonathan Mitchell, who will lace them up for the Scarlet Knights next season, as the second member of the 2007-08 squad to bolt for another program.
The school seems to have moved on already, just hours after Donovan made the announcement during a press conference Lucas’ name no longer appears on the official roster.
Sometimes breaking up isn’t hard to do.