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SEC Headlines 3/29/2013

headlines-fri1. South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington says he will again play both football and basketball next season for the third straight year.  Ellington is South Carolina’s leading returning receiver.

2. Martavius Newby was a freshman guard on the Ole Miss basketball team – he’s now working out with the football team as a linebacker.

3. Injuries along the offensive line have Ole Miss running out of bodies. Depth will increase this fall.

4. Tennessee offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James on the group’s potential: “I feel like we definitely have the talent and capability to have the best offensive line, really, in the country.”

5. Vanderbilt lost only one starter on its offensive line. Coach James Franklin’s like the group’s depth.

6. Kentucky’s Alvin “Bud” Dupree started at linebacker all 12 games last year but he’s moving to defensive end for new defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot: ”I had recruited Bud when I was at Florida State,”

7. Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin on new defensive line coach Brad Lawing - who came to the Gators from South Carolina: “He brings a wealth of knowledge of the position, a wealth of knowledge and experience. He’s a great staff guy, a great guy to work with.

8. LSU coach Les Miles on Thursday’s scrimmage: ”The offense is much improved. It’s just that they’re shooting themselves in the foot. ”

9. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix on competition in the Alabama secondary: “When there’s someone trying to outplay you, it helps you go even better, even harder, even faster, when you have someone as good as you next to you.”

10. Auburn Robenson Therezie thinks he’s faster than former Tigers running back Onterio McCalebb. ”We never did (race) but I believe I could beat him probably by a foot.” The defensive back could see some time on offense. Update: Robenson should check with his coaches next time - Right now, he’s 100 percent defense.”

11. 17 Auburn players gained weight in the offseason – 12 of them are a little lighter. What’s Auburn’s first unit on defense looked like today.

12. Georgia coach Mark Richt says running back Todd Gurley looks trimmer but he’s actually gained six pounds. ”I feel like the best I’ve felt in a while.”

13. 22 wins later, assessing Georgia’s “Dream Team” class of 2011.  “The Dream Teamt has done what it came here to do.”

14. Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash: “We’ve got some very talented players. We’ve got some deficiencies at some spots, too.”

15. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin on Nate Askew’s adjustment from wide receiver to linebacker:“The great thing about it has been his attitude.”

16. The price of fame for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel – even a trip to the grocery store is no longer simple.  “Twenty pictures later it was 11 at night.”

NFL Prospects

17. Is Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks slipping in mock drafts?

18. Former Alabama running back Eddie Lacy will run for pro teams on April 11th in Tuscaloosa.

SEC Basketball

19. It’s Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast tonight.  That enormous scoreboard at Cowboys Stadium?  It’s longer than the court.

20. Key player to watch?  Keep your eye on FGCU point guard Brett Comer.

21. Florida stayed in Texas after winning in Austin last weekend.  FGCU flew back to Fort Myers from Philadelphia. FGCU coach Andy Enfield: “It took us a day and a half to recover mentally and physically.”

22. Kevin Scarbinsky on how to reinvigorate college basketball in the state of Alabama. Could  the Auburn-Alabama game be played the night before the Iron Bowl?

23. With BJ Young moving on to the NBA, Arkansas has an available scholarship to fill.

24. Ex-Kentucky and now ex-Minnesota coach Tubby Smith could be headed to Texas Tech.

25. As Smith demonstrates, making the NCAA Tournament is sometimes not good enough for a coach.

Extra

26. Oops. Southeastern Lousiana says 137 ineligible athletes competed for the school between 2005 and 2010.

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UF Accepts FGCU Apology For “(Expletive) The Gators” Chant

gfx - they said itKids will be kids, right?

During a Tuesday pep rally for the Florida Gulf Coast basketball team, a group of students showed their support for the Eagles by cursing the team they’ll face tomorrow in the NCAA Tournament.  Literally.

“(Expletive) the Gators” was chanted by some of those in attendance and the chant was picked up by ESPN microphones.  The network inadvertently wound up broadcasting the foulmouthed chant live to Americans everywhere.

Yesterday, the FGCU student body — probably the school’s PR wing — put out a statement apologizing for the anti-Florida chant:

 

“In no manner do the words that were passed yesterday reflect upon this institution of higher education.  Oftentimes, excitement and a new experience can cause rash and hasty decisions to be made.  In this moment of excitement for our young school, we hope that you will accept our expression of regret.  With that being said, we are definitely looking forward to some healthy competition in Arlington, this Friday.”

 

The appropriately named Steve Orlando — Florida’s senior director of media relations — said “they’ve apologized, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s over.”

Question is… Will the crowd in Arlington take up the chant during tomorrow night’s game?  FGCU is the Cinderella of the tournament and it’s guaranteed all the non-Florida fans in the building will be backing the upstart.

But who knew Cinderella had such a dirty mouth?

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FGCU Capable Of Playing David To Florida’s Goliath

david-and-goliathOne school has a pair of national championships, three Final Fours, and five Elite Eight appearances under its belt since March of 2000.  The other has been playing Division I basketball for all of two years.

With Florida Gulf Coast University into the Sweet Sixteen — the first #15 seed to ever go so far, in case you haven’t already heard 30 times — and facing off with big, bad Florida Friday night in Austin, Texas, you should prepare yourself to see plenty tale-of-the-tape comparisons between the two neighbors.

Not unlike this one:

 

  University of Florida   Florida Gulf Coast University
  Established   1853   1991 (Classes opened in 1997)
  Enrollment   49,589   12,683
  Endowment   $1.295 Billion   $57.1 Million
  NCAA Tourney Appearances   15 (2 vacated)   1
  NCAA Tourney Wins   34   2

 

The two schools are separated by 200 some-odd miles on a map, a million miles in terms of name recognition and past basketball achievements.  One is famous for the Gator chomp.  The other might be more famous for its coach’s ex-model wife.

FGCU’s Andy Enfield has been a head coach for two seasons — his school’s only two Division I seasons — and has won 40 games in his career.  UF’s Billy Donovan is in his 19th season.  A win on Friday over Enfield would be Donovan’s 45o career victory.

So do the underdog Eagles have a legitimate shot against the Gators, one of America’s top programs?  Of course.  And FGCU forward Eric McKnight is looking forward to it.  “That is going to be a great deal,” he said yesterday after the Eagles’ win over San Diego State.  “It’s going to be so much fun because we’ll have a chance to prove who’s the best in Florida.”

When asked who is the best in Florida, McKnight didn’t hesitate: “FGCU.  FGCU.”

Gator fans shouldn’t laugh.  The Eagles have an RPI of 67 which puts them in the same company with several SEC bubble teams this year.  They’re also a pretty respectable 3-3 against RPI top 50 teams.  They beat one #2 seed in Georgetown to begin their tournament run.  Back in November they beat another eventual #2 seed — Miami — 63-51.

If McKnight and can crew topple Miami and Florida in the same season the Eagles really will be able to call themselves Sunshine State champs this year.

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SEC Headlines 3/25/13

headlines-monSEC Basketball

1. Will Florida gain confidence from closing out Minnesota in Sunday’s round of 32 matchup?

2. After being benched on Friday, Gators guard Mike Rosario provided a lift against Minnesota.

3. Florida’s next opponent, No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast, won’t be intimidated in the next round.

4. FGCU has beaten two No. 2 seeds this year (Georgetown and Miami). Miami says Florida’s next opponent isn’t a fluke.

5. It was a shot in the final seconds that allowed La Salle to end Ole Miss’ season.

6. One Missouri player believed the Tigers would compete for a national title. They fell well short.

7. Don’t blame coach Frank Haith for all of Missouri’s struggles, writes Bryan Burwell.

8. Popular Kentucky fan Ashley Judd is pulling for Louisville in the NCAA tournament. How will UK fans react?

9. Is Tennessee’s basketball program better after Cuonzo Martin’s second year? It’s a fair debate, writes Mike Strange.

SEC Football

10.  Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has built a strong relationship with the Crimson Tide’s new center.

11. Here’s a preview of Auburn’s special teams as the Tigers prepare for spring practice.

12. Mississippi State’s wide receivers are impressing during spring practice.

13. Wesley Tate (Golden Tate’s brother) is vying for Vanderbilt’s starting running back position.

Extras

14. Florida Gulf Coast is the biggest story in all of sports, writes Gary Parrish.

15. UCLA has officially fired basketball coach Ben Howland. What’s next for the Bruins?

16. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel gave Ole Miss’ Henderson some advice before the Rebels’ loss on Sunday.

17. Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports has the best and worst of the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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Arkansas Coasts to Win

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas used a 20-0 run in the game’s first five minutes to build a comfortable lead, and the Razorbacks cruised past Florida Gulf Coast 90-47 Monday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas hit five of its first six attempts from 3-point range and led 19-2 by the game’s first media timeout.

Rotnei Clarke scored a game-high 14 points for the Razorbacks in limited action. Jemal Farmer added 12 points and Marvell Waithe had 10.

Delvon Johnson and Glenn Bryant each finished with eight points and seven rebounds for the Razorbacks (2-0).

FGCU (2-2) pulled within 12 points late in the first half, but Arkansas finished on a 7-0 run to take a 37-18 lead at the intermission.

“I think we got overwhelmed early by Arkansas’ athleticism,” FGCU coach Dave Balza said. “I thought they looked like a team that had played one game and was chomping at the bit to get a piece of somebody else.

“If they play like that every night, they’ll be awfully good.”

Arkansas used an 18-0 run after halftime to build a lead as big as 44 points. Eleven different players recorded playing time during the win.

The Razorbacks finished the game hitting 35 of 63 baskets as a team, including 14 of 30 from 3-point range. Arkansas held FGCU to 25.4 percent from the field.

Preseason all-SEC selection Marshawn Powell didn’t play for the Razorbacks. The sophomore forward is continuing to recover from a broken foot suffered during the summer. His status for Wednesday’s game against Southeast Missouri State is unknown.

Tip-off for that contest will be at 7:05 p.m. It will be Arkansas’ second of three games in five days.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Week begins with Florida Gulf Coast

Razorback men's basketball hosts FGCU at Walton for a rare Monday game.
(more)

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