3:23 AM EST, Mon January 26, 2015
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Alligator Army 14 hours ago

Florida football recruiting: LB Rayshad Jackson commits to the Gators

Florida begins its sprint to National Signing Day with a Randy Shannon Special. Linebacker Rayshad Jackson, a consensus three-star player in the Class of 2015 from Norland High School in Miami, has committed to Florida, as first tweeted by ESPN's Derek Tyson. Jackson is the first commitment to Florida in 2015, and just the second to the Gators since Jim McElwain was hired as head coach, joining tight end and early enrollee Daniel Imatorbhebhe. And he's unquestionably a credit to Randy Shannon's ledger: Jackson held offers from Arkansas — the school Shannon left for Gainesville — and...
Alligator Army Jan 24, 2015

Mississippi 72, Florida 71: Gators play the same old song

Yet more sour notes for Florida. Same song, ninth chorus. This time, Florida lost by putting Mississippi's Jarvis Summers on the free throw line with 3.5 seconds left; Summers, who led the nation's best free throw-shooting team with 16 points on the night, earned his final two to put the Rebels up 72-71. And when Kasey Hill couldn't get a shot off on the subsequent Florida possession, that became the final margin. This time, Florida wasted a 27-point outing from Michael Frazier II, who sank a season-high six threes en route to it, and 15 points from Dorian Finney-Smith, and 12 threes on 20...
Alligator Army Jan 24, 2015

Florida vs. Mississippi, Game Thread: It's dance-or-don't for the Gators now

Yes, it's January. But Florida desperately needs to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. ESPN's Joe Lunardi summed up the stakes of Florida's Saturday trip to Mississippi (6 p.m., SEC Network / WatchESPN) in under 140 characters this morning: (5) Florida @ Ole Miss (Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET, SECN) The loser here is pretty much toast from an NCAA tournament perspective.— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) January 24, 2015 And, well, yeah. Florida, which needed resume-boosting wins even before its Tuesday meeting with LSU, subsequently got blown out by the Tigers at home, and now sits even...
Alligator Army Jan 23, 2015

Florida Gators recruiting: Visits from Byron Cowart, Martez Ivey make for huge weekend

This is a last best chance for Florida to make its pitches to some of the Class of 2015. Florida's got just under two weeks in its sprint to 2015's National Signing Day, and, with just nine commitments in its 2015 class, has many slots to fill in the coming days. Apart from Signing Day itself, this Saturday — dead in the middle of Florida's biggest weekend for visits from prospects — is going to be the most important day of that fortnight. This preview from The Gainesville Sun's Zach Abolverdi is a nice outline of who's coming to campus and why, but it lacks an actual list. So here's...
Alligator Army Jan 23, 2015

What Jake McGee's sixth year of eligibility means for Florida

The NCAA gave Florida's depth chart at tight end a much-needed shot in the arm. Florida's biggest recruiting weekend of the year — featuring a make-or-break series of official visits (and one major unofficial visit) — will take place over the next 72 hours. And yet, the biggest commitment the Gators get this week may be the one they already got from the NCAA: Jake McGee, the talented tight end whose 2014 season in orange and blue amounted to a couple dozen snaps of blocking before a broken leg sidelined him for the season, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, tweeting...
Alligator Army Jan 21, 2015

Florida announces $15 million full-field indoor practice facility to open by September

And so Jim McElwain recorded his first big win of the 2015 season. Florida will build a $15 million indoor practice facility to be completed by September, the University Athletic Association announced Wednesday morning. The University Athletic Association announced plans on Wednesday to start construction on an indoor practice facility for football. The Gators are expected to break ground on the $15 million project this week with plans to have the facility ready to use by early September. "This is something we have talked about internally for some time," said Florida Athletics Director...
Alligator Army Jan 20, 2015

LSU 79, Florida 61: Tigers outrun, outgun Gators

Florida has talented basketball players, but LSU was a better basketball team on this night. It took the Gators more than 365 days to drop an SEC regular season game, but in the span of three days, they've now dropped two. Tuesday night, that loss was a 79-61 defeat at the hands of LSU, a loss that ties a 2010 loss to Ohio State as the worst Gators home loss since 1998. And it wasn't a pretty game to watch, though the score stayed relatively close for 75 percent of the game. In Florida's 0-for-6 three-point conquest during the first half, two of their six attempts hit nothing but...
Alligator Army Jan 20, 2015

Florida vs. LSU, Game Thread: Can the Gators tame the Tigers again?

Florida needs to continue its trend of thrashing LSU in the O'Dome tonight for the sake of its NCAA Tournament résumé. The last four Florida-LSU basketball games have ended very differently from the last two Florida-LSU football games. While LSU's aggravated Florida's football wounds with a grind-it-out win in 2013 and another improbable comeback in 2014, the Gators have thrashed the Tigers on the hardwood over their last four meetings, winning all four games by double digits and trailing for 7:44 combined of the 160 minutes played in those four contests. And last year, in the O'Connell...
Alligator Army Jan 20, 2015

With NCAA Tournament hopes dimming, Florida needs to take RPI opportunities like LSU

The Gators need to start stacking wins. LSU comes to Gainesville this Tuesday night for an ESPN showdown as a 10-point underdog. The Tigers are 13-4, but just No. 59 in KenPom, and their 40th-ranked defense doesn't cover for their 126th-ranked offense. And the last three meetings in the series have all gone the Gators' way by double digits. But the most important number to Florida on this night might be 50. That's the spot LSU occupies in ESPN's calculation of the Ratings Percentage Index, and it puts the Tigers within a magical and arbitrary garden — the RPI's top 50 — that makes...
Alligator Army Jan 19, 2015

Antoinette Bannister arrested for credit card theft, fraud, "no longer" with Gators

The strangest story of the weekend came from a program that's had surprising troubles with the law. Florida guard Antoinette Bannister was arrested Saturday and charged with credit card theft and fraud in conjunction with using a teammate's credit card in November, as first reported by The Gainesville Sun. Bannister allegedly took the credit card of Florida teammate Viktorija Dimaite on November 11, then subsequently used it in the Oaks Mall, at a sporting goods store, and a pawn shop in the following days. Surveillance video from the sporting goods store revealed Bannister using it to make...
Alligator Army Jan 17, 2015

Georgia 73, Florida 61: Gators succumb as Dawgs snap SEC streaks

Florida needed to be more judicious and efficient to handle a hot Georgia. The Gators simply couldn't be that on this Saturday. It had been more than a year since their last taste, but Florida got a bitter dose of what it is like to lose an SEC game on Saturday, falling 73-61 to Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia bolted to an 11-0 lead, making its first seven shots, responded to a Florida run that closed the deficit to within two points with a 10-1 run in the second half. And with the Gators tripping over themselves on offense, sometimes literally, committing a season-high 19 turnovers,...
Alligator Army Jan 17, 2015

Florida vs. Georgia, Game Thread: Gators look to stay perfect in SEC play

Florida and Georgia have experienced a bit of Stegeman Magic of late. The Gators have to hope it won't come into play on this Saturday. When Florida goes to Stegeman Coliseum, it's rarely boring. The last three games at Georgia's home arena between the Gators and Bulldogs, before today's 2 p.m. clash on CBS, went like this: In 2013, Florida was down 11-2 before four minutes had elapsed, and trailed at halftime, but opened the second half on a 24-5 run and won by 17. In 2012, Florida trailed 19-8, and cut that deficit to 28-25, then promptly allowed an 8-0 run and never got closer than nine...
Alligator Army Jan 16, 2015

2015 NFL Draft: Did Florida Gators early entries, returnees make the right decisions?

Florida has four early entries headed to the 2015 NFL Draft. January is always a tough time for college football fans. The season ultimately comes to a close, and fans are forced to say goodbye to some of their favorite players due to the NFL Draft. As usual, Florida fans are forced to do just that, with four players leaving early for the 2015 NFL Draft. (The deadline to declare for the pros was Thursday.) But it's not all doom and gloom. For every bittersweet "Good luck!" fans send off, there might be a joyous, "I'm coming back!" tweet or letter that gives fans hope for one more guaranteed...
Alligator Army Jan 15, 2015

Florida 75, Auburn 55: No sweat for Gators in rout of Tigers

Florida reintroduced itself to Bruce Pearl with defense as smothering as his jackets once were. In 2014, no SEC team got closer to beating Florida in the O'Connell Center than Auburn did in a 71-66 thriller. In 2015, the Tigers weren't nearly that close. Florida built an early double-digit lead and never let it slip, staving off a brief Tigers spurt in the second half and finishing off Bruce Pearl's bunch for a 75-55 win. Four Florida players scored in double figures, led by Dorian Finney-Smith (14 points), and all 10 Gators who played scored. Michael Frazier II had 11 points and eight...
Alligator Army Jan 15, 2015

Florida vs. Auburn, Game Thread: Hello, old friend

Longtime Florida nemesis Bruce Pearl makes his return to Gainesville tonight. He's back. That's the only thing I can think of heading into Thursday night's clash between Florida and Auburn (7 p.m., ESPN2 or WatchESPN) in the O'Connell Center, which doubles as Bruce Pearl's first game against the team he tormented while at Tennessee. And Pearl's return brings up bad memories. The first loss the 2005-06 Florida team took? It was to Tennessee, and squandered the Gators' shot at being the No. 1 team in the country. The last Florida home loss of that season? It was to Tennessee, too. And the...
Alligator Army Jan 14, 2015

Gerald Willis reinstated to classes by Florida, with "goal" to remain a Gator

Can Florida's talented freshman keep his head screwed on straight? Perhaps we haven't seen the last of Gerald Willis at Florida after all. Kassidy Hill of Gator Country and Saturday Down South reported Tuesday that Willis has been reinstated by Florida. DE Gerald Willis has been reinstated to classes at Florida. Meeting next week about returning to athletic program. Wants to stay a Gator. — Kassidy Hill (@KassidyGHill) January 13, 2015 Willis's "family" — he's got a father and a mother who are both plenty chatty with reporters — says it doesn't know where the rumor that he wanted to...
Alligator Army Jan 13, 2015

Reports: Oregon's Matt Lubick set to become Florida wide receivers coach; Lubick denies

Monday was another fun day for journalism nerds. The report came early Monday: Oregon wide receivers coach Matt Lubick was expected to be hired to the same position on Florida's staff. IAKOW has learned through multiple sources that Jim McElwain is expected to hire Oregon WR coach Matt Lubick to same position with Florida. — Brody (@Brody_IAKOW) January 12, 2015 This was later "confirmed" ... Confirmed: Matt Lubick will be the #Gators WR coach. Good work, @Brody_IAKOW — InAllKindsOfWeather (@AllKindsWeather) January 12, 2015 ...and put on a website. And then it got confirmed by...
Alligator Army Jan 12, 2015

2015 College Football Playoff Championship Game, open thread: Savor this finale

This is the last bit of this we get for seven months. In this space, I could tell you that Oregon plays Ohio State at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN in the College Football Playoff Championship Game, and that ESPN3 has about a billion different broadcasts of the game for you to watch. I could tell you that, regardless of the time that has passed since Urban Meyer's departure from Florida, and despite the drumbeat from some camps about how some Gators fans should get over it, that you're entitled to your opinions — bitter and long-held, reasoned and resolute — about Meyer and his Buckeyes, and can...
Alligator Army Jan 12, 2015

Weekend Review: Men's basketball cruises, Bridget Sloan hurt after scoring 10

Florida's teams had a relatively good weekend, with a couple of noticeable lows. Hey! Look! The Weekend Review is back! It runs Mondays. Men's basketball cruises in SEC home opener Eli Carter had 20 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 as Florida beat Mississippi State, 72-47, on Saturday in the O'Connell Center. There's an edition of The Differences coming Tuesday for that game, but this graf from the recap sums up how Florida has dominated the SEC of late nicely: With the win, Florida's lengthy SEC winning streaks — 23 straight wins against SEC teams, 20 consecutive regular season...
Alligator Army Jan 10, 2015

Florida 72, Mississippi State 47: Gators slam Bulldogs in rout

Eli Carter and Dorian Finney-Smith led the Gators in an easy win. Florida was the better team on Saturday night against Mississippi State. And the better team won. By a lot. Florida's 72-47 win was really never in doubt: The Gators never trailed, sprinting to an 11-4 lead by the first TV timeout, and led by 10 points from the 14:16 mark of the first half to triple zeroes at game's end. Eli Carter led all scorers with 20 points on just eight shots off the Florida bench, and Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 (on 11 shots) and six rebounds. Kasey Hill had seven points and seven assists, and helped...