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COURTSIDE BLOG: Florida vs. South Carolina (final)

GAINESVILLE -- Florida beat South Carolina 85-82 at O'Connell Center on Wednesday to give the Gators their 10th 20-season in as many years. More importantly, the Gators figured out how to win a close game in league play.

Florida had a comfortable lead midway through the second half but South Carolina cut Florida's lead to two points in the final minute. Unlike its loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday, Florida kept its cool in the final seconds against South Carolina to earn an important win.

Florida guard Nick Calathes led Florida with 17 points, four rebounds and seven assists. Center Mo Speights had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Florida is off this weekend and back in action next week Wednesday at Georgia. Georgia is tough at home and a Florida win will help its efforts to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

(Live blogging had to cut short tonight because of deadline issues. Gotta make that deadline, folks.)
Gators and Gamecocks trading three-pointers at a remarkable rate now. South Carolina has two three-pointers this half but Florida has three. Werner and Calathes have made back-to-back treys to give Florida a 13-point lead. UF 59, USC 46; 15:53.

Three-pointer for Florida's Walter Hodge to begin the half and then Mo Speights slammed another monstrous dunk. Hodge is 4-of-7 from three-point range. UF 53, USC 40; 17:38.

A FEW HALFTIME NOTES: Both teams are shooting an incredible percentage from three-point range. Florida has made 7-of-11 three-pointers for 63 percent while South Carolina has made 6-of-9 three-pointers for 66.7 percent...Florida reserve Adam Allen has made 3-of-3 from behind the arc...Florida guard Nick Calathes already has six assists.

Pretty exciting end to the first half. Calathes stripped South Carolina guard Devan Downey with a minute left and assisted Marreese Speights, who offered one of his most powerful dunks of the season. South Carolina's Dwayne Day responded with a three-pointer and then Florida's Jai Lucas scored at the buzzer with a driving lay-up. UF 46, USC 36; HALFTIME

Allen makes another three-pointer. UF 42, USC 31; 149. Bye-bye Allen. Billy D subbed him.

Allen still in the game. We're assuming Billy D is sick of watching Chandler Parsons play terrible defense. South Carolina is 5-of-7 from three-point range (71 percent). Calathes scores a lay-up on an assist from Allen. UF 37, USC 31; 3:43.

OK, Allen has swished two three-pointers. Let's see if Billy D benches him. UF 35, USC 31; 4:57.

Country Boy Adam Allen in the game. He'll swish two three-pointers and then Billy D will bench him for the game.

Gamecocks on a 7-0 run after two baskets inside from Mike Holmes and a three-pointer from Evaldas Baniulis. Baniulis has nine points (3-of-3 from three-point range). UF 26, USC 22; 7:59.

Was going to say Florida was playing consistent man-defense, but then UF's Chandler Parsons left Devan Downey wide open for a three-pointer. UF 22, USC 15; 11:50.

Florida's Dan Werner and Alex Tyus have combined to score the Gators last nine points. Tyus had a dunk to Florida a 12-7 lead (15:40) and Werner followed that with a three-pointer (nice assists Walter Hodge). UF 19, USC 12; 13:47.

The Gators are off to a quick start, taking a 10-5 lead after two three-pointers from Walter Hodge and a nice defense -- WHAT!?! -- from guard Jai Lucas.

Florida (19-7, 6-5 in SEC) has lost four of five games entering tonight's home game against South Carolina (12-12, 4-6 in SEC). It's not exactly do or die time just yet, but the Gators certainly need a win tonight to improve their chances of making the NCAA Tournament.

A few pregame notes: Nick Calathes is just one of two players in the country averaging 15 points, five rebounds and six assists per game...Florida is 10-0 when hitting 40 percent or better from three-point range. The Gators have made just 22 percent of their three-point attempts in their seven losses...Marreese Speights has drawn a team-high 12 charges this season...Calathes has 159 assists, just 32 shy of breaking the school record of 190 by Ronnie Montgomery (1987-88).

South Carolina
F Dominique Archie 6-7 11.0 ppg
F Dwayne Day         6-5  5.3 ppg
F Evaldes Baniulis  6-7  4.9 ppg
G Devan Downey    5-9  19.8 ppg
G Zam Fredrick      6-0  15.4 ppg

F Dan Werner           6-7   8.9 ppg
C Marreese Speights 6-10 13.8 ppg
G Walter Hodge       6-0   10.3 ppg
G Nick Calathes       6-5   15.2 ppg
G Jai Lucas              5-11  9.1 ppg


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..I tried to make a top 10, from best to worst or is it worst to best (I got confused)…. But there were so many heinous crimes/assaults/stabbings/shootings and theft that I had to list some evil-doing as honorable mention. Like the “Its good to be Chris Rainey” recruitment or the mysterious throat slashing keg stealer.

And yes Canes and Noles, I know that some of the lesser crimes just did not make this list. I was tired of researching and writing.

Here are my top 10:

1. After Jarvis “Puffy” Moss jumped up (Ganja increased his vertical by 18″) and salvaged the croc’s season against the Gamecocks by blocking a last second field goal attempt, it was revealed he to also failed a drug test during the summer as the clock ticked to zero. Guess what game he missed? The showdown between top ranked UF versus division 1AA Western Carolina.

2. Gator great, Marcus “Medicinal Puff” Thomas - a multiple drug test failure, pot and GHB. Gator fans tried to convince us all it was from the same test… then the truth came out, near the end of the season with his dismissal from the team. Moss and Thomas were both drafted by the Broncos. WTF was Shanahan thinking?

3. Baby Momma Slappin Avery Atkins. The alleged victim, Benerah Sanford, told police: She and Atkins argued Saturday on a drive to Atkins’ grandmother’s house. Atkins leaned over and punched her at least 13 times, and pushed her face against the car’s window while he conversed with relatives. Every time Sanford tried to exit the car, Atkins either punched her or stepped on the gas. When the pair finally arrived at Atkins’ home, she ran off and called the police.
Earlier this month, Atkins was found in a car in Daytona Beach with weed, gun and digital scales. To top it off, it was not his car. He had enrolled in UF in January with plans to “fight his way back to the cornerback slot.”

4. Brandon James a football player and Brandon Powell who coincidently is the basketball player who sucker punched the Vandy student in the back of the head [link], were found together in Gainesville with…. you guessed it: marijuana in the car during an undercover “buy bust”. One felony and one misdemeanor — purchase of a controlled substance and possession of >20 grams of marijuana — suspended indefinitely.

5. WR Riley Cooper smashed a windshield, welcome the perfect gater. And just who is Jasim Alidina? Adlina was the victim of Freshman Riley Cooper’s flailing haymaker through his car window. While Alidina survived the incident, remarkably unscathed, neither Cooper nor the car were as lucky. Cooper was taken to the Morton Plant Hospital.

6. Florida defensive back Dorian Munroe charged with felony for removal of parking boot and placing it in his trunk. This was later ironed out as expected as UF is thin at the corner. One felony — theft of a police metal parking boot from his car

7. At Da Club, Ronnie “The Rifleman” Wilson slaps some guy, then spits on him, then ends it by shooting at him, luckily police actually stepped in one time before he killed that guy. two felonies and one misdemeanor — gun in a parking lot near campus — suspended indefinitely

8. LB Dusty “Rhodes” Doe, pummels some dude (ala Channing the Chainsaw Crowder) in a Alaucha County vs. Pasco County gang fight (Reds vs. Crips style). Punishment? No suspension from Meyer. Doe to face the (Jaws intro theme) Leadership Committee. one misdemeanor — disorderly conduct for parking garage brawl

9. The 7-Man shower Self shooting gun incident, Gator players led by Dee Webb, Andre “Bubba” Caldwell and Reggie Lewis had a $60,000 SUV loaded with improperly registered AK’s and other machine guns… and they were all drunk while shooting at apartment windows for fun. Of course initially nobody took the blame and they all said they were in the shower (together) and that the gun must have shot itself… Gators went with the deniable plausibility angle when Dee Webb shot off his arsenal saying he had already declared for the draft, so he was no longer a Gator.

T10. Dallas “Bike Taker” Baker, steals a bike, but when cops questioned him, Dallas said, “heck man, I just thought the bike was ‘abandoned’”. The sophomore was issued a sworn complaint from UPD as an officer stopped Baker near Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (which is a great place to take a deuce). Baker said he was late for an appointment and picked up an abandoned bicycle. Misdemeanor!!!

T10. Linebacker Taurean Charles. A UF student said Charles touched her against her will, the sworn complaint issued by the university police department said. Charles allegedly slammed her on the bed and onto a computer desk, picked her up over his head and threw her down on her roommate’s bed, according to the complaint. Charles was later dismissed from the Florida team.

Half if not more of this garbage is not true. But it does my heart good to know that we are getting in your head to the point that you need to research incidents with the Gator players.

I'm sure the University of Miami/Northwestern boys choir will be blemishless in your eyes. That is if they can stay alive long enough. OOPS! Did I say something outloud that everyone was thinking? Sorry !!!! NOT !!!!!


Looks like you put a lot of energy into this list. Thanks.


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