There was an unsubstantiated rumor circulating through my head last night that the University of Florida was giving away free three-ounce bottles of hair gel tonight at the men's basketball game. The touching sentiment was to honor UF's two greatest athletes (of the popular sports), Tim Tebow and Nick Calathes. Those rumors turned out to be false this morning when I awoke. Sorry to get everyone's hopes up. Instead, guard Walter Hodge will just shave the names 'Tebow' and 'Calathes' into the sides of his head to honor a contract between ESPN and the University of Florida. (At least one Tebow reference in every broadcast.) Hodge enjoys an alphabetic shave every now and then. For instance, if you combine selective letters from 'Tebow' and 'Calathes,' here's what you get: 'what Table,' 'Calathes bet' and 'These blow.' I watched The Princess Bride last night on cable television. Classic movie. While walking through the Fire Swamp, Buttercup reminds Westley of the 'R.O.U.S.' lurking about. It reminded me of Joe Haden. After all, Haden does have a tattoo of Mighty Mouse on his arm. Indeed, there is a basketball game tonight.
GAINESVILLE -- Three storylines you need to know before you watch the game (UF vs. South Carolina) at 9 p.m. on ESPN:
3. Suddenly, but not without warning, South Carolina is pretty good. Florida (18-4, 5-2 in SEC), South Carolina (16-4, 5-2) and Kentucky (16-6, 5-2) are tied for first place in the SEC East. South Carolina defeated Kentucky 78-77 on Saturday and has won four straight since edging the Gators 70-69 in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks' guards have been carrying the team. One of those players has a great name, Zam Fredrick. He scored 24 points in the win against Kentucky. The other guy to watch is Devan Downey. His name might imply softness, but do not be fooled. Downey leads the Gamecocks in scoring (19.8 p.p.g.) Not bad for a guy that's listed at 5-9.
2. Tennessee exposed Florida's many weaknesses on Saturday. The Vols won 79-63. Those weaknesses include but are not limited to: 1. A team that loses its shape when Calathes gets into foul trouble and goes to the bench. 2. A back-up point guard who is still figuring things out. By things, we mean when to shoot and when to pass. 3. A defense that lacks the athletes to play straight man-to-man defense. 4. No size on the block. 5. A senior shooting guard searching for his shot. One can only guess which deficiency South Carolina will try and exploit tonight.
1. Calathes had a triple-double in his last home game. Can he do it again? By the way, Calathes apparently was offered a pro contract by a lower-tier Greek team this summer while trying out for the Greek National team. Calathes told reporters as much on Monday. Isn't Calathes an American citizen, you ask? Why is he trying out for the Greek team? Calathes' grandfather was Greek. Like most Greeks, he moved to Florida. Since most Greeks live in Florida these days, the old country now considers Florida a Greek city-state.