Let's see what's buzz'n around campus these days ...
GAINESVILLE -- Florida guard Nick Calathes played poorly on Wednesday in the Gators' loss to Mississippi State. It got so bad that Florida coach Billy Donovan eventually benched his best player in the final two minutes of the most important game of the year.
Donovan became unhappy when Calathes hoisted up an ill advised three-pointer instead of running the Gators' offense. Donovan has tried to teach this team many things, but the talented coach's most ingrained lesson is always teamwork. Remember the '04's? Each player averaged double figures in scoring. That didn't happen by accident.
"At the end of the game, he needs to understand how to incorporate other people, and there were a couple plays there where we needed to do a better job of running the offense," Donovan said. "I just felt like in that situation it may have been better for our team for him just to watch and see what's going on."
If Calathes refuses to play "Billy Ball," then he just won't play, apparently. When your best player, who used to be known as "Little Billy," goes rogue, that's when you know the season is officially circling the drain.
WALTER HODGE CRIES
Florida senior guard Walter Hodge became so frustrated with the Gators' situation on Wednesday that he began crying on the UF bench. Hodge dislocated his thumb on Wednesday diving for a loose ball but still managed to lead the Gators in scoring with 20 points. Talk about one of your all-time favorite Gators...
"We just have to stick together," Hodge said. "It's everybody together, collectively. We're not doing that great a job of everybody together, so we have to come back and fix that."
Hodge is the final living memory of the Gators' golden years, save Donovan of course. This season has been extremely trying for the senior. He won two national championships in his first two season and then had to play with these teams? Quite the bipolar career. Hodge admitted on Thursday that the Gators do not deserve an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"The way we're playing right now, not really," Hodge said. "We just have to finish the season the right way and go back to that [SEC] tournament and do something special."
That's a far cry from what Calathes said on Monday. On Monday, guard Nick Calathes seemingly lost touch with reality when he guaranteed that UF would make the NCAA Tournament. Calathes then played one of the worst games of his career.
Hodge, the program's all-time winningest player, plays his final home game of the regular season on Saturday. It's senior night and Hodge is the only senior. He should get a nice send off.
CARL JOHNSON BUZZ
Florida football coach Urban Meyer briefly addressed the Carl Johnson saga on Thursday in Tallahassee. Meyer was said the situation is "out of his hands" and doesn't yet know his young lineman's status with the team. Johnson hasn't been working out with the team and might not participate in spring practice with a court date for a temporary restraining looming over his head.
Spring practice begins March 25 and the court date is the first week of April. Sources inside the program believe the matter might be settled out of court in time for Johnson to return to the team for spring football. Johnson's ex-girlfriend filed a temporary restraining order against him then had Johnson arrested when he followed her onto a campus bus. It's a misdemeanor. Normally, only felony arrests get a player kicked off the team.
BRANDON KNIGHT IN LAKELAND
Prized Pine Crest High School basketball recruit Brandon Knight is playing in the Class 3A state finals at 3:30 p.m. today. Knight, a junior, is the top-rated guard in his class. He's expected to choose between Florida and Duke. Knight played AAU basketball with Florida 2009 signee Kenny Boynton Jr. of Plantation American Heritage.
I'm off to Lakeland to watch Billy D. and Coach K. watch Brandon Knight. Weird, huh?