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April 11, 2014
4/11 Orange & Blue News
MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators football held a "selection show" for the 2014 Orange & Blue Debut on Thursday evening. Though the event was basically staged with the picks pre-determined, the way players were picked did indicate some interesting things about Florida's depth chart for the spring game. Sophomore safety Keanu Neal and redshirt sophomore defensive back Marcus Maye will both be starters in UF's secondary, with the latter likely beginning the day at nickel cornerback. Sophomore Demarcus Robinson will serve as the Gators' second starting wide receiver (across from redshirt senior Quinton Dunbar), and redshirt sophomore Bryan Cox Jr. starts at defensive end presumably with junior Jonathan Bullard inside at defensive tackle, where he has practiced all spring.
A rough first round was had by both former Florida golfers on Thursday as Billy Horschel (+3, 75) and Matt Every (+5, 77) finished just four and two strokes above the projected cut line. They will once again be teeing off back-to-back in separate groups Friday with Horschel kicking things off from The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club at 12:09 p.m.
The Most Valuable Player-caliber season for Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah continued on Wednesday when he became just the fourth big man in NBA history to record for triple-doubles of points, rebounds and assists in a single season, joining major names like Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson and Bill Russell on that list. Noah's triple-double also put him in the same camp as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the last Bulls to register four triple-doubles in a single season (1992-93). For comparison's sake, Noah posted just three triple-dobules and two double-digit assist games - combined - during his first six years in the league. He currently leads Chicago with 5.2 assists per game and has had double digit dime games seven times this year.
On Wednesday, freshman power forward Chris Walker announced that he officially intends to skip the 2014 NBA Draft and return to play college basketball with Florida for his sophomore season. In making his announcement, Walker specifically wrote that he "will be joining the gatornation again for one more year," a comment that struck some as him already having it in his head that he will leave the Gators after his sophomore campaign. Well, yeah, that's the plan. Unlike Patric Young, who turned down the opportunity to be a first-round draft choice and slowly slid down the draft during his next two years in school, Walker's tremendous athleticism, height and shot-blocking ability will keep him at the top of boards next year in what is expected to be a much weaker class than 2014. Walker improving his basketball IQ and overall game will only help him become a likely lottery pick in 2015.
Reuniting with former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith landed former Gators safety Major Wright with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which have doubled up with former Florida players this offseason and now have three on the roster. Wright joined wide receiver Louis Murphy, who also inked a one-year deal with the Bucs this off-season, and running back Jeff Demps, who Tampa Bay traded for last season. Smith has specifically said he is excited to be coaching Demps, calling him the fastest player in the NFL.