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I have at least a 3rd grade education,,,,maybe
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Pride_of_the_South Offline
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Post: #1
Christian Drejer had the right idea. Florida basketball wasn't worth the sacrifice.

Drejer could have turned down $1 million to stay with the Gators, but for what? To go down with this ship? No, Drejer knew what he was doing when he bailed out in February to turn pro in Spain.

Fifth-seeded Florida lost Thursday to No. 12 Manhattan, but Florida didn't seem to care. Florida was too busy being Florida -- they're the Gators, man -- which means being cool and aloof and above mundane things like defense and rebounding.

"It's funny," Florida guard Anthony Roberson said. "It's an NCAA (Tournament) game, and a lot of people don't have energy for the game. I don't know where the energy was."

Don't look in the mirror. It wasn't there. Roberson got his points, as he often does, but he got most of them toward the end of the game when the outcome was no longer in question -- as he often does.

In the first half, when Florida needed their only All-SEC player to lead them, Roberson led them into disarray. He repeatedly frustrated Florida coach Billy Donovan by not running a play or not lining up correctly or not playing defense or going one-on-five and launching a 23-foot air ball.

Early in the second half, sophomore center Adrian Moss yelled for Roberson to "get your head straight and play!"

This is what happens when you recruit an all-star roster of AAU legends with only one ball to share. Guys like James White, Orien Greene and Mario Boggan transfer, Drejer quits in midseason, and Roberson jacks up 23-foot air balls. Roberson finished with one assist and five turnovers, the last coming when he drove and passed out toward David Lee and Matt Walsh, neither of whom were expecting Roberson to do anything but shoot.

Roberson is the face of Florida basketball, which is fine if you're into skills but lousy if you're into results. If he cared more, Roberson would be Allen Iverson. He has Iverson's body and prodigious offensive talents, and he even has the tattoos and insouciance. But he doesn't have Iverson's heart.

Other than Moss, does anyone at Florida (20-11) have a heart? Now that the season is over, an autopsy can be done, but first someone has to care enough to call for one.

"I don't know how we could be in the NCAA Tournament," said Walsh, "and not compete at the highest level."

Florida was bigger and thicker than Manhattan yet was outrebounded 36-26. Florida had more skill than Manhattan, yet had 14 turnovers and just four assists.

Billy Donovan is frustrated by his players' performance as well as their lack of effort. (AP)
Scanning the stat sheet, Manhattan coach Bobby Gonzalez avoided a question about the Gators' performance (probably afraid it was contagious).

"I can't comment on Florida's play," Gonzalez said. "But I can say that we played harder and competed tougher."

With two minutes left and the Gators trailing by 15, Donovan's will seemed to be broken by freshman center Chris Richard. Three times Donovan called for him to check into the game before Richard arose and slouched toward the scorer's table. When Richard walked past, Donovan told him to tuck in his shirt. Richard's hands moved as if they were attached to cinder blocks. Donovan told him to sit back down.

Richard returned to one end of the bench, and Donovan stayed at the other. He never got up again. He never told his players to foul. With less than a minute left, Manhattan's players began to understand -- Florida had given up.

"It was like they didn't feel we'd play with as much intensity, fire and passion as we did," said Manhattan guard Kenny Minor.

Fifteen minutes after the game ended, Roberson was lying face down in the Florida locker room. Teammates stayed away from him, as they seem to do on the court, too. Florida players say this is a close team, but you have to take their word for it. This is a group of young men who don't look as if they enjoy each other's company.

"We're close," Richard said. "But when we get down, a few players try to make all the plays."

Roberson fouled out with 32 seconds left and the Gators trailing by 15. He peeled off his jersey, used it to wipe his nose, then threw it over his shoulder, toward a garbage can behind the bench. The shirt rimmed out.

Thirty-two seconds later, the game ended, and Roberson headed for the Florida locker room. An assistant coach grabbed him by the back of his jersey and spun him around, into the postgame handshake line, where Roberson encountered the only team that played as if Thursday mattered.

<a href='http://cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/7186690' target='_blank'>http://cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/7186690</a>
03-21-2004 01:46 PM
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Gabi Offline
Bench Warmer

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Post: #2

Nice title bozo.

Yes, the game was pathetic.. as was the effort. I trust Billy D. knows what he is doing and the corrections will be made in the offseason. Our team is very young and that is part of the reason... It's still great to be a Gator!! :D
03-23-2004 05:14 PM
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