Omar Payne joins growing list of players to leave Florida
Forward Omar Payne entered the transfer portal Tuesday and became the fifth player to leave coach Mike White's program since the end of the season. The 6-foot-10 Payne joined shooting guard Noah Locke, backup point guard Ques Glover and reserve forward Osayi Osifo in looking to play elsewhere next season. Star point guard and leading scorer Tre Mann entered the NBA draft with plans of hiring an agent, meaning he has no intention of returning to school for his junior season. Payne, a sophomore from Kissimmee, averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds while playing close to 16 minutes a game this season. Only Keyontae Johnson remains from Florida's 2018 class, which lost talented point guard Andrew Nembhard to Gonzaga last year and now is without Locke.
Sweet 16 bound: No. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns Florida 81-78
Oral Roberts won 81-78. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)INDIANAPOLIS – Dunk City, say hello to Max Abmas and the Golden Eagles of soaring Oral Roberts. Oral Roberts joins Florida Gulf Coast — those guys from “Dunk City” — as the only No. The Oral Roberts fans inside Indiana Famers Coliseum chanted “Cinderella” during a wild celebration after the victory. SMART FOULOne of the biggest decisions of the game came with 3:11 left after Oral Roberts pulled within 76-75.
Short-handed Florida outlasts Virginia Tech in NCAA opener
10 seed Virginia Tech 75-70 in a first-round game on Friday. He finished with 30 points and scored the final 12 of regulation for Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech hit 5 of its first 10 3-point attempts, but made just two the rest of the way. Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said he considered keeping Aluma on the bench to start overtime. AdHINKLE'S LIGHTThe first NCAA Tournament game at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 81 years was rife with history, nostalgia and ... sunlight.
Still dancing: Gators rally late to beat Virginia Tech in tourney opener
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)The Gators are still dancing. Florida came back in the second half and edged Virginia Tech 75-70 in overtime of their NCAA tournament opener on Friday afternoon. Tre Mann knocked down a 3-pointer with 22 seconds to play in overtime to give Florida the separation it needed to escape the Hokies. Chris Castleton had a spectacular game for the Gators, leading with 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. That game will be shown on truTVFlorida benched sophomore forward Omar Payne for the opener.
The Latest: 12th-seeded Oregon State upsets No. 5 Tennessee
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)The Latest on the first round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):___6:50 p.m.Another first-round upset as 12th-seeded Oregon State defeated No. 9 seed Georgia Tech 71-60 on Friday to mark a triumphant return to the NCAA Tournament. Senior guard Bubba Parham, who is 5-10, got the start instead as Georgia Tech went with a guard-heavy look. AdIllinois will face eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago or ninth-seeded Georgia Tech in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Sunday. Ad___2:10 p.m.Players from several NCAA Tournament teams took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before their first-round games.
Mann scores 22 points, Florida holds off Vandy 69-63 at SEC
4 seed Tennessee on Friday for the second game between the teams in six days. Noah Locke scored 13 points for Florida, and Tyree Appleby added 12 off the bench. Vanderbilt (9-16) lost to Florida for the third time this season and sixth straight in this series. The Commodores, who won only three league games in the regular season, had their chances for a second SEC win within 24 hours. Florida appeared ready to cruise to a sixth straight win in this series up 34-22 at halftime after the Gators scored the final eight of the half.
Missouri hangs on for 1st win at Florida, 72-70
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dru Smith scored the game-winner, banking a baseline drive reverse layup off the glass with 0.7 seconds on the clock and Missouri held on to defeat Florida 72-70 on Wednesday night for the Tigers’ first-ever win in Gainesville. Dru Smith scored 17 points and had nine assists and a season-high six steals to lead Missouri (15-7, 8-7 Southeastern Conference), Mitchell Smith scored 14 and Mark Smith 11. Tre Mann scored 21 points to lead Florida, Tyree Appleby added 12 with five assists and Noah Locke scored 11. The Gators committed 18 turnovers, leading to 25 Mizzou points, and saw a three-game win streak end. Mitchell Smith pushed the Tigers lead to 10, opening the second half with a 3-pointer.
Florida beats No. 11 WVU in Big 12-SEC Challenge 85-80
11 West Virginia 85-80 on Saturday in the Big 12-SEC Challenge. Derek Culver led West Virginia (11-5) with a career-high 28 points, but he was bottled up in the second half. NICHOLS BACKFlorida assistant coach Darris Nichols faced West Virginia coach Bob Huggins for the third time. The Gators beat West Virginia in the 2016 Big 12/SEC Challenge in Gainesville, Florida, and at the 2018 Jimmy V Classic. 10 Texas Tech last Monday, Saturday's loss could prevent West Virginia from moving into the top 10 of the AP poll.
Short-handed Florida stuns No. 6 Tennessee 75-49
Florida guard Tre Mann (1) and Tennessee guard Davonte Gaines (0) compete for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19. 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Noah Locke scored 14 points, Tyree Appleby added 13 and short-handed Florida stunned No. 6 Tennessee 75-49 on Tuesday night. Guard Scottie Lewis (COVID-19 protocols) and forward Colin Castleton (ankle) missed the game. But forward Omar Payne, starting for the first time in nearly a year, finished with nine points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots for Florida (7-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference).
Short-handed Florida stuns No. 6 Tennessee 75-49
No one on Florida's roster has experienced a victory at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tennessee. Noah Locke scored 14 points, Tyree Appleby added 13 and the short-handed Gators stunned No. 6 Tennessee in dominating fashion, 75-49 on Tuesday night. “We proved tonight we're not good enough to go through the motions," said Vols coach Rick Barnes, who promised lineup changes moving forward. Florida: White seems to get his best from his guys against top competition.
Florida's Johnson rejoins team, works as coach amid recovery
(AP Photo/Matt Stamey, File)GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida forward Keyontae Johnson is back with the team and working as a coach in practice, coach Mike White said Monday. Johnson was released from the hospital last week, 10 days after collapsing on the court at Florida State and needing emergency medical attention. “Our guys are ready to move forward, not move on from Keyontae, but move forward with him," White said. Witnesses said Johnson was standing near midcourt and suddenly fell forward and landed on his face. White said Johnson already has mentioned that he's “ready to roll” and wants to practice, but doctors will decide when and if that happens this season.
Florida cruises past Stetson 86-39 in home opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Keyontae Johnson scored 19 points, Scottie Lewis had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Florida beat Stetson 84-40 on Sunday in the Gators’ home opener. Johnson's dunk started a 9-0 run to give Florida a 16-5 lead, and the Gators led by double figures for the rest of the game. Johnson finished the half with 12 points and Stetson scored 15. Florida scored the first 11 points of the second half for a 30-point lead, and the Gators led by as many as 47 points. Mann scored a career-best 19 points in Florida’s opener against Army.