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.
The Latest: Appleby cleared to play for Florida
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)The Latest on the second round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):___7:45 p.m.Florida guard Tyree Appleby has been cleared to play and was in the starting lineup for No. 1 seed in the second round for a third time, joining the 2000 team against Arizona and the 2017 squad against Villanova. Sister Jean Delores Schmidt gave an inspirational pregame prayer to her Loyola Chicago team before the eighth-seeded Ramblers met top-seeded Illinois in Sunday’s second round. UCLA and Abilene Christian face off Monday, assuring that at least one double-digit seed will reach the Sweet 16. This is the first time four teams seeded 13th or worse made it to the second round.
Police contacted after Ohio State's Liddell receives threats
Liddell received following the Buckeyes' NCAA Tournament loss on Friday. Ohio State associate athletic director for communications Dan Wallenberg told The Associated Press he contacted police on Saturday morning about the threats Liddell received after the second-seeded Buckeyes were upset by No. Liddell, who had 23 points and 14 rebounds in the game, revealed on his Twitter feed he received threatening messages. Liddell, while not from or representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous and reflect the worst of humanity," Holtmann posted on Twitter. AdSister Jean taught at Chicago's Mundelein College when Loyola beat Illinois in the 1963 NCAA Tournament.
The Latest: Every seed except 16 has a team in second round
In 2016, 2013 and 1991, seed lines 1-15 all had a team reach the second round. UMBC in 2018 is still the only 16 seed to make the round of 32, but no 15 seed won that year. Ad___8:00 p.m.Don’t expect a track meet when Villanova and North Texas play in the second round of the South Region on Sunday. The matchup between the fifth-seeded Wildcats and 13th-seeded Mean Green features two of the most deliberately paced teams in the NCAA Tournament. UNC Wilmington’s John Goldsberry holds the record for most 3-point attempts without a miss in an NCAA Tournament game.
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.
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.
Vols beat Florida 65-54, earn No. 4 seed in SEC tourney
Tyree Appleby had 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting and Colin Castleton added 11 points for Florida (13-9, 9-7). 13 seed Vanderbilt in Thursday's second round. After being outrebounded 18-16 in the first half, Tennessee was plus-11 on the glass in the second. Florida had just 21 points after the break, its lowest-scoring half of the season. The Gators went into the game leading the SEC in free-throw percentage (.760, 37th NCAA), field-goal percentage (.472, 42nd NCAA) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.359, 78th NCAA).
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 edges Kentucky 71-67 for series split
(AP Photo/James Crisp)LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tre Mann scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and Florida pulled out a 71-67 victory over Kentucky on Saturday, winning its third straight game and avenging a blowout loss to the Wildcats. Neither team scored again until Mann's baseline jumper with 1:49 to go. Florida, which lost to Kentucky 76-58 on Jan. 9, picked up just the fifth season split in the series' history, the last coming in 1998. The win was just the 11th for Florida at Lexington versus 52 losses. Florida is home against Missouri on Wednesday before concluding its regular season at Tennessee on March 7.
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.
Mann scores 19, Florida opens season by topping Army 76-69
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Tre Mann scored a career-high 19 points, including five free throws in the final minute, and added six rebounds, four assists and five steals, to help Florida open its season with a 76-69 victory over Army on Wednesday. Mann, making his debut at point guard, secured his fifth steal in the closing seconds and made 1 of 2 free throws for a 74-69 lead. Keyontae Johnson, who averaged 14 points and 7.1 rebounds last season, added 16 points and Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby, who sat out last season, scored all 15 of his points in the second half for Florida. Mann, a former McDonald’s All-American, started four games during his freshman year last season, and reached 13 points twice. Freshman guard Lonnie Grayson had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Black Knights.
Floridas Mann returning for sophomore year, chance to start
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Florida guard Tre Mann is returning for his sophomore season. Mann surprised the Gators by announcing in late April he planned to explore his professional options. But once starting point guard Andrew Nembhard opted to transfer he eventually landed at Gonzaga last month that opened the door for Mann's return to Gainesville. Mann should get a shot at playing the point, although Florida also has sophomore Ques Glover and former Cleveland State standout Tyree Appleby at the all-important position. Two Florida starters guard Scottie Lewis and forward Keyontae Johnson decided to stay in college after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the postseason.