Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ray Shipman better put on a show tonight

Tonight Florida basketball plays a critical game against Mississippi State. With a win, they set themselves up to likely clinch an NCAA spot with a win against Kentucky in Gainesville this weekend. This is a flawed team, and there are a lot of things holding it back. The lack of an upperclassman with the personality to be a leader has hurt. Injuries to Adam Allen, Eloy Vargas and Allen Chaney combined with the transfer of Jai Lucas have stripped them of significant depth. Still, I wonder about this team's mindset when I see freshman Ray Shipman complaining about his role. Despite being one of the only options to serve as an athletic defensive presence on the perimeter, he wants to score more. A few years back, Corey Brewer played a similar role for the Gators (only much better) as a freshman and turned out all right, what with the two championship rings and being the seventh pick in the 2007 draft and all. Shipman's response to that example?

“They always use Corey as an example,” Shipman said. “I’m tired of hearing Corey’s name.”

Oh. I guess Billy Donovan and his coaches better hush up about that two time national champion team. Wouldn't want to bore Ray.

Monte Kiffin, who I have great respect for, is trying to cover for his son, who I don't. He claims Lane Kiffin felt bad about his erroneous public attack on Urban Meyer and says the new Tennessee coach is not arrogant. Unfortunately, the tape of the episode (as well as Lane's public behavior ever since he was hired) tells a different story. Monte also notes he wants to coach his players sixty hours a week and that the twenty hour rule for when they can practice is killing him. Welcome back to college, Monte. It's very different than when you left for the NFL a quarter century ago, and it's going to be extremely hard for you to install your schemes considering the limitations you'll be facing.

Give Darryl Strawberry credit for honesty. While defending Alex Rodriguez, he says that had steroids been big when he was in his baseball heyday, he would have taken them. Darryl does have a book coming out soon, so it may be in his interest to say whatver's necessary to boost his public profile again. If he really wants to make a big splash, may I recommend a reissue of the rap classic "Chocolate Strawberry"? Meanwhile, A-Roid may have to sit for awhile because of a "cyst in his hip". Remarkable timing that it would start bothering him now.

Georgia was excited about following in Florida's footsteps by having ESPN College Gameday come and broadcast their spring football game. Now Alabama's getting in on the action as well. It's not clear whether Gameday will be part of this too, but it's becoming obvious that everyone watching UF's spring game extravaganza last year was green with envy.

From Pete Carroll's Twitter page yesterday: "Whatever happened to the band OMC? Love their stuff, especially "How Bizarre". Seriously, Pete, stop. It's getting embarassing. Not as embarassing as calling 911 three times because McDonald's is out of Chicken McNuggets, but still really embarassing.

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