Joakim Noah did something on Friday night that had only been done five other times in NBA history since 1985-86. Plus, Florida volleyball's season comes to an end, and thoughts on the women's basketball version of the Gators this year.
Joakim Noah posts 30 points, 23 rebounds, six assists: That's been done five other times in NBA history since 1985, and by a murderers' row of greats: Joe Barry Carroll, Charles Barkley, Charles Oakley, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki. And of those guys, only Carroll had two blocks and two assists in those games — and he needed four overtimes to get his numbers. (Sam Smith, Bulls.com | Matt Moore, CBS Sports | Elias | Basketball-Reference)
Florida bounced from NCAA Volleyball Tournament: For a team with three seniors, getting to the Sweet Sixteen was an accomplishment. But being up 24-22 in the first set and getting swept still has to sting. (Scott Carter, GatorZone)
Mary Wise is the best, though:
It's not losing that's so tough, it's ending one of the most special seasons I've ever been part of that's the hardest.
Willie Taggart to USF, SB Nation breaks: a) Kudos to Godfrey, who's been a rock star for us, for being the first to this story. b) Taggart, a former Stanford assistant and Jim Harbaugh disciple, is now in close proximity to another one — Florida linebackers/special teams coach D.J. Durkin. And he might need a defensive coordinator. I think Durkin stays (Durkin's the rare coach who could leap from position coach to head coach), but this is one to watch. (Steven Godfrey, SB Nation)
Women's basketball hands Pacific first loss: I haven't written more than like 15 words on here about Florida's women's basketball team this fall, so this is my mini-post for that. (GatorZone)
Sydney Moss is a star. Moss (the daughter of Randy Moss, as you will hear mentioned in passing at any game you go to) has a superbly well-rounded game that is more mature than any other Florida player's but Jennifer George's — and George is a senior who should be an All-SEC player and scored her 1,000th point against Pacific. Moss has very good handles, a sweet shot, excellent rebounding technique and fantastic passing vision; she's averaging an 11/6/4 line, leads Florida in assists, and is second in points, rebounds, and steals. When she gets better conditioned and acclimated, gets more selective on offense, and develops on the defensive end? Look out.
Carlie Needles will make you love her. If you like scrappy, you'll like Needles. She's a point guard, and a true one, rarely driving for her shot, but she's also a bomber, taking 60 threes through 10 games. But she's knocked down 24 of those, including nine on one night to set a new school record. Basically, she's Erving Walker, but taller for her position than he was for his.
Jennifer George is just so good. She's the Gators' best player by far, and things come so easy to her. It may be all on her a few times in SEC play, but she'll will Florida to victory at least once this year.
There are a lot of interesting parts on the roster. I like Kayla Lewis, a lanky forward with a ton of athleticism, a lot, and I like Christin Mercer almost as much for basically the same reasons. I think Vicky McIntyre, Florida's tallest player ever, could still be a dominant offensive player for short stretches once she gets comfortable. And I wanna see Chandler Cooper, regarded as this team's best shooter but out with an injury, take the floor, because she would give the Gators a forward who can stretch the floor better than Moss can.
It's an NCAA Tournament team. This part I'm pretty sure about. Florida may be hard-pressed to get to 20 wins, but just two of the 12 Gators squads with 20 wins in school history have missed the NCAA Tournament. And for a team with one senior, George, 20 wins would be one hell of a season.
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