Welcome to Bait & Bits, a series on Hail Florida Hail that will feature one “bait” about an opposing school and some bits about the Florida Gators. Have any links that you want on Bait & Bits? Tweet it at us @HailFloridaHail or @BrettKaplan13 or email it to us at [email protected].
Florida Baseball Opponents. The twelfth-ranked Gators are riding a six game winning streak for the second time this season. During this streak, Florida has beaten No. 4 South Carolina in Columbia, Florida Gulf Coast in Ft. Myers, and swept the Georgia Bulldogs for the first time in four years. The Gators have a chance to tie their longest winning streak of the season tonight as they host Jacksonville. It will be the first of five games this week.
Joakim Noah Wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. Joakim Noah has always been a great defender, and now he’s finally being recognized for it. After leading the Chicago Bulls to 48 wins without Derrick Rose, Noah was named the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He had his best season in the pros, and will likely be in consideration for the MVP. Noah is the first Florida alum to win the award and the first Bull since Michael Jordan in the 1987-88 season to win the award.
Bridget Sloan a Finalist for Honda Award, NCAA Champion. After the championship clinching performance in the team event, Bridget Sloan competed in the Individual Events and came away an NCAA Champion. Sloan won the championship for the uneven bars with a score of 9.9375. And if her weekend couldn’t get better, Sloan was named one of four finalists in gymnastics for the Honda Award given to the top athlete in the 12 NCAA-sanctioned events for women. Sloan won the award last year.
Golf Coach Buddy Alexander to Retire. A true legend in the college golf game will be retiring. For the past 27 years, Buddy Alexander has been at the helm of the men’s golf team at Florida and has had great success. Alexander coached two national championship teams (1993, 2001), won the SEC Coach of the Year Award eight times, and had 11 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Recently, he also got the exhilaration of coaching his son, Tyson Alexander. He will surely be missed.
Stephanie Tofft Named SEC Player of the Week. The softball team keeps on rolling after a midseason scuffle, and Stephanie Tofft has had a big impact. Tofft was named the SEC Player of the Week for her performances last week. The third baseman hit .700 (7-10) with a home run in all three games this weekend, one double, six runs scored, and 10 RBI.
Ciarra Brewer Named SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. After hosting their final event of the outdoor track season, Florida’s Ciarra Brewer was named the SEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. Brewer took home the triple jump title at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational. Brewer lept 13.15m/43‐1.75 for the title.