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].
The SEC. Florida claimed the SEC All-Sports Award this past weekend when they took two out of three from Tennessee and placed above Georgia in both men’s and women’s track & field at the SEC Outdoor Championship. The Gators won SEC Championships in men’s basketball, baseball, men’s swimming & diving, soccer, and women’s indoor track & field. The trophy asserts UF’s dominance in the SEC as they won the award for the sixth straight year and 20th time in 21 years. Since 1990, no one in the SEC has rivaled the Gators across all athletics.
Jaylen Watkins, Jon Halapio Sign Contracts. Their dream has been realized. Third day NFL Draft picks Jaylen Watkins and Jon Halapio signed deals with the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, respectively. Watkins and Halapio joined Ronald Powell in signing their first NFL contracts. Powell signed with the New Orleans Saints on Friday. The Eagles posted a picture of Watkins making it official:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 19, 2014
Patric Young at the NBA Combine. Patric Young ended up being the only Gator to be invited to the NBA Combine last week, but he put up some impressive numbers. Young benched 185 pounds 25 times, two short of the Combine record, to lead all players and measured a 37 1/2 inch vertical, the second best of this year’s Combine (Aaron Gordon of Arizona measured higher). He also came in at 6-10, an inch taller than UF listed him, and 248.6 pounds with only 5.45 percent body fat. Young’s wingspan measured in at over 7-1 as he helped improve his draft stock. (Chris Harry, GatorZone)
Alex Tyus Wins Euroleague Championship. Former Gator Alex Tyus and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv won the Euroleague Championship, defeating Real Madrid 98-86 in overtime. Tyus had 12 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks in Maccabi’s sixth European Championship. He was named the Euroleague MVP in April. Obviously, Tyus was elated to bring the trophy back to Tel Aviv:
It’s still a little weird seeing Alex with a shaved head, even though it’s been a couple years. Congratulations to him and Maccabi! (euroleague.net)
Women’s Tennis Ousted in NCAA Semifinals. It was a great run for the Gators women’s tennis team, but it ended in the final four. UCLA beat Florida 4-0 to advance to the National Championship. The third-ranked, five-seed Bruins used a quick start to take care of the eight-seed Gators, although UF did show fight towards the end, as they lost to the No. 1 and 9-ranked doubles teams in a tiebreaker, 8-7. It was an impressive journey for Florida’s three seniors - Alexandra Cercone, Olivia Janowicz and Sofie Oyen – as they advanced to the NCAA Semifinals in all four of their years at UF. The future is still bright for the Gators, however, as they return the ITA Player to Watch Brianna Morgan and ITA Rookie of the Year Kourtney Keegan, in addition to adding the top-ranked recruiting class for 2014. All three signees, Brooke Austin, Josie Kuhlman, and Peggy Porter, received the highest rating available. Look for Florida to be back in the mix next season. (GatorZone)