News from Around the South
Tennessee Volunteer freshman Jarnell Stokes said he still has a chip on his shoulder because of his poor showing in Athens against the 'Dawgs on Jan. 8. He also said he planned on beating Kentucky in Rupp Arena at some point in his college career. Mike Griffith of GoVolsXtra
Florida coach Billy Donovan stopped practice this week and called out freshman Bradley Beal for his lackluster offensive rebound total in SEC play, according to Chris Harry of GatorZone. Beal had just two offensive rebounds entering Thursday's game against South Carolina but grabbed five (11 total) against the Gamecocks. How's that for lighting a fire?
Before the first shoe squeak or 3-point shot Thursday in Knoxville, South Carolina made a donation of 20,000 for Alzheimer's research in honor of Volunteer coach Pat Summitt. Beth Rucker, of the Associated Press, said that's the last nice thing the Lady Gamecocks did all night, beating Tennessee for the first time in over 30 years.
CSS Game Balls
Bradley Beal, Florida - Beal scored 17 and grabbed 11 boards for his fifth double-double of the season. What's really interesting is the motivational tool coach Billy Donovan used to inspire the freshman. (see GatorZone story above)
Matt Dickey, UNC-Asheville - The Bulldogs had to hold off a second-half surge from VMI to win Thursday. Dickey scored 26 points and went 11-for-11 from the charity stripe to lead the way for Asheville.
Marcos Knight, Middle Tennessee State - Middle Tennessee State knew traveling to play North Texas would be no picnic, and it sure wasn't. Knight's 19 points and seven rebounds helped keep the Blue Raiders perfect in Sun Belt action.
What to Watch Friday
Belmont at Lipscomb, 7 p.m. ET (CSS) - This is the second "Battle of the Boulevard" of the season. Lipscomb won the first game, 85-74, on Jan. 6. These two Nashville, Tn. teams typically play close games -- 12 of their last 18 have been decided by single digits or in overtime -- no matter their standings in the Atlantic Sun Conference.