prather

Florida forward Casey Prather cleared to return Saturday

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A discussion of the most improved players in college basketball this season has to include the name of Florida senior forward Casey Prather. After averaging 6.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game as a junior Prather’s raised his production to 17.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, leading the Gators in scoring.

But after experiencing swelling in his left knee following No. 7 Florida’s SEC opening win over South Carolina the 6-foot-7 Prather’s missed the last two games for Billy Donovan’s team. Florida won both games, one of which being a tough overtime victory at Arkansas, and they’ve had to deal with various injuries and suspensions for much of the season. But even with that being the case, Florida needs their leading scorer back on the floor.

According to multiple outlets Prather’s expected to return to game action on Saturday when the Gators host Auburn, although it remains to be seen just how much playing time he receives. “How much he’ll play is really, really hard to say,” Donovan said of Prather on Friday. “I’m doubtful he’s play much. That’s my guess.”

Prather’s health resulted in Virginia Tech transfer Dorian Finney-Smith moving into the starting lineup, and the sophomore took full advantage of the opportunity. In wins over Arkansas and Georgia, Finney-Smith averaged 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds (15 rebounds against Arkansas) and 3.0 assists per game. If Finney-Smith can continue to produce once Prather gets back to full strength, Florida’s going to be even more difficult for opponents to slow down.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has scary fall while carrying girl

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Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has turned into a fan favorite at Rupp Arena.

Every home game, during one of the TV timeouts in the second half, ‘Mony Mony’ will come on, Dancing Guy will hop into the aisle and he’ll break it down like only a middle-aged white guy from Kentucky can.

As you can see, it didn’t quite go all that well for Dancing Guy on Tuesday night, as he tried to do a rail slide while holding a young, female fan and completely ate it.

Here’s another angle of the fall:

It looks much scarier that it actually was, as all reports indicate that everyone made it through the fall healthy.

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.

 

It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.