Roberson's heroics get him noticed


Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 13, 2003 at 11:14 p.m.
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Anthony Roberson is interviewed moments after his game-winning shot Saturday against Georgia.

(ROB C. WITZEL/The Gainesville Sun)

Facts

AP Top 10

1. Duke
2. Arizona
3. Pittsburgh
4. Texas
5. Oklahoma
6. Connecticut
(tie) Florida
8. Illinois
9. Alabama
10. Notre Dame

After hitting one of the biggest shots in school history with his buzzer-beater against Georgia on Saturday, Florida freshman Anthony Roberson was a wanted man.
After all, his 25-foot shot was shown during the SportsCenter intro and was a "play of the week." Roberson had a lot of friends and family in Michigan who wanted to let him know that they saw it.
"There were a lot of phone calls from home," Roberson said. "It was great to get a win like that."
The accolades didn't stop Monday as Roberson was named the Southeastern Conference player of the week.
Roberson hit his final five 3-pointers of the game Saturday while leading the Gators back from a 10-point second-half deficit against the Bulldogs.
Florida coach Billy Donovan said his team's marksmanship has been the biggest reason why the Gators have been able to erase big deficits in games.
"I think we are a better shooting team this year," Donovan said. "With Roberson and (Matt) Walsh we have more guys who can shoot."
Roberson is the second Florida freshman this season to be named player of the week this season. Walsh was honored by the SEC on Nov. 25. It is the first time two Gator freshmen have been honored by the SEC in the same season.
  • DREJER TO PLAY: Donovan said Monday that freshman Christian Drejer should see the first regular-season action in Wednesday's home game against Tennessee.
    "He's cleared to play," Donovan said. "He's healthy enough to play 40 minutes. Obviously he won't. I don't know how much he is going to play."
  • PICK-UP ACTION: Matt Bonner stopped to ponder the question.
    Bonner had just been asked which of his teammates would he pick first for a pick-up game.
    Would it be sophomore center David Lee for his size and inside presence? Would it be Roberson or Walsh because of their shooting abilities? Would it be Justin Hamilton for his athleticism?
    Bonner took a pass, instead deciding to bestow the honor on a former teammate.
    "I'd take Orien Greene," Bonner said. "He's the greatest pick-up basketball player in the history of the sport. Ask anyone on the team."
    Greene, a Gainesville native who transferred to Louisiana-Lafayette over the summer, never showed those abilities during his two seasons at Florida. Greene averaged just 5.2 points during his sophomore season in 2000-01.
  • GUARDING AGAINST OVERCONFIDENCE: Despite notching two big wins last week, Donovan said his team better stay grounded as it prepares for games Wednesday against Tennessee and Saturday at South Carolina.
    "I'll smash them today if they come into practice with any sense of overconfidence," Donovan said. "Last season, everyone was saying we should be No. 1 ahead of Duke and then we finish 7-8 the rest of the season."
    Plus Donovan knows what happened the last time an SEC team was being talked about as one of the nation's top teams.
    "It's all so fragile," Donovan said. "Last week people were saying Mississippi State was the hottest team in the country and then they lose to us, lose to LSU and now have to play at Alabama (on Wednesday)."
  • POLL CLIMB: After winning back-to-back games over No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 20 Georgia last week, Florida finally got the attention of the voters in the Associated Press media poll as the Gators jumped five spots to No. 6.
    It's the highest Florida has been ranked this season. The Gators were the preseason No. 7 team, but fell to No. 14 after losses to Stanford and West Virginia.
    Alabama dropped to No. 9 and Mississippi State fell to No. 14. Kentucky is No. 16, Georgia held at No. 20 and LSU re-entered the poll at No. 23.
    More importantly, Florida is also No. 6 in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) which is used more than the rankings to determine NCAA Tournament seeding. Duke is No. 1, Arizona is No. 2, Georgia, thanks to playing the nation's toughest schedule is No. 3. Stanford is No. 4 and Notre Dame is No. 5.
    You can reach Dylan B. Tomlinson by calling 374-5054 or by e-mail at tomlind@gvillesun.com
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