Richard gets physical with Vols

The freshman seems to be finding his stride.


Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 2:08 a.m.
All along, Florida players knew that freshman forward Chris Richard could be a factor in the right situation.
Richard found that situation Saturday. In 18 non-pressure minutes, Richard finished with a career-high 11 points and three rebounds during Florida's 95-57 rout of Tennessee.
"I really have been very, very hard on Chris in practice, especially after the break," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "And I think it paid off for him today. He did a great job up front. It was a good game for him to play in because of Tennessee's physicality, and he provided some scoring, shot the ball well from the free-throw line and did a lot of good things for us."
Richard, who came into the game a 37.5 percent free-throw shooter, made 3 of 5 free throws. He established position in the block against Tennessee center Brandon Crump and made his biggest basket in the second half, when he went skyward to slam home a Mohamed Abukar shot that clanged off the back iron.
The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Richard was forced to sit out a few practices over the holidays, but he seems to have found his stride.
"To be honest, I thought this would have happened earlier in the year," Florida forward David Lee said. "We go up against each other in practice, and there are days when he physically dominates me.
"He has the chance to be a Donnell Harvey-type, Udonis Haslem-type player for us. So hopefully this a step in him maybe becoming a factor for us during the season."
  • DUTCH TREAT: Florida swingman Christian Drejer came into Saturday on a tear, having averaged 15.2 points in his previous five games.
    "He's progressing," Donovan said. "I also think that going against Maryland, going against Louisville, he's found out a lot about himself because he wasn't in a situation where he was playing significant minutes last season."
    Drejer posted the first double-double of his career (16 points, 12 rebounds) on Wednesday against South Carolina.
    The game Saturday marked an anniversary of sorts: Drejer made his Florida debut as a freshman against Tennessee last Jan. 15, finishing with 4 points in 7 minutes.
    Foot and ankle problems plagued Drejer for much of his freshman season, problems Drejer insists he's over now.
    "I feel like myself now," Drejer said. "Last year was hard. It also took a little bit of this season to get back into the flow."
    Drejer finished Saturday with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 26 minutes.
  • FREE THROWS: Florida improved to 7-1 in SEC openers under Donovan. . . . Florida has shot higher than 60 percent in four of eight home games. . . . Matt Walsh has made 15 consecutive free throws and 36 of his last 37. . . . Freshman Lee Humphrey had a career high 4 assists.

    Florida 95, Tennessee 57 Tennessee (9-2, 1-1) Total 3-pt reb Name m fg fga fg fga ft fta O D T pf tp

    Brandon Crump 31 3 8 0 2 5 6 1 7 8 2 11 Jemere Hendrix 24 1 2 0 0 4 4 0 3 3 4 6 Scooter McFadgon 33 3 13 1 6 5 5 1 0 1 3 12 Stanley Asumnu 12 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 C. J. Watson 31 4 7 1 2 4 4 1 2 3 1 13 Boomer Herndon 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 Major Wingate 8 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 John Winchester 25 3 4 2 3 1 2 0 0 0 3 9 Dane Bradshaw 16 2 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 3 4 Justin Albrecht 7 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
    total 200 17 45 4 16 19 21 8 16 24 20 57 Florida (11-2, 2-0)

    Total 3-pt reb Name m fg fga fg fga ft fta O D T pf tp

    Christian Drejer 26 2 4 1 3 1 2 1 6 7 4 6 David Lee 29 7 10 0 0 3 3 1 4 5 2 17 Bonell Colas 12 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 4 4 Anthony Roberson 28 6 8 2 2 1 1 0 2 2 2 15 Matt Walsh 27 6 10 2 4 6 6 0 1 1 1 20 Seth Haimovitch 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Adrian Moss 16 3 4 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 3 6 Lee Humphrey 11 2 2 1 1 2 2 0 3 3 0 7 Mohamed Abukar 17 3 6 1 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 9 Rashid Al-Kaleem 6 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Ryan Appleby 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 Chris Richard 18 4 6 0 0 3 5 2 1 3 1 11
    total 200 35 54 7 13 18 25 8 21 29 19 95 1 2 OT T Tennessee 30 27 - 57 Florida 49 46 - 95
    Field goal pct., First Half: Tennessee .429, Florida .640; Second half: Tennessee .333, Florida .655; Game: Tennessee .378, Florida .648. Assists: Tennessee 9 (Walton 4), Florida 21 (Roberson 6). Turnovers: Tennessee 20 (Watson 6), Florida 12 (Drejer 5). Blocks: Tennessee 1 (Hendrix), Florida None. Steals: Tennessee 3 (Bradshaw, Winchester, Watson), Florida 11 (Walsh 4).Officials: Patillo, Benedict, Clinton. Attendance: 12,098.
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