Drejer sits out with bad back

Published: Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 1:32 a.m.

Florida forward Christian Drejer missed his first game of the season Wednesday with a bruised lower back.

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Florida forward Adrian Moss blocks the path of Mississippi State guard Gary Ervin Wednesday at the O'Connell Center.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun

The injury, diagnosed as a bruised lower sacrum, occurred when Drejer landed on his back while going up for the rebound in the second-half of Florida's 86-72 loss Saturday at Vanderbilt. He sat out the final 10 minutes of the Vanderbilt game and sat out Monday's practice.

Drejer practiced Tuesday and took part in Wednesday's shoot-around before Mississippi State, but decided not to play because he wasn't feeling 100 percent and didn't want to hurt the team.

Drejer came into Wednesday averaging 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 14 starts.

Freshman Lee Humphrey made his first career start in Drejer's place. Humphrey started at shooting guard and Matt Walsh moved over from shooting guard to small forward.

Drejer sat on the Florida bench in street clothes.

  • POLLING FOR POSITION: Florida coach Billy Donovan is not worried about where his team is in the polls yet. Not with close to two months left before the end of the regular season.

    "I always think it's good to be ranked when it comes time to March," Donovan said before Wednesday's 79-68 loss to No. 19 Mississippi State. "If you can see yourself, you've been a ranked team the majority of the year, I do think the selection committee looks at that."

    Florida dropped to its lowest point of the season in the polls this week - No. 17 in both The AP and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Florida made the climb from No. 8 in preseason to No. 1 in the middle of December, only to make the biggest drop in college basketball history from 1 to 15 after consecutive losses at home to Maryland and on the road to Louisville.

    "Sometimes it's not fair when teams drop or teams move up," Donovan said. "We've been the recipient of both. We've moved up when it's been undeserved and we've moved down when it's been undeserved."

    In the coaches poll, Florida dropped seven spots after its 86-72 loss at Vanderbilt last Saturday. Vanderbilt came into the game ranked No. 23.

    "I would not agree with us from going to No. 10 to No. 17," Donovan said. "We lost on the road to a top-20 team. So to drop seven spots, I don't know what happened to the rest of them (behind us)."

  • STRONG SCHEDULE: Florida came into the week ranked No. 6 in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index), due in large part to their non-conference schedule. Florida's strength of schedule ranked first in the RPI.

    Florida played non-conference games against Arizona, Maryland, Louisville and Florida State. Louisville and Arizona are both currently ranked in the top 10.

    "To be 11-3 against the toughest schedule in the country," Donovan said. "I'll take it."

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