Humphreys cheer on son

Florida shows signs of improvement behind the three-point line.


Published: Sunday, February 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 1, 2004 at 1:26 a.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tony Humphrey exclaimed he was "nervous as heck" as friends and well-wishers greeted him at courtside.
Sitting in folding chairs, just two seats away from the scorers table, Humphrey and his wife, Shayla, were just moments away from watching their son, freshman Florida guard Lee Humphrey, play his first game at Thompson-Boling Arena, the place where Tony used to take his son to watch games as a kid.
"It's a special moment," Tony Humphrey said. "I'm sure it's a special moment for him. He gets to see a lot of his buddies."
Humphrey was born and grew up in Maryville, Tenn., just 17 miles south of Knoxville. Both Tony and Shayla teach middle school there, though the two have been able to get to games in Gainesville and at Vanderbilt and South Carolina during the course of the season.
"This is a much easier drive to see him," Shayla said.
Humphrey, who fielded close to 200 ticket requests, finished with three points and a rebound in his homecoming.
He came into the game shooting 60.9 percent from three-point range and averaging 5.9 points in Southeastern Conference play after playing little during the nonconference season.
"It's worked out well for him," Tony said. "He's getting more playing time than he expected, and he's working hard. We're all very proud of him."
Humphrey, who shot 1-of-4 from 3-point range Saturday, hit his lone basket in 26 minutes on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 40.3 seconds remaining in the first half.
He nearly tied the game, but his desperation shot at the buzzer bounded off the front of the rim.
"I'm used to taking those shots in high school," Humphrey said. "I didn't feel nervous about it."
Sandra Roberson, mother of Florida guard Anthony Roberson, also made the eight-hour drive down from Saginaw, Mich., to watch the game.
  • DIALING IN FROM LONG DISTANCE: It took a while, but Florida is showing signs of becoming a better three-point shooting team.
    After a 7-for-24 night from beyond the arc in a loss to Mississippi State, Florida has made 21 of its past 45 3-point attempts in wins against Auburn and Alabama.
    For the season, Florida came into Saturday against Tennessee shooting .369 from three-point range.
    "Part of the reason for the slow start is our players knowing and understanding their offensive roles," Donovan said. "We've had more balance on the floor. Our front-court guys are doing a better job of making shots and kicking the ball out."
  • RICHARD BACK: Freshman center Chris Richard returned from a one-game disciplinary suspension but wasn't much of a factor. Richard finished with no points and two rebounds in eight minutes.
  • HOUSTON REUNION: Starting centers Adrian Moss and Brandon Crump are both from Houston. Crump went to Klein High School and Moss went to Humble High, just outside the city limits.
  • SEE YA LATER: A Tennessee fan was ejected from the arena early in the first half after distributing pamphlets that pictured Florida guard Matt Walsh's girlfriend, former Playboy centerfold Lauren Anderson. The fan threw the pamphlets up in the air as he was escorted out by local police.
    You can reach Kevin Brockway by e-mail at brockwk@gvillesun.com or by calling 374-5054.
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