Published: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 4:06 a.m.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Homecoming for Florida freshman Corey Brewer was steady if not spectacular.
With close to 200 family members and friends from his native Portland, Tenn., making the 45-minute trip to watch the game, Brewer finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals in Saturday's 83-65 win against Vanderbilt.
"It felt great," Brewer said. "We knew the crowd was going to be loud and this was going to be a tough play.
"We're 3-0 in the SEC. We have 13 more, but it's a good start."
Brewer received some loud cheers during his introductions but said he couldn't hear cheers during the game because the Vanderbilt fans were so loud.
He got into the flow of the game early, converting a three-point play to put Florida up 7-3. Anthony Roberson set up the play with a steal and found Brewer ahead on the break. Brewer dunked and was fouled by Vanderbilt guard Jason Holwerda.
Brewer also made a spectacular steal near the end of the half, in which he deflected a Holwerda pass and leaped near the baseline to save the ball from going out of bounds.
Florida coach Billy Donovan admitted he was concerned about how Brewer would handle his first game before hometown fans. "I told him before the game that I didn't know what to say to a freshman the first time to keep him focused," Donovan said. "Corey is a kid that can get lost in the game at times because he is so competitive and he plays so hard."
The school announced at halftime an endowment for a scholarship will be named in Doster's honor. Doster was shot and killed in his native Tampa over Christmas break.
His gold No. 1 football jersey was displayed in a frame at halftime. His mother, Kelly, and 16-year-old brother, Jermain, were at center court during the ceremony. The crowd at Memorial Gym gave family members a standing ovation as they pointed up one finger in honor of Doster.
Hundreds attended a campus memorial service for Doster on Friday, including Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee and football coach Bobby Johnson.
Recurring back spasms cost junior center Adrian Moss another game and may cost him the rest of the season.
Moss did not play Saturday against Vanderbilt and will be re-evaluated Monday by the Florida training staff.
"The disc is bulging, and there is concern now that it may be hitting a nerve," Donovan said. "He's going to have an MRI on Monday. He'll definitely be out for Tennessee game, and if he needs surgery, I would find it hard to think that he would be available to us the rest of the year."
Moss has been limited by back problems all season, averaging 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds. He lost his starting job to freshman Al Horford four weeks ago because the injury was affecting his performance and his ability to sustain full practices.
Junior guard Matt Walsh did not make the trip, staying behind because of an ear infection. Walsh (high ankle sprain) traveled to Auburn earlier this week. . . . Florida has won eight of its past nine against Vanderbilt.
You can reach Kevin Brockway by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 374-5054.
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