UF MEN'S BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK
Brewer will travel, wants to play vs. USC
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Florida sophomore forward Corey Brewer will travel with the team tonight, but his status remains doubtful for Wednesday's game at South Carolina.
Brewer suffered a lateral right ankle sprain in the first half of Saturday's 80-76 loss at Tennessee. He came back into the game later in the half and played through it, scoring 10 of his team-high 20 points after the injury.
Brewer did not practice Monday and wasn't expected to today.
"I'd say, right now, that he's not going to play," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "I don't know how well his treatment is going to go, and I don't know how well he's going to respond. He's very sore."
A lateral sprain involves ligaments that connect the side of the lower ankle with the side of the foot.
"It's not a high ankle sprain, which is a positive," Donovan said.
Brewer is still on crutches to prevent him from putting weight on the injury. If he can't play Wednesday, Florida could start a smaller lineup with either guards David Huertas or Walter Hodge. Or Florida could go big, with senior center Adrian Moss or junior forward Chris Richard in the starting lineup.
Either way would leave the Florida bench thin, with just three scholarship players.
"No question, we have depth issues with only eight scholarship players," Donovan said.
Florida sophomore center Joakim Noah, who rooms with Brewer and sophomore teammates Al Horford and Taurean Green, said that Brewer wants to play Wednesday.
"Corey means everything to this team, but at the same time, we need him to be 100 percent and if that means sitting out a game, then that's what it takes," Noah said.
The 6-foot-8 Brewer has started every game since his freshman season and ranks second on the team in average scoring (13.6), rebounding (5.7) and assists (4.5).
Florida dropped three spots to No. 5 in the country in the Associated Press college basketball poll and two spots to No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
Connecticut jumped over the Duke for the top spot in the poll, receiving 64 of 71 first-place votes. Duke (No. 2), Memphis (No. 3) and Texas (No. 4) were ranked ahead of the Gators.
Florida had a chance to move up to No. 1 for the third time in school history after Duke lost earlier Saturday afternoon, but its 80-76 loss at Tennessee snapped its school-record 17-game winning streak.
Donovan said he felt like he did not deserve his fourth technical foul of the season in the first half of Saturday's game against Tennessee.
The technical came after Donovan questioned a charge that Tennessee freshman forward Ryan Childress drew from Green. Tennessee guard C.J. Watson sank both free throws, two points that would later prove crucial in the Vols' 80-76 win.
"I will be honest with you, there are some technicals that I've deserved," Donovan said. "That one I did not deserve. I should not have been T'd up. And I'll say that publicly. I think the official knows he should not have teed me up. That was one of those T's that probably shouldn't have happened. The officials didn't tell me that I was right or he was wrong."
Donovan also was upset earlier in the half after a foul initially called on the floor against Chris Lofton was overturned by crew chief Doug Sirmons as a continuation. Lofton made the basket and free throw for a three-point play.
Donovan said he doesn't feel that he's working the officials any harder than he did last season, when he went through the season without a technical being called against him. He said officials are usually pretty good about warning him when he's close to crossing the line.
"They generally come out and say, Billy if you continue on, you're going to get one," Donovan said. "It's very clear where you're at."
There was a theory that Florida junior guard Lee Humphrey was saving up some 3-pointers for his Saturday night return to Tennessee.
But Humphrey, a Maryville, Tenn., native, couldn't regain his uncanny touch from beyond the arc at the arena 20 miles from his hometown. Humphrey went 1-for-4 from 3-point range to drop to 5-for-17 from the distance in his last three games.
Humphrey, who at his peak led the NCAA in 3-point accuracy at 55.9 percent last week, is still leading the Southeastern Conference and is fifth in the NCAA at 50.9 percent for the season.
Humphrey was short on three of his 3-point attempts, which brings up questions of fatigue. He's started all 18 games this season, one more than the combined 17 starts he had in his first two years at Florida.
"I thought the release by one of them there in the second half at the end of the game, his follow through did not look good on it and it came up short," Donovan said. "Lee was in here (Sunday) night getting shots up. I've obviously got to be intelligent here because I've got a player burden in Brewer and we're down to eight scholarship guys. It's not like every day Lee can run and bang and go up and down the floor."
Kevin Brockway can be reached at (352) 374-5054 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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