Notebook: Tyus provides quality minutes
Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 11:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 16, 2008 at 11:46 p.m.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Maybe Florida freshman forward Alex Tyus will think about inviting his family to games more often.
Inspired by the presence of his mom, dad and sister, Tyus put together one of his best all-around games Saturday against Vanderbilt. In 25 minutes off the bench, the 6-foot-8 Tyus finished with seven points, a team-high nine rebounds and a steal during Florida's 61-58 loss.
"I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team, provide a little spark," Tyus said.
Tyus was called upon early and often because Florida starting center Marreese Speights was in and out of foul trouble for most of the game.
"I thought Alex played really, really well for us," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "He gave us a good boost."
Tyus had about eight friends and family members at Saturday's game, including his father Thomas, mother Patricia and sister Raphael. Tyus's family lives in St. Louis, about a four-hour drive from Nashville.
Tyus's family also attended Florida's games at Arkansas and at Ohio State earlier this season.
Donovan said sophomore forward Jonathan Mitchell did not play Saturday because of a coach's decision, and it had nothing to do with an injury or disciplinary situation.
"I just felt like coming in we were going to face a team that put a lot of pressure on us," Donovan said. "I just felt that Dan (Werner) and Chandler (Parsons) at the four spot (power forward) were better equipped to handle that pressure. Jonathan is a great kid who is probably working as hard as anyone on our team."
Better late than never
Former Florida forward Corey Brewer, donned in a bright green sweater, arrived at halftime and watched the second half of Saturday's game.
Brewer, his mother Glenda, and half-brother Jason Rogan sat behind the Florida bench underneath the basket.
Brewer, the seventh overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves, returned to his native Portland, Tenn., for the NBA All-Star break. Portland is about a 30-minute drive north of Nashville.
Asked about the current Florida team, Brewer responded: "They are going to be all right. They just have to learn to play hard, get stops on the defensive end."
In 50 games (23 starts), Brewer is averaging 5.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in his rookie NBA season. The Timberwolves are 10-41 and in rebuilding mode after trading away Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics during the offseason.
"It's been a learning process," Brewer said. "It's been tough losing."
After hounding Matt Walsh and Joakim Noah in previous years, the Vanderbilt student section found a new favorite target in freshman Nick Calathes.
Calathes drew the ire of the crowd during a delay of game warning in the first half and was scorned by Vandy fans for the remainder of the game.
Vanderbilt students also wore black T-shirts with the words "Don't Tase Me Bro" in white across the front, a slogan made infamous by UF student Andrew Meyer.
The clean look
Florida sophomore forward Dan Werner said he decided to shave his head completely at the team hotel in Nashville on Friday night.
"I first used the electric razor but then after I got out of the shower I realized I shaved too short," Werner said. "So I got the straight razor and decided to just do it completely."
Werner said it's the first time he's gone completely bald. Werner said he noticed a few scars on his head.
"There's one on the back of the head I got from a fish hook when I was in third grade," Werner said.
Florida held Vanderbilt without a field goal for the final 7:17 of the game. ... The Gators held Vanderbilt to 37.9 percent shooting from the floor, the lowest field goal percentage they've allowed since holding Florida A&M to 29.0 percent on Dec. 5. ... The Commodoresí fifth straight win moved them into sole possession of third place in the SECís Eastern Division. This win also was the 1,400th in school history against 999 losses.
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