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November 30, 2012
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators freshman guard Michael Frazier II may not have shot the lights out through the first five games of the season, but he certainly came on in a big way on Thursday evening against Marquette. Frazier finished with a team- and career-high 17 points while raining in buckets from downtown and proving that head coach Billy Donovan was right in deciding that he can be a reliable contributor off the bench. Donovan said after the game that Frazier has been putting in extra time after practice and has begun transforming himself into an all-around player. One of the reasons he sees so much court time is that he has proven to be a contributor rebounding from the small forward position. This allows him to stay on for extended minutes as Donovan can trust him on the glass and on the defensive end of the court. "[Frazier is] one of those guys that I really enjoy being around because he's passionate about the game, passionate about getting better. He puts the time in and puts forth a great effort," Donovan said.
Although he has gotten off to an incredibly hot start in his sophomore NBA season, Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons was forced to miss his team's game on Wednesday as he underwent an MRI on his right shoulder. That MRI revealed a shoulder strain, which makes Parsons questionable for his team's game over the weekend. He is currently averaging 15.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and has emerged as a top option on the team behind newly-acquired star James Harden.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have really been bitten by the injury bug this season. In fact, two of the three Gators starting on the offensive line - center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert - went down with ankle injuries. Though Pouncey has returned, Gilbert was put on injured reserve this week, effectively ending his season. Currently No. 1 in Pro Bowl voting at his position, Pouncey may be asked to move to left guard for a few games as Willie Colon (knee) is still limited by injury. It would be his first time starting at a position other than center since he entered the league three years ago.
One other recruit may join Marcell Harris in committing to Florida as The Times-Picayune out of Louisiana reports that three-star fullback Kennard Swanson (Lakeland, FL) has decommitted from LSU. According to the paper, Swanson has been turned by a recent offer from the Gators and may join the group of commitments sooner than later. Rivals has Swanson rated as the No. 1 fullback in the nation. He would be the heir apparent to and a reserve behind current starter sophomore Hunter Joyer.
Relatively minor in nature was the citation given to freshman guard Jessamen Dunker, who was stopped by police for not wearing a seatbelt and was ticketed not only for that offense but also for curing multiple times at an officer of the law. The story around Dunker's case actually surrounded Lt. William Gainey, who according to The Gainesville Sun was placed on administrative leave because his subordinate's report on Dunker was not filed immediately. The Sun reported Wednesday that Gainey was exonerated following an investigation, which looked into whether or not he had given or the University Athletic Association had asked for special treatment from an officer who coordinates security at many Florida sporting events.
Suspended for two games by the NFL just one day after being cut by the Miami Dolphins, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney may very well be on his way out of the league for good just one year after posting a career season. Gaffney was cut by the Dolphins likely because it was obvious the league was going to be suspended him. The NFL's decision arose after it found out that Gaffney had been arrested two years earlier for an incident in Miami that he failed to report to the league as is policy. According to Pro Football Talk, Gaffney had originally appealed the suspension but withdrew his request after being cut by the Dolphins and no longer having a team to play for. He registered career-highs in receptions (115), yards (947) and touchdowns (5) last year for Washington.