Final Four: Florida in their own words

By Jerry Palm - March 30, 2007

I decided that instead of sitting through the press conference with Gator players Lee Humphrey and Chris Richard that I would go into the locker room and see what has happening there. It turns out that I was not the only one with that idea. I felt compelled to MOOO! as we were herded in like cattle. Fortunately, they put Al Horford right next to the hallway, which made it even harder for all of us to get in. By the time I got there, the hardest working man in television, CSTV's Brian Curtis, was already wrapping up his interview with Horford.

The player with the biggest horde around him was Joakim Noah, who has the one quality reporters love - an unfiltered mouth. The locker room is a tough place to be only 6'1" and I'm not the shortest guy in there by far. I saw one reporter standing on a chair to try to get a look over the crowd around Noah.

Noah warmed us up with, "At this point, the best team is the one that's focused." He talked about focus a lot. You could say he was focused on it, but I wouldn't.

He also talked about making a return trip to the Final Four. He said, "This is so satisfying. So satisfying. So satisfying. But we're not satisfied." Huh?

Noah on how hard it's been to repeat: "This is so hard because all we do is talk. Talk, talk, talk talk. We just want to play basketball."

We now interrupt this quotefest to report that UCLA asst coach Donny Daniels had sat down next to me to scout the Gators. I asked him what he can get out of scouting something like this and he said, "see how they shoot."

Billy Donovan was up next. He's very, very excited to be here. Billy isn't very excited. He's very, very excited. He says "very, very" so much that you might be inclined to believe that he thinks "very, very" is one word.

UCLA is a "very, very good defensive team" and "very, very physical." His players are "very, very receptive" to his coaching and it's been "very, very difficult" to get back to the Final Four.

And what about the Kentucky job? You don't really think that question didn't get asked, do you? Florida fans will be relieved to know that he's "very, very happy" at Florida. However, he also never said "no." Again.

Coach Daniels ought to be happy. He's seeing a lot of shooting. In fact, he just borrowed my pen to make drawings of some of the stuff their doing.

Meanwhile, we're playing dodgeball here as long rebound after long rebound threatens to knock us out.

More later, if the computer survives.

Posted by Jerry Palm at 03:48 PM on March 30, 2007

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