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Jabar making noise in debate

[AP photo]
Florida's Jabar Gaffney crosses the goal line for a touchdown as LSU's Fred Booker is late on the tackle.

By JOANNE KORTH

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000


GAINESVILLE -- Controversy is brewing in the Gaffney household over who is the better college receiver in the family, father Derrick or son Jabar. Let's listen in.

"We go at it every now and then," Jabar said. "He tells me I can't catch like him, but I go back and tell him that I'm doing better than he did. We go back and forth."

Derrick Gaffney played at Florida from 1975 to 1977. A teammate of All-America receiver Wes Chandler, Derrick caught 30 passes for 598 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators' wishbone offense before playing seven seasons with the New York Jets.

Jabar Gaffney is having a record-breaking freshman season at Florida. His 37 catches broke Jack Jackson's freshman record of 35 in 1992. He is 17 yards shy of Reidel Anthony's freshman record of 615 yards in 1994. And his 10 touchdowns broke the Southeastern Conference record of nine set last season by Auburn's Ronney Daniels.

"I'm not worried about the records," Jabar said. "When the season is over, however many catches I have is fine. My goal is to win the SEC and national championships."

Something his dad never did.

MADNESS REWARD: More than 10,000 people packed the O'Connell Center for Midnight Madness as the men's and women's basketball teams began practice. Guard Justin Hamilton made losing a few hours of sleep worthwhile.

Hamilton won the slam dunk contest with a stunt that sent the crowd into an uproar and his teammates sprawling to the floor: a between-the-legs slam a la Vince Carter. Hamilton had one dunk remaining, but coach Billy Donovan ruled the competition over.

Sophomore forward Matt Bonner was the runner-up, reaching the final with his Incredible Hulk Dunk. Bonner bounced the ball toward the goal, ripped off a white T-shirt and dunked.

WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Coach Mary Wise won her 400th career match with a 15-7, 15-10, 15-12 sweep at Tennessee on Sunday. Wise is 400-97 in her 14th season, reaching the 400 mark in the fewest matches of any female coach. Three men reached 400 in fewer matches: Hawaii's Dave Shoji (477), Penn State's Russ Rose (486) and UCLA's Andy Banachowski (495).

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Forward Abby Wambach was named Southeastern Conference player of the week for scoring four goals in weekend victories at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Wambach had three goals, her fourth career hat trick, and one assist in the 5-0 win at Ole Miss on Saturday. She headed in the first goal of a 5-1 win at Mississippi State on Sunday, scoring the fastest goal in UF history 19 seconds into the match.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: A coach's clinic is scheduled for Saturday at the O'Connell Center. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Cost is $60 for a full day of instruction lasting until 5 p.m. Van Chancellor, coach of the four-time WNBA champion Houston Comets, is the keynote speaker. Chancellor coached UF coach Carol Ross at Ole Miss. Call (800) 982-5795, extension 5511. MEN'S GOLF: The Gators, No. 17 in the MasterCard Rankings, beat Ole Miss by eight strokes with 6-under-par 858 at the Gary Koch/Cleveland Golf Intercollegiate at Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa on Tuesday. Gators senior Nick Gilliam had a final-round 67.

Florida placed three among the top 10: Gilliam tied for second at 4-under 212; freshman Camilo Villegas, who led after 36 holes, tied for fifth at 213 and junior Camilo Benedetti tied for eighth at par 216.

- Contact Gators beat writer Joanne Korth at (800) 333-7505, ext. 7306, or by e-mail at Korth@sptimes.com.

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