MONDAY SEC NOTEBOOK: Muschamp Adds Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach to Staff

By MIKE BONTS
Kurt Roper

Jacksonville SportsDay

South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp has announced the hiring of Kurt Roper as the Gamecocks’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. 

Roper comes to Carolina after spending the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns as senior offensive assistant coach. He joined the Browns after spending 2014 as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the Florida under Muschamp. Roper brings 19 years of experience on the collegiate level, including 13 in the Southeastern Conference, and helped his teams appear in 11 bowl games. 

“I’m excited to have Coach Roper joining the staff,” said Coach Muschamp. “He’s been a play-caller in the SEC, has experience in working with and developing quarterbacks like Eli Manning and former Gamecock Connor Shaw, has an NFL background, and did a great job at Duke under David Cutcliffe. We are excited for what he offers.”

Prior to his year-long stint in Gainesville, Roper spent six years coaching at Duke, first as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2008-13, before spending his final season as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

SEC Player of the Week – Texas A&M’s Jalen Jones, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior forward from Dallas, Texas, averaged 19.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in wins over Cal Poly and Arkansas. Jones exploded for a career-high 28 points during Saturday’s SEC-opening victory over Arkansas at Reed Arena. The Dallas native converted 9-of-13 shots from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while grabbing seven rebounds and notching two steals. Earlier in the week, Jones scored 11 points with six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal against Cal Poly.

SEC Freshman of the Week – LSU’s Ben Simmons, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward from Melbourne, Australia, averaged 28.5 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and 1.5 blocks in games against Wake Forest and Vanderbilt. Simmons had 21 points, 12 rebounds in LSU’s game against Wake Forest. In the conference opener at Vanderbilt he registered the second-highest scoring game of his career with 36 points to go with 14 rebounds and four assists. He made 10-of-15 field goals and 16-of-19 free throws against the Commodores. Simmons drew 25 fouls in the two games and recorded his SEC-best ninth and 10th double-doubles on the season.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Early shooting woes and turnover issues were too much for the University of Florida women's basketball team to overcome on Sunday afternoon, as it dropped a 76-70 decision to No. 8 Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference opener for both squads played at the O'Connell Center.

The loss snapped the Gator's 12-game winning streak which was the second-longest run in program history.

Despite making seven of its 16 shots during a furious rally in the fourth quarter when UF outscored MSU 25-16, the Gators went just 22 of 68 (32.4 percent) from the field. They also committed a season-high 32 turnovers, making it even more difficult to chip away at Mississippi State's lead, which swelled to 19 points early in the third quarter.

Redshirt senior guard Carlie Needles, who appeared off the bench for the first time all season, scored a season-high 17 points. Junior forward Ronni Williams recorded her fifth double-double of the year, finishing with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Sophomore forward Haley Lorenzen and junior center Tyshara Fleming snagged seven rebounds apiece for the Gators. All seven of Lorenzen's boards came at the offensive end of the floor.

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