Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gator Basketball Update - Wk of Nov. 26th

By JC De La Torre

Until the football season comes to an end, the Florida Gators basketball team is typically on the backburner in the minds of Gator fans and this blogger. That will change in January-March, when Florida basketball gets into their SEC schedule and really start to get going.

In the meantime, I'll give you these quick hit Gator Basketball updates every week to let you know how they're doing. I'll of course focus on some of the bigger matchups like the Florida State game on December 7th (I'm a little disappointed its not this weekend, I had begun to enjoy the basketball-football doubleheaders) but for now, let's just get caught up to where we are.

Florida has already played 5 games this season, mostly against Wimama Tech type teams -

Florida 80, Toledo 58
The Gators beat up on the overmatched Rockets getting 19 pts from Dan Werner and shooting 52% from the floor. Nick Calathes led with 7 assists and 3 steals. Florida won their season opener for the 18th consecutive season.

Florida 81, Bradley 58

Walter Hodge scored 17 points and the Gators actually shot better from the 3pt line (43%) than from the field overall (41%) as they pounded Bradley. Chandler Parsons led with 10 rebounds while Nick Calathes led in assists (6) and steals (4). Bradley snapped a seven-game win streak vs. teams from the state of Florida.

Florida 64, Southern Utah 50

The Gators essentially sleptwalked through this one. The Gators struggled to find the bottom of the net, going 1-for-16 from three point land, missing ten free throws and shooting only 46% overall. Southern Utah's Davis Baker led all scorers with 23 points, while the Gators Nick Calathes led the way for Florida in points (18), rebounds (7), and assists (4).

CBE Classic Semi-Finals: Syracuse 89, Florida 83
In the Gators first major test of the season, they failed as the fell in the CBE Classic to the Syracuse Orange of the Big East, 89-83. Paul Harris had 18 pts and 11 rebounds, while Johnny Flynn tossed another 18 in for the Orange. Syracuse pretty much led throughout, get ahead by as much as 12 points at one point. The Gators stayed within 6 the majority of the way but never seemed to be able to get that big stop on defense or key field goal to bridge the divide. Florida was outrebounded 53-42. Florida's young sophomore Alex Tyus scored 24 points in a losing effort.

"We scored 64 points against Southern Utah, but we held them to 50," Florida coach Billy Donovan told the Associated Press, "I know Southern Utah talent level isn't at where Syracuse is, but I think when you start to start playing the type of teams like Syracuse, it's very difficult to expect to try to win giving up 89 points."

CBE Consolation Game: Florida 86, Washington 84
The Gators withstood a furious Huskie rally in the final five minutes to hold on and beat Washington by 2. Florida led by 10 points with less than 5 minutes left in the game, but held on as Washington's Jon Brockman's rebound tip clanked off the rim as time expired. The Gators played a pretty good ball game, shooting 52% from the floor and hitting 11-of-22 from the three point line. Nick Calathes led the way for Florida with 21 points and 8 assists, while Brockman scored 22 and had 11 rebounds for the Huskies.

Up Next Week -
Florida returns to the creampuff circuit facing UMCK (University of Missouri-Kansas City) Roos on November 30th.

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