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Mississippi State upends frustrating Florida

Jan 29, 2011, 3:25 PM EDT

Is there a more frustrating team to watch than No. 24 Florida?

The Gators have impressive wins at Georgia and Tennessee, both of which came in overtime. They also lost to Jacksonville, Central Florida, and played one of the ugliest games I have ever seen in a 45-40 win at Auburn.

Today, ugly Florida was the team that showed up.

The Gators went into Starkville as the first place team in the SEC East, sitting pretty at 5-1 in league play. They left with a loss, getting a combined 8-28 performance from Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker as Mississippi State rode four players — literally, only Kodi Augustus, Ravern Johnson, Dee Bost, and Renardo Sidney scored — to a 71-64 win.

I wish I had some new insight on what ails the Gators, but I don’t. The Gators don’t play all that much defense, which is a problem since the Gators are so inconsistent offensively. But offensive inconsistency is what you expect from a team that starts two shoot-first “point guards”. Case in point — while Boynton and Walker were shooting 8-28 from the floor, Erik Murphy, Alex Tyus, and Vernon Macklin were shooting 9-14 from the field.

Until Florida learns that their offense needs to utilize the versatility of Chandler Parsons and play from the inside out, this team is going to continue to perplex.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.