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Florida blows out Florida State, enters nation’s elite?

Dec 5, 2012, 11:37 PM EDT

Patric Young, Casey Prather, Kenny Boynton

In today’s Power Rankings, Luke Winn discussed Florida defensively. Heading into their showdown with Florida State in Tallahassee on Wednesday night, the Gators were a top three in defensive efficiency, and, as Winn dug up, doing it while playing twice as much zone as they did last year.

It didn’t take ten minutes of game-time to figure out that those numbers probably weren’t a fluke.

The Gators absolutely embarrassed the Seminoles on Wednesday. Florida took a 35-15 halftime lead and pushed it to 50-19 early on in the second half. The Seminoles are in the midst of a down-year, but that doesn’t justify how badly they got humiliated at home by an in-state rival. The final, 72-47, barely does the beatdown justice.

This isn’t the first time that Florida has put together a performance like this. They beat Wisconsin and Marquette, in Gainesville, by a combined 55 points.

So I ask you: just how good at the No. 6 ranked Gators?

Because, the way it looks to me, is that the Gators are right there with Michigan, Syracuse and Louisville, pushing Duke and Indiana for those top two spots in the rankings.

It’s more than just the wins they’ve had; Florida looks like the real thing, and the biggest reason is their versatility on both ends of the floor. As mentioned earlier, Florida can play man, zone and press defensively equally well, which makes them a really tough team to prepare for. On the offensive end, they have a multitude of weapons. If it’s not Kenny Boynton or Patric Young beating you, there’s Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario and Michael Frazier. Scottie Wilbekin doesn’t turn the ball over at the point. Prather and Yeguete embrace their roles as the energizing athletes.

These are veterans that understand and embrace their role on this team. They defend, they have size, they have shooters, and they can either go really big or really small.

There isn’t a lottery pick on this Florida team — and there may not even be a first rounder — but what’s clear right now is that this is by far the best team in the SEC, and a group that needs to be taken quite seriously as a Final Four contender.

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

  1. californiarestinpeace - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Billy D lookin at # 3 Baybey!

  2. bcgator02 - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Everyone needs to start respecting Billy D as one of the best, if not THE best coach, in NCAA ball. UF may be a football school, but Billy D is the Greatest Gator Coach of all time! Go Gators!

  3. beelza - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:08 AM


    Couldn’t care less about 4-25, or in Michigan State’s case 30.

  4. jagsfan11 - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:41 AM


  5. florida727 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    The Gators, assuming they stay healthy which is obviously a concern for any team, will be a contender all season both in the SEC and nationally for several reasons, most primary of which is they go 8 deep and they play defense.

    Keep in mind, FSU is a ‘down’ team, so don’t gauge Florida on this game. The wins over Wisconsin and Marquette are much more meaningful. That said, a couple of things to take away from this game:

    – FSU’s best player, Michael Snaer, didn’t score until 8-and-a-half minutes… into the SECOND HALF
    – FSU scored 16 field goals for the entire game… they had 22 turnovers
    – FSU shot only 35% for the game, 32% from 3-point range (UF shot 49% and 30%)
    – Although Boynton led the team in scoring again with 14, at halftime he had just 5 FTs, yet they led by 20
    – Points in the paint: Florida 34, FSU 14
    – Points off turnovers: Florida 32, FSU 8
    – Fast-break points: Florida 12, FSU 0
    – FSU got more points off their bench (25) than they did from their starters (22)

    Again, it’ll be a long year for FSU because they lost so much talent after last year, but Florida should be in the conversation for Final Four participation all year long. For Gator fans, enjoy it. If you’re a hater, that’s okay, you’re entitled to be, but you’ll have to tolerate it, because barring injuries, UF will be around all season long.

  6. gatordontplay - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    I’ve been on this website for the last 5 months preaching that billy D is the best coach in the SEC and potentially college basketball.. This game was a combination of how good UF is and how bad FSU is..

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