Written by Jeremy Brown, Writer for Gatorsfirst.com
Beating a team handily feels good…really good. The worst thing that happened this game was when I forgot to wear my “dawgs lick balls” t-shirt (and meeting an annoying Syracuse fan before the game). After watching Georgia beat Tennessee, the Gator nation had to think twice about Georgia, who is probably better than their record shows (worst conference loss before us was 8 points to Kentucky, at Kentucky). It was good to have a night off of buzzer beaters or waiting to see who can hit the most free-throws at the end of the game.
I’ll spare you from running down the box score that can be seen at gatorzone.com and focus on what I took from this game.
The GoodWe played well, especially when it was getting close. It seemed that every time Georgia got within 10 we stepped up and separated.
Tyus has been ridiculous in recent play. His jumper just inside the arc is automatic, and has to suck to try and defend.
Werner played some solid defensive minutes and led the team in rebounds. I think he has played out of position long enough to where he is matching up with big men well.
Walker played like Walker has been playing – awesome – and recorded his first double double (21 pts, 10 assists).
We killed them on the boards, this was not as apparent because we only won 27-23 but on the offensive glass we won the contest 13-7. The reason the rebounding stats were close was probably because of the amount of turnovers Georgia had (19), which is positive as well.
We won Bloomin Onions! This happens whenever the gators score 80 points or more and win (87-71)
Potential Cause For Concern
Dan Werner’s lack of confidence - Any time you have a player on offense that is afraid to take a shot; it significantly hinders the whole offense. A guy behind me in the middle of the game made the comment “if Dan is going to get out of this, it needs to be on the road”. This might not be far from the truth. Every time he squares us there is a general gasp in the crowd at home. I hope he can find his shot, because we will get a lot better if we add another threat to our offense.
Ray Shipman needs to produce in conference games - Walker and Boynton are going to have off nights. Chandler is going to get around 10, which is what we want and expect out of him, but Shipman needs to find a way to get into the offense.
Boynton and Walker played 35 and 36 minutes respectively. The fact that they played this much in a game that we had control of the whole time is not a good sign. You could see the change in the team when Walker was on the bench. We can’t keep leaning on our top guards like this, especially come tournament time. Walker is going to need a rest eventually. We need to get some production out of other guards, especially in the half court offense.
Overall this was a great win for Gator Basketball. The SEC is having a strong year, and I believe we have a great shot at making the tournament. I said before last game if we won half of our games from then on out I would be surprised if we didn’t make it. If I was right, we have 5 games left to win.
Tennessee should be a real test this Sunday, as they are coming off 2 loses and are hungry for a win. If we play like we did last night, we have a good chance at pulling this one out.
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