Florida center Patric Young grabs a rebound past Northwestern State forward James Hulbin as teammate Erik Murphy looks on during the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday in Austin, Tx. Florida defeated Northwestern State 79-47.
AUSTIN, Texas — Mike McConathy knew about Florida's defense, its ability to shoot the 3-point shot and its will to win.
He knew the Gators were champions of the SEC and that coach Billy Donovan will one day be in the basketball Hall of Fame.
He watched tape of the Gators and saw what sets they like to run and their penchant for ball screens.
But it wasn't until he walked onto the court that he knew he was in trouble.
“We're pretty good length-wise. We walk through the airport and people might think we're a semi-airport (team),” he said. “But their length is imposing to deal with.
“I was concerned, but I had a bigger concern when I walked in. Tape doesn't do them justice of how long they are.”
Florida used its size throughout its 79-47 win Friday over McConathy's Northwestern State team. The Gators went inside constantly but most importantly dominated the boards.
Florida finished the game with a 43-26 rebounding advantage, including 25-14 in the second half.
Patric Young led the way with nine rebounds, while Erik Murphy and Will Yeguete had eight each.
“That's a big thing for us, rebounding,” said Murphy. “We just had the mindset of ending every possession with a rebound.”
Florida's inside game on the offensive end was a plan Donovan stressed, because he didn't want to get into a situation where his team was shooting a lot of 3-point shots and allowing Northwestern State to get its transition game going.
Young and Murphy finished the game with a combined 34 points.
“Even Will got in there deep a few times and probably should have done a better job finishing,” Donovan said.
Florida finished the game with a 44-24 advantage in scoring in the paint.
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