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Tagged: Gator Men's Basketball.
December 12, 2017 at 11:31 pm #27085
A Gator fans’ report card for the Gator Basketball season thus far.
This Gator squad, as a team, has been shooting (from the outside and 3 point line) really well for the most part. This 2017-’18 U.F. Men’s Basketball season has brought us fans some other pleasant surprises, too. Like Jalen Hudson and Egor Koulechov, they’re great additions to this basketball squad and have been shooting lights out recently.
A negative, the Gators have been seriously missing John Egbunu’s presence in the paint. We forget (at least I did) that Egbunu set the U.F. record for the most dunks in a season with 75 last year (and nine of those dunks came against rival Kentucky, chomp-chomp!). To date, it’s been quite apparent this Florida Basketball team really needs their 6′ 11″ 265 lbs center back, and soon! But the reality is John Egbunu’s only projected to return from his ACL surgery in Jan. ’18. Gator fans’ fingers crossed!
Another bright spot is Florida’s point guard, Chris ”Cheese” Chiozza’s having a great season so far. He’s a Florida fan favorite, and I believe he’s one of U.F.’s toughest and most durable point guards ever! He will have to stay healthy, scrappy, and tough when he leads the Gators into the SEC regular season play in January.
Although it was short lived, the Florida Basketball program had a Top 5 ranking after their performance at the PK 80 Tournament. The Gators did beat a scrappy Cincinnati team in New Jersey last Saturday for what I believe was a ”good resume win”. But unfortunately, the Gators fell 17 spots this week in the polls (due to losing 3 straight: Duke, F.S.U. and Loyola). And while the Cinci win was much needed for this team and their ranking in the polls, to me, the polls are the least of U.F.’s worries.
Florida Basketball has to get more offensive production from Kevarrius Hayes and their other bigs inside the paint. Hayes has been a consistent 8 point, 8 rebound kinda’ guy in the past, but his offensive production has recently been lacking. Hayes is not alone though, KeVaughn Allen has also recently struggled on the offensive side of the court. It appears (from a fan’s perspective) that KeVaughn Allen isn’t quite certain of his new role with this 2017-’18 Florida Gator squad. The addition of Hudson and Koulechov, with their sharp shooting skills, has Allen in an uncertainity and timidity that he hasn’t shown in his Gator career. Coach White and his staff need to get Allen’s role figured out, and soon! The SEC season is only weeks away, and Allen needs to contribute more offensivley. In his career thus far, Allen has been one of U.F.’s most realiable offensive and defensive players. And Coach White and his staff have to figure out the puzzle of Allen, Hudson, and Koulechov on the court at the same time. But it’s a good problem to have for Coach White. And with John Egbunu hopefully back soon, this team could make quite a splash in the SEC this season. The 22nd ranked Florida Gators are 6-3 heading into their game against the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday (Dec. 16th). Go Gators!
December 13, 2017 at 12:37 am #27087
Nice job summing up our season to date. Nothing really matters until conference play begins.
I’m very impressed with this team and believe they will be a Final Four team by season’s end. The fact that we’ve played so well without Egbunu says a lot. That’s going to make it much easier for Egbunu to return and contribute.
I’m also pleased that we’ve done so well on 6 of 8 cylinders of the Gator’s offensive engine. Allen is the other missing cylinder. He’s just too experienced and skilled a basketball player to not make a significant contribution to this team. I see him using his dribble more to draw fouls inside to neutralize post players.
December 13, 2017 at 7:02 am #27088
December 13, 2017 at 7:11 am #27089
December 13, 2017 at 11:22 am #27094
December 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm #27096
This is a good assessment. This team can score with the best of them when their jump shots are falling, but they look pretty average when they are cold from the outside. They need to develop more of an inside game if they want to advance far in the tournament. The return of Egbunu could be the key, though I doubt that he can do it on his own. They have the potential to do better than last year’s team, but they need to be tougher, get their bigs going, and get a few breaks along the way.
December 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm #27103
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