Florida Gators Basketball: Defense The Key To Dominant Stretch
The Florida Gators men’s basketball team has been nothing short of dominant in recent games. Improved defense has been the key to success.
The word, “Dominance,” can rarely be used in an accurate manner. Even the most lopsided of blowouts tend to be reasonably close for a healthy chunk of the game before one team pulls away in an insurmountable manner.
In the case of the Florida Gators men’s basketball team, however, dominance is exactly what Mike White’s crew has achieved.
Florida is on a four-game winning streak entering its Feb. 7 road game against the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s defeated the LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners on the road, and the Missouri Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats at home.
Florida’s average margin of victory during those four convincing wins was 32.0 points per game.
Florida began the run with a 106-71 road win over LSU and followed with an 84-52 road victory against Oklahoma. It recorded a third consecutive 30-point win when it defeated Missouri 93-54 at The O’Connell Center.
In what was easily the team’s best performance of the season, it then blew out the No. 8 Wildcats of Kentucky by a score of 88-66.
Florida may not continue to blow teams out, but it’s showing how much potential it has under head coach Mike White. The first three wins were impressive, but it was the 22-point win against Kentucky that sent a statement to the masses.
Not only is Florida beating up on the lesser teams in the power conferences, but it’s capable of manhandling elite teams that take it lightly.
In order for Florida to maintain this dominance and emerge as one of the truly elite teams in the country, it will need to continue to defend at a high level. It’s done so in recent games, but consistency on defense is an issue that every coach encounters.
If Mike White is able to keep his team motivated and active on defense, there’s reason to believe Florida can make a deep run through the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The win over Kentucky should have Florida floating on cloud nine, but it must come down to earth and close the season out in style in order to secure an NCAA Tournament berth.
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