Gators holding own against top tier teams

Published Nov. 28, 2010 11:44 p.m. ET

Florida Gators Basketball Color Analyst

Florida has now played two teams in FSU and Ohio State that will compete for major conference championships in their respective leagues, and it is not even December. After playing five games in 15 days, the Gators had a five-day break before facing Florida State Sunday night.

The progress was immediately visible as Florida competed on both ends of the court in a more organized fashion. They mixed up their defensive looks, but, most of all, covered the ball and gave great help.

For the majority of the first half, Florida State seldom established any offensive rhythm, and Florida refused to give up second shots to a much longer group of Seminoles. Even though FSU had five more shot attempts, the Gators held the Seminoles to just 28 percent shooting in the first half.

These Gators sent a message early that they came to play by attacking off the dribble and finding teammates on the perimeter with open looks. At the same time, Billy Donovan got outstanding play from his bench, which played error free and with purpose. The four freshmen Will Yeguete, Casey Prather, Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin all made positive contributions, but the late first half daggers by Erik Murphy sealed Florida