Gainesville, FL- In an early season already filled with upsets, it looked like another one may have been looming Saturday night at Michigan State. The number one ranked Spartans took on the unranked Florida Gators, with a winning spread of 9.5 points, a sizable margin for college basketball. The Gators attacked from downtown, but poor shooting limited their effectiveness. By the midway point of the second half, the Gators were somehow beating the best team in the country, despite their shooting woes. Senior small forward Dorian Finney-Smith led the Gators in scoring with 13 points, but point guard Kasey Hill stole the show for the Gators, doing everything they needed. Hill finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals and helped fuel the Gators short stretch of dominance.
This game, while it was a loss, was a relief for Gator fans; after watching a poor effort against the University of Miami the Gators responded by nearly defeating the best team in the entire country. This leads me to believe that the coaches have a good grasp on the team and can make them competitive with the best teams in the nation. It also showed the scrappiness of this Gator team that obviously is lacking in the necessary talent to be a top contender.
I strongly believe that if this team can find a way to get into the tournament, they can give any team major trouble and could easily cause some upsets. The heart is there and the energy is there every night, a improvement in shooting and maybe better player rotations could give the Gators what they need to be successful in the coming months.
University of Florida