Despite being stuck in one of the most top heavy basketball conferences in the nation, Florida has made a name for themselves yet again this year. The Gators will be looking for their third national championship in their twentieth tournament appearance.
Florida has great length which leads to shot blocking and steals. The Gators rank 25th in the country for steals per defensive play and 32nd in block percentage. Florida will be without 6’11” center John Egbunu for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, but the rest of the team is plenty capable. In their win against Kentucky, Florida blocked seven shots, which allowed them to get out into easy transition offense and eventually outscore the Wildcats.
Florida has one of the elite backcourts in the nation lead by senior Kasey Hill and sophomore KeVaughn Allen. The pair average 24 points and almost seven assists and three steals per game. Any Florida tournament wins will likely come off of big performances by at least one of these two young men.
Turnovers have been one of Florida’s struggles this season. The team averages nearly 12 turnovers per game, 74th in the nation. In their loss against Duke, the Gators had 13 turnovers, their loss against South Carolina they had 16, their loss against Vanderbilt they had 12. Florida will have to take care of the ball if they want trophy #3.
At times, the Gators’ half court offense has been stagnant at times this season. Their loss to Vanderbilt was one example of this. Florida has few players that can create shots for themselves on the offensive end (outside of KeVaughn Allen who scored 29 in that game), so any team that can stop them in transition will likely cripple their offense.
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