Gator Hoops: The Week Ahead (Jan 27th)

Florida did not exactly get it done in its last two games, sinking back below the Don DeVoe line to an under .500 record in league play.

The two losses at Ole Miss and Tennessee came in different ways. For example, against Ole Miss the Gators couldn’t shoot at all. Against Tennessee, they just couldn’t shoot in the second half.

Florida will play its third game in six days this weekend, which is not good for a team that has suffered personnel losses the way these Gators have. No excuses, just reality.

But remember when you were 18-years old and you played until the lights went dark every day? Of course, a lot of us played no defense.

But I digress. Fatigue could be a factor in the next two games. We will have to wait to see the status of the players who have been out, but this team is only as good as two things – 3-point shooting and defense.

And you just never know which one is going to show up or take a siesta.

 

NET REPORT: It’s not a good two-game stretch for advancing, but the key is to win games and the NET Rankings will go up. Florida is No. 45 in the NET right now after getting as high as 34th before the two straight losses.

Oklahoma State is at No. 55 and since it is in Gainesville it can’t count as a Quad 1 win.

Missouri is 156th in NET Rankings, but since the Gators have only one true road victory, any win away from home would help.

 

UP NEXT, OKLAHOMA STATE: This is part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge which the SEC won a year ago 5-4. In that respect, thus is a coin flip game that the SEC would love to win.

But that is the least of Mike White’s concerns.

His problems involve getting his team to take care of the ball and play defense. Oklahoma State is a team that will try to muck up the game because the Cowboys (10-9 this year) are challenged offensively.

They are 246th in the country in field goal shooting and 208th in points scored. Only two players – led by Avery Anderson at 11.3 – average in double figures. Okie State has 11 players averaging 10 minutes a game.

OSU lost 84-81 in overtime Wednesday night to No. 23 Iowa State.

.

THEN, IT’S MISSOURI.:  Which is struggling to win games under Cuonzo Martin. This is a team that lost by 44 to Arkansas, but took Auburn to the wire the day after the Tigers were named No. 1 for the first time, losing 55-54.

At 8-11 and 2-5 in the league, Missouri does have a stud in forward Kobe Brown, who isn’t afraid to shoot any shot whether it’s a wild three or a post-up. He averages 13.5 points and 8.7 rebounds a game.

Missouri struggles with the three and is 352nd in the country in 3-point percentage.

 

LAST YEAR: Florida did not play Oklahoma State but is 3-0 all-time against the Cowboys including a 2000 win in the NCAA Tournament that sent Florida to the Final Four.

Missouri beat Florida in Gainesville 72-70 on Dru Smith’s reverse lay-in with 0.7 seconds on the clock after the Gators had rallied from 17 down to tie it.

 

BOTTOM LINE: With what Florida is dealing with personnel wise, these are certainly games the Gators could lose. But there are no excuses for White’s team. The back end of the schedule isn’t going to matter if you can’t lose these games.

 

About Pat Dooley

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