Post-game comments and Gators’ bubble watch

By Adam Silverstein
March 13, 2010

It should be no surprise that members of the Florida Gators basketball team were depressed and dismayed following their 75-69 loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday night in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament. Below are some comments from the players who are concerned about a berth in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, courtesy of the Palm Beach Post and Orlando Sentinel.

» Junior forward Chandler Parsons on the loss: “It’s terrible. It’s awful. My first two years, we had a feeling we weren’t going to make (the NCAA Tournament). I think this year we have a much better chance, but it’s completely out of our hands. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed until then. I’m concerned, real concerned, because it’s not in my hands. I can’t control anything, coach (Billy) Donovan can’t, our school can’t. So I think everyone is just concerned and anxious and just hoping.”

» Parsons continued: “It’s a terrible feeling not knowing because it’s not in our hands at all. All we can do is go back to Gainesville and hope and keep our fingers crossed. I think we feel as a team we deserve to be there. We’ve had some good wins.”

» Freshman guard Kenny Boynton on what went wrong: “They wanted it more tonight, it was obvious. Reality kicked in, we tried to come back, but it was too late.”

» Senior F Dan Werner on falling behind: “You can never get by down by that much and expect to come back on a good team.”

» Werner on his miscue (flubbing pass down four with 1:25 left and a clear lane to the hoop to cut the deficit to two): “I saw that there was no one at the basket so I was going to try to run in and get an easy lay-up. When I started running I guess I kind of misjudged the ball. Stuff like that happens.”

» Head coach Billy Donovan on the team’s chances: “I think we’ve played a very, very competitive schedule. We’ve had some really, really good quality wins. If that’s good enough, then so be it. We’ll wait and see what happens on Sunday.”

Florida’s win Thursday against the Auburn Tigers appeared impressive enough to earn them a berth in March Madness, but the Gators must still keep an eye on their competition also on the bubble. While conference tournaments had been kind to UF up to this point, Friday night saw a number of bubble teams find success against top-ranked competition. Below is OGGOA‘s latest bubble watch update:

» Mississippi State (22-10) defeated Florida 75-69
» Dayton (20-12) lost to Xavier 78-73
» Rhode Island (23-8) defeated Saint Louis 63-47
» Georgia Tech (21-11) defeated No. 19 Maryland 69-64 (considered a lock)
» Illinois (19-13) defeated No. 18 Wisconsin 58-54
» Ole Miss (21-10) lost to No. 13 Tennessee 76-65
» San Diego State (24-8) defeated No. 8 New Mexico 72-69 (considered a lock)
» Minnesota (19-12) defeated No. 11 Michigan State 72-67
» Washington (22-9) defeated Stanford 79-64

Additionally, ESPN bracketology expert Joe Lunardi has kept Florida at No. 1 on his list of the final five at-large teams to qualify for the tournament after their loss Friday. Lunardi projects that it would take additional wins by Minnesota or Mississippi State or unexpected teams winning their conference tournaments to knock any of his final five (Florida, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Washington, Rhode Island) off the bubble.

Selection Sunday will air March 14 beginning at 6 p.m. on CBS. The NCAA Selection Committee will choose five at-large teams to join the 39 locks and 21 automatic qualifiers already in the tournament. OGGOA will provide full coverage of the event.

12 Comments

  1. Brittany says:

    Yeah Dan, stuff like that happens every single time you touch the ball.

    This is a great post, I find the bubble stuff kinda confusing sometimes but this was really easy to follow.

    PS Yeas, I know it’s not all Dan’s fault but he makes it so easy to blame him.

  2. Ed Q. says:

    “stuff like that happens?”. Yes but only to Werner night after night after night after…

  3. Mr2Bits says:

    When was the last time Weiner dunked the ball? I have seen him miss more layups due to inaccuracy or just getting stuffed, yet he never dunks. What gives?

    Do we really want this team in the tourney? I first or at best second round departure is what lies ahead.

  4. Mitch says:

    Enough with Werner already. The only question is what kind of program do we have when we give a scholarship to Werner. This team and coach got what they deserved this season. I guess it would be nice to make the dance, even as a 15 seed. I just dont see excellence in this program. Maybe we never will again.

  5. Bob says:

    Think of how relatively young this team is and ow much heart and effort they’ve shown this year. I think we’re majorly spoiled. They played with 7 guys most of the season and played hard throughout. Yes, the have an annoying habit of falling behind early and ten crawling back in late (too late most times, granted). But the progress Tyus and Parsons made from last year to this year and Macklin’s improving over the course of the year, along with spurts from two really good guards Boynton and Walker, gives me hope. There were/are inconsitencies and they are maddening to be sure. But they are kids and are figuring it out. I had almost given up hope the last 2 years dominated by Calethes who wasn’t quite good enough to carry the team. I agree we should expect to be a tourney team year in and year out, I also believe we’ve earned t this year. And of course we want to make the tournament this year.

    And for crying out loud, Werner made a bad play, but he’s a 22 year old kid playing as hard as he can. Do you think he’s intentionally screwing up? Who would you rather Donovan play? Both Murphy and Macklin have butter fingers and I’m just not sold on Shipman. Werner learned not to shoot over the course of the year but has been a valuable defender & rebounder. Is he worthy of his Mr. Bball status? Probably not, but he’s obviously the best we’ve got.

    This was a fun team to watch this year. I just felt the effort and “want-to” was stronger than it’d been since the two title teams. There was energy, and seemed to be some synergy that was lacking w/ Calathes leading the team. I think the future is bright. Will we ever again win two national titles? I highly doubt it. Will Billy eventually get back to the Final Four? History says he will. But it may be awhile….

    Just my .02. GO GATORS.

  6. Mark01 says:

    Bob, Murphy is much better then Werner.

    I don’t understand how Werner gets so many minutes. Save me the no depth argument. He may “need” to play some, but Murphy could easily play more and Shipman could easily play more. Dan does not “need” to play as much as he does

  7. Mark01 says:

    In no way am I blaming this loss on Dan or this season on Dan. The shooting of our guards have really killed us, but Dan hasn’t helped.

    I just don’t get how Billy contnues to play him as many minutes and in as many key situations as he does. What had he ever done to prove he belongs in those situations?

  8. Wingtee says:

    Billy will look back on this season and think why he played Dan so much , then say I cost this team a ticket to the dance. Billy crammed Dan down our triathlon to try and prove he ws right . Billy you were NIT wrong. Stubborn ass is what Billy is. I guess “stuff happened @

  9. gatorspirit says:

    Walker is the weak link; can’t dribble, drive, pass, shoot, or break traps (ESPECIALLY drive & break traps)!
    What the “&@!!” is he good for?
    Did you notice how he casually (TOO SLOWLY) brought the ball up court with 14 seconds left against Miss. State, almost got trapped (again!), then launched a “brick” from the parking lot! TERRIBLE!! Clearly, not even his Sophomore level experience qualifies him! Isn’t Shipman a guard?
    I can’t wait ’til some new-comer benches Walker! Are you listening (and watching!) Brandon Knight?
    Regarding Dan Werner’s unjustifiable playing time (Donovan attributes it to his “intangibles:” like what, …sure-handedness at crucial moments?!?), perhaps the reasons are sentimental – recall that Werner is the only remaining link to that historic 2007 Championship team!
    If, however, it’s out of a loyalty and respect for seniority, then Billy might want to consider taking a page out of John Calipari’s play book! His players’ game time is commensurate with their talent (and performance results), whether they be young or old.
    This doesn’t mean he disrepects his Senior players. In fact, remember that he started his Seniors instead of his regular Starters on Senior Day? And it was more than just ceremonial; they played several extended minutes before he switched in the Starters – mostly FRESHMEN!
    Yeah, I know they’re the cream of the crop, but is Walker really better than Shipman, and Werner better than Murphy? NO, they are not!
    Billy needs to stop waxing romantic (or reminiscent) – stop looking back, if that is the case – and start looking forward [actually, I trust that he is]; and that future is NOW!

    IGTBAG!
    Ciao
    PS: Billy needs to re-double his efforts at stressing “the extra pass!”

  10. gatorspirit says:

    Wingtee,
    What did you mean by “triathlon” (other than the probable proverbial “thoats”)?
    Also, your comment ended with an “@.” Did that complete your comment, or were you somehow “cut off?”
    In other words, was your comment “inexplicably truncated?” I ask because it has happened to me before and I’m trying to determine if it’s due to a “bug” (or glitch) on this site OR my computer!
    Adam Silverstein, the founder and moderator of this site, and I are trying to determine wherein lies this problem (and if there’s a pattern).

    Thanks,
    Ciao
    PS: BOB – Did I read right? Werner was Mr. Basketball?!? OMG!!! (Of what State?!?).

  11. Wingtee says:

    Triatholon should have been throat and I don’t know how the sentense ended with that, so yes maybe a glitch. Never the less I am really down.the other games fell the wrong way and I mean all of them

  12. gatorspirit says:

    Thanks Wingtee.
    Sorry ’bout your other games, whoever they were.
    I’m shocked The NCAA left out Miss. State with such a strong finish! Unbelievable!
    Peaking right on time. That’s not worth any NCAA love? Starkville must be steaming!
    They missed the Big Dance by less than a 1/2 second! They have my empathy.
    If they were a “mid-major,” I bet they would’ve made it.
    Ridiculous!!

    IGTBAG!
    Ciao

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