By Malik Grady – OGGOA Columnist
Comparing the 2010-11 version of Florida Gators basketball with the team as it was constituted in 2009-10, it is quite obvious the group as a whole is drastically improved. In addition to playing better defense, something Adam previously touched on, Florida is shooting better and turning the ball over less.
Up 1.6 percent from the field (46-44.4 percent) and 3.3 percent from downtown (34.6-31.3 percent), the Gators are more efficient than they were last year, making approximately the same number of baskets per game in fewer attempts.
Where and why has this slight but integral positive change come from? For one, the returning players are showing a newfound cohesiveness. Then there is the departure of guard Ray Shipman (transferred to Central Florida) and forward Dan Werner (graduated). Sophomore F Erik Murphy and some of the other young reserves have stepped up to replace the minutes previously occupied by Shipman.
Statistics show that the greatest difference is the combination of losing nearly 30 minutes per game from Werner and adding the 35 combined minutes that emerging freshmen Patric Young and point guard Scottie Wilbekin have contributed.
Neither Werner last season nor Young and Wilbekin this year shoot the ball often, but the duo’s shot selection and efficiency have made their production markedly different.
|3PT||19/73 (26%)||N/A||11/37 (30%)||11/37 (30%)|
|2PT||34/87 (39%)||40/69 (58%)||16/36 (44%)||56/105 (53%)|
|FG||53/160 (33%)||40/69 (58%)||27/73 (37%)||67/142 (47%)|
In 30 games, Young and Wilbekin combined for 64.7 percent more two-point baskets (56) than Werner did (34) in 34 games; the duo has also hit 26.4 percent more overall field goals (67-53). From three-point range, though Werner made eight more than Wilbekin has so far, it took him 36 additional attempts to do so.
In the other aspects of their games, the Young-Wilbekin combo has eerily similar production to Werner’s last year:
Standing out the most is Young’s penchant for blocking shots. He has 26 rejections in 30 games, which easily dwarf’s Werner’s five in 34 contests.
Photo Credit: Associated Press