Fastbreak: No. 16 Florida rolls Fresno State 66-49

By Mike Brandes – OnlyGators.com Contributor

The No. 16 Florida Gators (9-2) rolled the Fresno State Bulldogs (6-6) on Saturday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL, picking up a 66-49 victory in the second game of the 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

OnlyGators.com breaks down the Gators’ ninth win with The Fastbreak.

It was over when: Florida found its three-point stroke. A trio if triples from sophomore guard Michael Frazier II and point guards senior Scottie Wilbekin and freshman Kasey Hill stretched the Gators lead to as much as 15 early in the second half. Fresno State made small runs, but UF’s lead never shrunk below nine. Wilbekin finished with 11 points, three assists and six rebounds on the afternoon.

Prominent player: Senior forward Casey Prather continued to impress for the Gators, going 7-of-10 for 14 points with six boards. Prather, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, provided much-needed offense for Florida, something the team was without most of the game, especially in the first 20 minutes.

Standout stat: The Gators out-rebounded the Bulldogs 47-24, providing Florida with numerous opportunities for second-chance points. This edge led to the Gators scoring 16 of 23 first-half points inside the paint. UF would score more than half (34) of its total points (66) down low.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 16 Florida rolls Fresno State 66-49

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Gameday: No. 16 Florida Gators vs. Fresno State

Event: 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic
Location: BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL [Capacity: 20,737]
Time: 4:30 p.m. EST

TV: Sun Sports (Rich Waltz, Mark Wise, Allison Williams)
SiriusXM: 119/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: None | Mobile Video: None
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(16) FLORIDA GATORS FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Rodney Terry
Record: 8-2 Record: 6-5
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Mountain West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -17 | O/U [OFF]

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida and Fresno State have never squared off on the hardwood, but UF is 3-0 under Donovan against teams out of the Mountain West.
» The Gators are 12-2 all-time in the OBBC and will be participating in the event for the 13th time in the last 14 years.
» This will be the fourth contest in a six-game span that Florida will be playing away from its home court. UF is 1-2 in those three prior games.
» The Gators are 1-0 in games played at neutral sites this season.
» Florida is 2-0 this season against top 25-ranked opponents with both of its losses coming on the road against teams currently ranked in the top 10 nationally. UF defeated a ranked opponent away from its home court on Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 17, 2011 when it faced Texas A&M in the OBBC.
» The Gators are 61-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponent under 71 points in a game.
» Florida’s defense allowed 75 points to Memphis on Tuesday, the most given up in a regular season game since March 4, 2012.
» The Gators are now 4-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign.
» Florida defeated top-15 teams in consecutive games for the fourth time in program history and first time ever in non-conference regular season play.

Read the rest of the Florida-Fresno State gameday preview…after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 16 Florida Gators vs. Fresno State

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12/19: Donovan demands defense, Young steps up

No. 16 Florida Gators (8-2) head basketball coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Thursday, two days before his team takes on the Fresno State Bulldogs (4-5) at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL as part of the 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

ON THE OFFENSIVE ABOUT DEFENSE

Suffice to say, Donovan is not pleased with Florida’s defense, and it his problems start with the Gators’ inability to effectively defend the three-point line. Through 10 games, UF has allowed 6.1 threes per game with teams shooting 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. In its recent three-game stretch against ranked opponents, Florida allowed teams to shoot 42.3 percent from downtown.

“Right now I think, when you look at us defensively, we’re not where we need to be or want to be. One of our challenges has been the three-point line in terms of the percentage,” he explained. “I don’t think teams here of late have made an enormous amount of three-point shots against us. But when you have teams going 7-for-14, 6-for-11, those things – that’s a problem, percentage-wise. For us, against the highest level of competition we’ve played against here so far, we’re giving up almost 40 percent from the three-point line. The overall stat sheet is a little bit deceiving, but we’ve got to do a better job there. This will be a test for us to get better because they’re going to test us from the three-point line pretty much every possession.”

Donovan was particularly disappointed by the Gators’ overall play against Memphis. UF’s assist-to-turnover ratio was abhorrent at 0.76 due to Florida coughing the ball up 17 times on the evening. The Gators are currently ranked 200th nationally in assists, averaging just 12.6 per contest.

“I didn’t think that we played to the level, to the standard that we want to play in. I’m hopeful that coming out of our game our guys can see… we got to get a lot, lot better,” he said. “I’m measuring that based on where I think we can be. … We played a really, really poor second half against Kansas; we did not pay well. I thought we were sporadic at best in the Memphis game.

“I don’t look at our team right now and sit there and say that we beat two ranked teams that we’re playing very good basketball right now. We’re not playing to the standard or level that I would expect our team to play at right now.”

He added: “There’s things to me that are disappointing because we’re dealing with older guys that know. That, to me, is a very, very fine line. You start to question as a coach, ‘How bad do you want to be great as a team?’ Because if you want to be great as a team, here are the things that need to get corrected.”

Continue Reading » 12/19: Donovan demands defense, Young steps up

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Florida grounds Air Force 78-61 in Sunrise

In front of a crowd filled with orange and blue even though Saturday’s contest was billed as a neutral site game, No. 11/14 Florida Gators basketball (9-2) put together a strong second half to ground the Air Force Falcons (8-3) in the 2012 Orange Bowl Classic at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.

Florida, behind three second-half three-pointers from senior guard Kenny Boynton, outscored Air Force by 15 and hit 70 percent of its shots in the final 20 minutes, pulling away for a 78-61 victory.

Erik Murphy, who was voted the contest’s MVP after registering a game-highs of 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks. He shot 8-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Though the Falcons stuck to what they were good at and succeeded in keeping the game close by going 9-for-20 from three, UF blew it open in the second half with a 36-24 advantage on the boards and an overwhelming 38 points in the paint.

Senior forward Patric Young also scored in double-digits for Florida, posting 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting with four boards and a rejection.

Air Force standout senior G Michael Lyons registered team-highs of 11 points and seven rebounds but went just 3-of-12 from the floor in the game.

The Gators will conclude their non-conference schedule after the New Year by travelling to Yale on Jan. 6 for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off on NBC Sports Network.

Read the Florida-Air Force post-game report…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida grounds Air Force 78-61 in Sunrise

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Gameday: (11) Florida Gators vs. Air Force

Event: 2012 MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic
Location: BB&T Center – Sunrise, FL [Capacity: 20,737]
Time: 4:30 p.m. EST

TV: FSN/FSNHD (Rich Waltz, Mark Wise)
SiriusXM: 94/201 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: None | Mobile Video: None
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

No. 11 FLORIDA GATORS AIR FORCE FALCONS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Dave Pilipovich
Record: 8-2 Record: 8-2
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Mountain West
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -20.5 | O/U 131.5

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 1-0 all-time against Air Force with the lone game played in 1963 as part of the Gator Bowl Tournament. UF took a 74-68 victory in that game and is 3-1 all-time against service academies.
» The Gators are 9-2 all-time in the OBBC and will be participating in the event for the 12th time in the last 13 years.
» Four of UF’s regular starters are averaging double figures.
» Florida has held six of its 10 opponents under 50 points but has given up 61 or more points in three of its last six games (1-2).
» UF is 33-3 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (8-2 in 2012-13).
» The Gators were just 3-5 against top-25 opponents last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams. UF is currently scheduled to take on seven top-25 opponents as part of the 2012-13 campaign and is already 1-1 in such games.
» Florida is third nationally in scoring defense (51.3), eighth in scoring margin (+20.9), 13th in field goal percentage defense (.359) and 20th in rebound margin (+8.7).
» The Gators are ninth nationally in fouling, committing 13.6 per game, and 111th nationally in assists, dishing just 14.0 per game.
» All five Falcons starters are seniors.
» Air Force seventh nationally in three-pointers per game (9.1) and turnover margin (+6.1), 15th nationally in three-point shooting (.492) and 28th in assists (16.5).
» The Falcons are 199th in rebounding margin (-0.1) and 277th in free throw shooting, connecting on just 64.6 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe.
» Air Force has eight players that have attempted 10 or more treys already this season.

Read the rest of the Florida-Air Force preview with much more after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: (11) Florida Gators vs. Air Force

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