Fastbreak: Florida Gators basketball fights hard but falls to No. 1 Michigan State 58-52

Florida Gators basketball (6-3) lost its second straight contest – both to ranked opponents – after being taken down 56-52 Saturday night by the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans (12-0) at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.

The Gators have now fallen to the three best teams they’ve faced this season, thought Florida has continuously flashed and shown signs of improvement through the first five weeks of the campaign.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s loss with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when: The Gators unraveled – just a bit – late in the contest. Taking a six-point lead with 91 seconds to play, the Spartans did so by forcing two turnovers and seeing Florida commit an unforced error by batting a defensive rebound out of bounds. Michigan State hung tough from there as the visitors continued missing shots and simply did not make a dent in MSU’s advantage.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Florida Gators basketball fights hard but falls to No. 1 Michigan State 58-52

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Gameday – Florida Gators vs. No. 1 Michigan State: What to know, how to watch live, picks

Florida Gators basketball has struggled against the two ranked teams it faced this season and will be up against great odds Saturday when it takes on the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans on the road at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan.

Here’s a look ahead at the game: what to know and how to watch Florida-Michigan State.

Viewing information

Location: Breslin Center – East Lansing, Michigan [Capacity: 14,759]
Time: 6:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2 (Jason Benetti, Jim Calhoun)
Streaming Video: Watch ESPN
Mobile Video: Watch ESPN app (iPhone) / (Android)
SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Continue Reading » Gameday – Florida Gators vs. No. 1 Michigan State: What to know, how to watch live, picks

Tags: , , , ,

Gameday – Florida Gators vs. No. 21 Purdue: What to know, how to watch on TV, live stream

Florida Gators basketball hopes to continue its solid start to the 2015-16 campaign Sunday evening when it takes on the No. 21 Purdue Boilermakers at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Ucasville, Connecticut.

Here’s a look ahead at Sunday’s game, which also serves as the finals of the 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic: what to know and how to watch Florida-Purdue.

Viewing information

Event: Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena – Ucasville, Connecticut [Capacity: 10,000]
Time: 5:30 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2
Streaming Video: Watch ESPN
Mobile Video: Watch ESPN app (iPhone) / (Android)
SiriusXM: None | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Continue Reading » Gameday – Florida Gators vs. No. 21 Purdue: What to know, how to watch on TV, live stream

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

11/12: Florida at Wisconsin post-game report

No. 10/11 Florida Gators basketball (1-1), still short-handed due to suspensions, fell Tuesday night on the road with the No. 19/20 Wisconsin Badgers (2-0) picking up a 59-53 victory at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. After the loss, Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media to provide some of his thoughts on the defeat.

HIGHLIGHTS

OPENING STATEMENT

“I think this environment really helped our team. … It was a great, great environment. I thought it was a tremendous experience for our basketball team being the second game of the year playing against an opponent like this. I thought we really made some strides from our last game to this game. We’ve gotten better.

“I thought we had a really, really hard time finishing some plays in particular around the basket. We missed a lot of layups and finishes at the rim that I think hurt us. We really did not take an enormous amount of three-point shots in the game, but the plays that we had around the basket, we probably didn’t make enough plays offensively. … We dug ourselves a hole. We battled, fought back. I thought overall for us there’s a lot we can take from this.”

MIXED PERFORMANCE FROM STANDOUTS

No single Florida player had an all-around great game, according to Donovan. Even sophomore guard Michael Frazier II, who scored a career-high 20 points off the bench via an impressive shooting performance (7-for-11 from the field, 5-for-7 from three), deserved his fair share of criticism.

“He shot the ball well again. He’s really a great shooter. He’s one of the best shooters I’ve coached,” Donovan said. “But he has got a long way to go defensively. I think he had 20 tonight. I’ll have to go back and see how many he gave up.”

Freshman point guard Kasey Hill looked to be in a great mindset early in the contest but seemed to deteriorate as the game went on. Hill fouled out of the game with 3:25 left and only made 2-of-11 shot attempts on the evening. Wisconsin made a concerted effort to take the ball out of others’ hands and give Hill room to shoot, especially from long range.

“For Kasey, the one thing I felt in the game was he really struggled shooting the basketball. And he took 11 shots; he probably could have taken 21 shots with the way they were playing him. I give him credit for his patience offensively. But I thought his lack of putting the ball in the basket really, really impacted him on the defensive end of the floor being a young guy,” Donovan explained. “He was visibly, to me, [looked] disappointed, upset, bothered, and I think that led to some of his foul trouble. He’s got to be able to move to the next play as a young kid.

“Obviously I’ve put him in a very difficult situation. The fact that he’s a freshman and we don’t have another point guard right now on our team and he’s got to absorb a lot of minutes. He’s kind of having to learn on the job, and I’m not so sure that’s the fairest thing to him. So there’s going to be some growing pains and some bumps and bruises on the way.”

Continue Reading » 11/12: Florida at Wisconsin post-game report

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Gameday: No. 11 Florida vs. No. 20 Wisconsin

Location: Kohl Center – Madison, WI [Capacity: 17,230]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen, Dan Dakich)
SiriusXM: 85 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(10/11) FLORIDA GATORS (19/20) WISCONSIN BADGERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Bo Ryan
Record: 1-0 Record: 1-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big Ten
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +6 | O/U 137

PRE-GAME READING MATERIAL

» Story: Casey Prather primed to emerge in senior season
» Notebook: Updates on Florida’s injuries and suspensions

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida leads Wisconsin 2-1 in the all-time series between the two programs.
» The Gators are replacing their three leading scorers from 2012-13.
» UF is looking to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2006-07 after having its season end in the Elite Eight in each of the last three years.
» Florida was 4-2 against top 25-ranked opponents last season with both losses coming away from its home court.
» The Gators are 55-7 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponent under 71 points in a game.
» Florida was 0-6 last season in single-digit decisions.
» Donovan is looking for his 16th consecutive 20-win season. The Gators have him ranked sixth all-time in that category behind only Dean Smith, Lute Olson, Mike Krzyzewski, Tubby Smith and Jim Boeheim.
» Donovan is currently the longest-tenured head basketball coach in the SEC.
» Ryan’s Badgers team is 181-18 at home over the last 12 seasons, boasting a 90-7 record against non-conference opponents to boot.

Read the rest of the Florida-Wisconsin gameday preview…after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 11 Florida vs. No. 20 Wisconsin

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3/31: Florida vs. Michigan post-game report

The three-seed Florida Gators (29-8) collapsed in their most important game of the season on Sunday as they got routed 79-59 by the four-seed Michigan Wolverines (30-7) in the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA Tournament at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. After the game, head coach Billy Donovan and a number of his players met with the media to discuss what transpired in their failed Final Four bid.

OPENING STATEMENT

“They capitalized on our turnovers. I thought we dug ourselves a hole very early in the game. … I think in the first half we missed 11 shots within three feet of the basket. They got off to a hot start and us not being able to manufacture enough points I thought really, really dug us a hole. I thought we got the ball where we wanted to go. … But I thought our guys – to start the second half came out – we battled, we fought, but we hurt ourselves with the way we played. … I just didn’t think that we did enough things there on both ends of the floor. I thought our defense in the second half was a little bit more characteristic of the way we’ve played this year. I thought our offense in a lot of ways, because we had some very, very, I thought, good quality looks deflated us around the basket. Especially against a team that’s not a great shot blocking team.”

THIRD TIME IS NOT A CHARM

Florida became the first team in NCAA Tournament history (since the field expanded to 64 teams) to lose three-straight times in the Elite Eight. Yet while the Gators did drop the game, they did not even have the opportunity to choke it away like the previous two years because UF never led at any point in the game. In fact, once Michigan opened the contest on a 13-0 run, Florida never trailed by fewer than 11 points over the duration of the contest. It is for that reason why Donovan was not emotional after the game.

“This is a totally different feel than the last two. The last two to me we gave ourselves every opportunity to win,” he explained.

“The Butler game was an overtime game, the Louisville game was a two point game. This one we didn’t play well enough or deserve to win the game. Michigan deserved this game. They played better than us. They performed better. They did things that were necessary to beat us. The other two games I was heartbroken for our team because we were really, really close. We weren’t that close here [Sunday].”

Asked how, as a coach, it felt to lose in three-straight Elite Eights and not advance to the Final Four, Donovan brushed off those concerns. “Well, it’s not really about me. I’ve been fortunate enough to be there as a player and several times as a coach,” he said. “I feel more upset for [Kenny] Boynton, [Mike] Rosario and [Erik] Murphy, [guys] who don’t get a chance and have come so close. I’ve experienced the Final Four enough. I want our program to continue to experience it and our players.”

To their credit, the players also took the loss relatively well all things considering. Boynton kept his chin up about the situation, expressing his regrets but also his appreciation for what his teammates and coach have done for him.

Continue Reading » 3/31: Florida vs. Michigan post-game report

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(4) Wolverines overwhelm (3) Gators 79-59 as Florida drops third-straight Elite Eight

The third time was certainly not a charm for the three-seed Florida Gators, which trailed from wire-to-wire and watched the more athletic and determined four-seed Michigan Wolverines dominate their Elite Eight showdown on Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Florida (29-8), which became the first team in NCAA Tournament history to lose in the Elite Eight in three-straight seasons since the field expanded to 64 teams, was taken down 79-59 by Michigan (30-7), which moved on to its first Final Four since 1994.

The Gators put together one of their worst offensive performances of the season, entering Sunday’s game with a game plan that simply did not work against a longer and stronger Wolverines team. UF also played lackluster defense most of the contest, allowing its opponent to do basically whatever it wanted in both halves.

In fact, two of Florida’s starters – senior forward Erik Murphy and junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin – combined to go 1-for-17 from the field and 0-for-2 from downtown with seven combined turnovers. The Gators simply never had a chance to blow its third-straight second-half lead in the round because they never had a lead to begin with.

Continue Reading » (4) Wolverines overwhelm (3) Gators 79-59 as Florida drops third-straight Elite Eight

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NCAA Tournament Gameday: (3) Florida Gators vs. (4) Michigan Wolverines

Location: Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, TX [Capacity: 42,614]
Time: 2:20 p.m. EDT

TV: CBS (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: NCAA.com | Mobile Video: NCAA March Madness Live
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

(3) FLORIDA GATORS (4) MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Beilein
Record: 29-7 Record: 29-7
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big Ten
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -3 | O/U 135

PRE-GAME READING MATERIAL

» Notes & Quotes: Florida and Michigan prepare for Elite Eight

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 31-10 in 13 NCAA Tournaments under Donovan and has reached at least the Elite Eight in five of the last eight (two national titles). The Gators advanced to the Elite Eight for the third-straight year with a 62-50 win over FGCU on Friday. Florida has lost consecutive Elite Eights and, should it lose on Sunday, would be the first team in the history of the tournament to drop three-straight regional finals since the event expanded to 64 teams. The Gators have not advanced to the Final Four since 2007.
» Donovan’s 31 NCAA Tournament victories are the most by any SEC coach.
» UF Is looking for its third 30-win season in school history.
» Florida is 1-1* all-time against Michigan with Donovan holding a 1-0 mark. He is also 9-8 against current members of the Big Ten (4-2 in the NCAA Tournament). [*Vacated]
» The Wolverines are in their third-straight NCAA Tournament but are making their first Elite Eight appearance since 1994. Michigan has not been in the Final Four since 1993*. [*Final Four appearances in 1992 and 1993 were vacated. UM has not been back to the round, according to the record books, since 1989.]
» Florida is 54-7 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (28-6 in 2012-13).
» The Gators and Wolverines each have four starters that average in double figures with Michigan having two that average 14.8 points per game or more. No one on Florida averages more than 12.6 points per contest.
» UF is 4-1 against top-25 opponents this season after going 3-5 against ranked adversaries last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams.
» Florida is 0-6 this season in single-digit decisions while UM is 8-6 (2-1 in overtime).
» The Gators are ranked first nationally in scoring margin (+18.1), third in scoring defense (53.7), seventh in field goal defense (.379), 13th in field goal percentage (.480), 18th in three-pointers per game (8.3) and 24th in assist-turnover ratio (1.32). Florida is also seventh nationally in fouling (14.1) and 214th in free throw percentage (.681).
» The Wolverines are first nationally in assist-turnover ratio (1.55), sixth in field goal percentage (.486), 12th in scoring margin (+12.4) and 23rd in scoring offense (75.4) and three-point percentage (.381). Michigan is also second nationally in fouling (12.7) and 13rth in free throw percentage (.705).

Read the rest of the Florida-Michigan gameday preview…after the break!
Continue Reading » NCAA Tournament Gameday: (3) Florida Gators vs. (4) Michigan Wolverines

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 1 of 3  1  2  3 »