Inept offense nearly dooms Florida at Auburn

By Adam Silverstein
January 20, 2011

Posting the worst offensive performance since head coach Billy Donovan took over the team 15 years ago, the Florida Gators (14-4, 3-1 SEC) squeaked past the Auburn Tigers (7-11, 0-4 SEC) 45-40 on the road at the brand new Auburn Arena Thursday.

Equally inefficient in both halfs, Florida shot 28.3 percent from the field (15-of-53) and 19.2 percent from downtown (5-of-26). Luckily for the Gators, they limited a similarly poor-shooting Tigers squad to 37.5 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from beyond the arc. Auburn also failed to capitalize on their free throw attempts, hitting only 1-of-8 from the charity stripe, while Florida was a surprising 10-for-14 from the line including 6-for-7 in the first half.

The Gators led for the first 7:20 of the game until the Tigers took off on a 10-0 run to go up 18-11. Florida turned the ball over nine times in the first half, missed 14 of their last 16 shots and trailed Auburn 24-23 in what looked to be their worst start to a game this season since posting only 20 points against then-No. 5 Kansas State on Dec. 18.

UF started the second half in similar fashion, missing their first eight shots from downtown, first three from the charity stripe and 12 of their first 16 attempts.

Junior point guard Erving Walker ‘s three-pointer with 7:16 remaining in the game gave the Gators a 35-34 lead that was handed back on a wide-open dunk just one play later. Trying to keep Florida in the game with a high-energy effort, senior forward Alex Tyus was sent to the line and made two free throws to put UF up 37-36 with 4:17 left; once again the Gators handed the lead right back to the Tigers allowing them to score four-straight points to take a 40-37 lead.

Down three with 2:08 to go, Donovan took a 30 second timeout; sophomore guard Kenny Boynton nailed a trey on the following possession to tie the game at 40. Walker then stepped up with three consecutive plays that wound up sealing the game.

Stealing the ball on an inbounds play with 1:20 left, Walker drained a three. On the next possession he drew a charge in the paint to give the ball back to Florida. He wound up taking an ill-advised jump shot and turning the ball over on the next possession but would hit two free throws to ice the contest and conclude a game-ending 8-0 run.

Walker wound up leading UF with a game-high 12 points on 3-of-15 shooting. Senior F Chandler Parsons and redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin each grabbed a game-high six rebounds helping their team out-rebound the opposition 34-27.

Florida hopes to turn things around on Saturday as they return home to face Arkansas at 8 p.m. The game will air live on FSN.

Photo Credit: Todd J. Van Emst/Associated Press


  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Man this game was hard to watch. Would have been pretty bad to lose to a team whose RPI is 317. Thank god we didn’t.

    • cline says:

      i agree. Very painful. W is a W though. learn from it and move on

      • Mr2Bits says:

        The problem is we have no Point Guard.Try playing football with no quarterback. Oh wait…nevermind

        • Tim says:

          I kind of agree with you although I don’t necessarily think we need a “Point Guard” as much as we need someone or some couple of players to take ownership of this team. There doesn’t seem to be a dominate player that says, “Give me the ball.” at the end of the game. Walker is trying, but he’s not consistant enough to rely on, and until you consistantly prove you can produce in those moments, your team isn’t going to rally around you.

          Give credit to Walker and Boyton though. When it mattered, they really did pull it out.

  2. SaraGator says:

    They were trying hard to give this game away. Thank goodness, Auburn didn’t want it.

  3. Mr2Bits says:

    It baffles me how we were 2-23 from downtown yet still continued to shoot it after lets say 1-12? I swore Daz was coaching this team up last night telling them to keep firing the 3 as it would work like the dive play at some point.

    • Basshole says:

      If they are good looks, keep taking the threes, eventually they will drop. If you have an open shot, you should take it if it’s in your range, which with Boynton and Walker is pretty deep. A few times this year we have seen Boynton miss 7 or 8 shots and make the next couple. Also, it’s not like we had any offense going on inside the paint. If Macklin or one of our bigs were hot, the threes might be more troublesome, but everything was going badly last night.

  4. Gator Pat says:

    Wow, I picked a good game to miss… At least we are not peaking early this year!!!

  5. Tim says:

    We need to fire Addazio! His play calling is KILLING us!!!

    Oh wait…yeah, no scapegoat here. How will the fans handle not having a scapegoat? Stay tuned.

  6. Ed Q. says:

    As someone who has watched nearly ever Florida hoops game since 1990 and who watched a significant number of St. John’s games when Norm Roberts took over I will say that was the WORST basketball game I have ever watched. From Auburn’s complete inability to hit a free throw to our either unwillingness or inability to get the ball into the post to the pitiful crowd at the new arena, that game had no business being on tv. And none of us who weren’t paid to do so had any business watching those almost 2 hours.

    To paraphrase the principal from Billy Madison on last night’s game “Gator hoops what you’ve just done is one of the most insanely idiotic games I have ever watched. At no point in your rambling, incoherent game were you even close to anything that could be considered good execution or effort. Everyone in the Gator Nation is now dumber for having watched or listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your souls. ”

    Oh but at least we won

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