Let me ask again: Is Florida just going to run through the SEC?
The headline on my Weekend Look Ahead column posted Friday posed the following question: Is Florida just going to run through the SEC? Some readers questioned that question as if it was unreasonable to consider. But it was reasonable then. And it's reasonable now. And did you see what the Gators did to Missouri?
The headline on my Weekend Look Ahead column posted Friday posed the following question: Is Florida just going to run through the SEC?
Some readers questioned that question as if it was unreasonable to ask. But it was reasonable then. And it's reasonable now. And did you see what the Gators did Saturday?
The Tigers never got as close to the Gators as that Notre Dame football player got to his fictitious girlfriend because Florida jumped to an 11-0 lead that ballooned to 24-7, then 37-15 and, well, you get the point. Billy Donovan's team shot 59.3 percent from the field while holding Missouri to 32.7 percent on the other end. Neither of those numbers should've been too surprising considering Florida is ranked second in offensive efficiency and second in defensive efficiency at KenPom.com.
That means the Gators are good on both sides -- so good that (and I can't write this enough) KenPom.com is projecting Florida to be at least a seven-point favorite in every game between now and Selection Sunday. The Gators are statistically that much better than the rest of the SEC, which is so down that half of its members are ranked 100th or worse in the RPI. So don't be shocked when their 4-0 league mark moves to 10-0 before a Feb. 12 game against Kentucky. And don't be amazed if their March 9 game at Rupp Arena presents them with an opportunity to record the best league mark in SEC history.
Man, I don't know what to tell you about Missouri.
I think we all knew the Tigers would miss Laurence Bowers while he sits with a knee injury, and I guess we now know last weekend's loss at Ole Miss isn't anything to be embarrassed about because Ole Miss is solid and, perhaps, the SEC's second-best team. But the bottom line is still the bottom line, and the bottom line is that Missouri has gone from 10-1 to 13-4 in a little more than three weeks. Meantime, the Tigers' mesmerizing point guard, Phil Pressey, has averaged 5.3 turnovers in his past four games while shooting 35.3 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from 3-point range. So Pressey is struggling just like his team is struggling, and these are the things that coach Frank Haith must get fixed while he waits for his old school (Miami) to receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA that could, in theory, affect his future at Missouri.
But that's a conversation for another day.
Saturday was about Florida and its dominance.
Missouri couldn't slow the Gators down in the least.
It's more than reasonable to wonder whether anybody will.
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