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Blog Entry

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Posted on: November 27, 2009 11:40 pm
 

Billy Donovan was supposed to make the 2008 NCAA tournament.

But he didn't.

And he was supposed to make the 2009 NCAA tournament.

But he didn't.

Then Nick Calathes turned pro, Kentucky hired John Calipari and loaded up, Tennessee returned nearly everybody, South Carolina gained respect under Darrin Horn, Kevin Stallings put together a nice roster, and the SEC media processed all that information and picked Florida fifth in the Eastern Division. Me? I actually picked the Gators fourth. But either way, most were debating fourth or fifth in the East, and almost nobody projected Florida to make the 2010 NCAA tournament, meaning Donovan was supposed to make his third straight NIT.

But that's not happening.

Or at least it doesn't look like it now, not after Florida improved to 5-0 Friday night with a 77-74 victory over No. 2 Michigan State in the semifinals of the Legends Classic. Assuming the Gators can now get past Rutgers in Saturday's title game, they'll next appear in every relevant national rankings while folks wonder whether Florida can push Kentucky and Tennessee in the SEC.

And that's the beauty of these early season tournaments, isn't it?

There might be too many of them, and they aren't all well attended. But what they do is create opportunities for teams to prove what they are and what they are not. As I type, I'm sitting courtside at the Anaheim Convention Center watching Portland beat Minnesota and develop into the non-BCS story of November. Last Friday, Syracuse destroyed all skeptics by destroying North Carolina, and this Friday it was Florida forcing the country to view it differently with a huge win over Michigan State.

It's the Gators' biggest victory since they beat Ohio State to win the 2007 NCAA tournament, the type of victory that'll have everybody tearing up any and all preseason projections. Florida fifth in the SEC Eastern Division? It's still possible, I guess. But I wouldn't bet on it now, and I don't think anybody else would either.
Comments

Since: Feb 21, 2007
Posted on: November 30, 2009 11:04 pm
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

what I think makes the win notable is that Florida didn't even play that well.  They shot horrible from 3, which they've done all year and still are winning, and the resume of individual UF players like Boynton and Walker would lead most to believe that they're going to shoot better as the year goes on.  If Parsons continues to relish his 6th man rols and Macklin continues to prove that he's a legit post player, Florida will be a top 20 team and have a decent seed in the tournament when it's all said and done.  IF, and yes, that's a big IF, Shipman can continue to produce, Werner keeps doing what he always does and Kadji can start to show a little of the promise he's showed (he's been awful so far) then Florida can possibly make some noise in a somewhat weak SEC.  Keep an eye on Murphy as well.  He has shown in limited time that he has a good feel for the game and should continue to improve as the year goes on.  The future (and the present) looks good for Florida with the young guys they have and guys like Prather, Young, Beal and Rivers in the fold.



Since: Nov 30, 2009
Posted on: November 30, 2009 1:19 am
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

As a UK and SEC fan, I hope Florida's win against Mich St is a sign of a good Florida team.  I do remember last year, however, when Arkansas beat a top 10 Texas and a top 10 Oklahoma, only to end up having a horrible SEC season and finishing 6th in the West I believe.  Let's hope that Florida doesn't repeat that.



Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2009 10:40 pm
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Or you could just say Billy D outcoached Izzo with a less talented team.  Gators are good but lets not get ahead of ourselves, rush to judgements in november come back to get ya.



Since: Jun 10, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2009 1:34 pm
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Um Probably

Yeh it was a good win against an overrated Michigan State team that played a bad game.

The big ten is so overrated it's not even funny. Not saying Michigan State isn't a good team but if they were in the SEC East i'd pick um to finish 3rd behind Tenn and Kentucky. They are way overrated based on the fact they made it to the National Title last year. Im picking Purdue to win the Big Ten.

I hate how when a good Sec team beats a good team from another conference Gary Parish acts like it's a once in a lifetime thing or something. The SEC deserves way more respect in Basketball. Parish you'll see come tourney time the Sec will have 3 teams in the Elite 8 this year. Mabye Two in the Final Four.




Since: Oct 31, 2009
Posted on: November 28, 2009 10:12 am
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

MSU was over rated anyways - Good win for Florida, but it is really dumb to start the conversations this early in the season ... I would wait until a week before conference play starts to see where teams are at



Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2009 8:35 am
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Actually they are tied for first right now. They have the same amount of SEC wins as Tennessee, South Carolina, UK, Vandy, etc.. I think the point of the story was that Florida is playing better than expected. If they continue to play as they have so far, they should finish higher than 5th in the SEC East and should be in the tourney. He had to write a story and did not want a few months till it was ok with you for him to write it. There were a lot stories written about how great UK is going to be even before they had played a game. They have to write stories now; They can not wait for the season to be played first.



Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2009 2:09 am
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Great win for the Gators, but they haven't finished better than 5th in the SEC yet (no SEC wins) and haven't made the tourney yet.  Get back to me in a few months.



Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2009 12:53 am
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

GREAT win for Florida!! GREAT!! And, hey, great for the SEC as well.



Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2009 12:16 am
 

Florida fifth in the SEC East? Um, probably not

Great win for the Gators! Story .


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