Florida Basketball up to 11-0 for the best start in school history

That’s a pretty big deal. First, Corey Brewer gets the first triple-double in school history. Now, the team has set the record for best start. That’s pretty great, especially considering that two of those 11 wins were against Wake and ‘cuse on back-to-back nights. It’s awesome that the Gators are a real contender this year instead of a team that’s “rebuilding”.

Having fun in Florida

I’m in Jacksonville and things are going well so far. I spent the day doing my Christmas shopping and meeting various people for meals and such. I’m here in Jacksonville for several days this Christmas, so I think I’ll be seeing a lot of my friends and family.

My space on MySpace isn’t my space

I’ve set up a phantom account on MySpace so I can spy on people. Another friend put me up to it and I’m weak, so I went along with her plan. I’ve mostly been checking in on people who went to my high school. I have also been checking out profiles for friends of friends of friends because I need to know “what’s wrong with him?” or “is that so and so?” (it’s usually not).

So far, I’m pretty underwhelmed by MySpace, but that’s probably because I’m stupid and I just don’t get it. Maybe I’ll come around eventually.

This is probably the lamest blog ever

If there’s a lame blog award, I want it. I’ve earned it and it’s rightfully mine. Don’t try to keep it from me or give it to some other not-quite-as-lame blog.

Speaking of lame, Blogger seriously needs to work on their spellchecker

I just spellchecked that last blog entry and Blogger’s spellchecker flagged the word “blog”. I like Blogger and I think they provide a good service, but I think maybe it’s time to upgrade the spellchecker. Also, it flagged the word “underwhelmed” and suggested “underwhelming”; I guess Blogger has preferred tenses for certain verbs or something. It also doesn’t like the word “spellchecker”. I’ll concede that I may have made that one up, although Dictionary.com says it’s legit.


Florida Basketball up to 10-0

There’s not much to say other than that. Our team has just come out of nowhere and is proving to be a dominant force this year. We’ve gone from unranked (really, we were ranked somewhere around 40 before the season) to No. 5 in a few short weeks. This team is setting records like crazy and we’re improving every game.

Corey Brewer had the first triple-double in school history against JU. With all the superstars–Williams, Miller, Harvey, Nelson, Haslem, Lee, Walsh, Roberson–we’ve had in recent years, it’s surprising that Brewer’s was the first; I hope it’s not his last. The kid’s a sophomore! The irony, of course, is that he got a triple-double on a team that’s playing better team basketball than any Gator team I can remember. He had 13 assists, which is impressive considering he usually plays shooting guard or small forward.

Over the next few games, we’ll see what these guys are really made of. Miami will be a tough game, but if they can get through that game, it’s possible they’ll be 13-0 before starting the conference schedule. Not only would that be the best start in school history, but we should be sneaking up on the longest win-streak in school history. This could be a really exciting year.


Florida Basketball: It’s Faaaaaantastic!

Well, I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Since yesterday, we’ve knocked off two Top 20 teams–Wake Forest (18) and Syracuse (16)–to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

This year, I expected our team to be young, scrappy, a lot like the Kentucky teams of the past few years. No real superstar, but several solid players, most capable of scoring 15 or 20 points on any given night. I expected us to play high-octane basketball, pressing, smothering teams on the defensive end, and trying to run the fast break game whenever possible.

What I didn’t expect was the chemistry that our team has shown so early in the season. It’s still November and they look like they’ve been playing together for years. Our passing game is impressive and we looked right at home against Syracuse’s signature 2-3 zone. In fact, we forced them to go to man-to-man defense because we were shooting so well and passing so well inside and around their zone.

I’m very pleasantly surprised and I think this team can be very, very good. We’re starting 4-0 and I expect we’ll be ranked when the next rankings are released. I think the SEC is in for a surprise from a young, solid Gator basketball team this year. We might be able to defend the first SEC Championship in school history with an all-around better team than the one that won the Championship last year.


Florida Basketball

I’ve been a huge Gator Basketball fan since I enrolled at Florida in ’98. Thanks to my extended stay as an engineer, I got to see 5.5 basketball seasons as a student (I’m finishing the 6th right now).

This basketball season has been up and down and I’m confident it can go up again before the end of the tournament in March. As a whole, our team plays well together and has a lot of talent. When our shooters get hot, I think we’re capable of smoking any other team in Divsion 1-A: one of our Point Gaurds, Anthony Roberson, shot 46% from 3-point land over a 10-game stretch and one of our Centers, David Lee, made 16 straight jumpers over a couple game stretch. We have other shooters–Lee Humphry, Matt Walsh (when he’s on), Christian Drejer–who can light it up, too. Our transition offense is solid and, if our defense is pullin’ its weight, we can run up serious numbers on points scored off turnovers.

Those are the positives. There are a few negatives, but I think all of them are correctable by Tourney time: our transition defense still needs work, our defense down low seems beaten easily, especially off the dribble, and we sometimes depend too much on our 3-point shooting. The good news is that our transition defense has been steadily improving since the beginning of the season (I think that was the one thing that really lost the Maryland game earlier this season) and our dependency on the 3-point shot isn’t all bad since we have Lee, Moss, Richard and Colas inside. Lee is a phenomenal offensive player and Moss and Richard will be, eventually. Colas has bulked up a little and he holds his own, but he needs to work on his strength when gathering in rebounds.

One thing I think we really need to work on is our defense down low. On the surface, the problem might seem related to our centers not holding their own, but that’s not the case. The real problem is that our help defense is slow. In fact, I think our whole defense could be quite a bit more aggressive, both on the perimeter and in the paint. The problem down low is that our guys don’t help quick enough when the other team penetrates from the perimeter off the dribble. I think our centers do a great job fronting on defense, but they don’t seem to help out quick enough when the ball is moving around and they’re defending a spot instead of a person. This allows a lot of baskets by the other teams guards and small forwards who are quick and can get within 10 feet or so for a good look.

I think our problem on the perimeter is that we aren’t aggressive enough with attacking the gaurds. We allow them to bring the ball too far in before we start defending them. I think our defense needs to compensate for lack of speed helping by being more aggressive outside the 3-point line. We need to create turnovers before the other team even gets set up in their half-court offense. Our full-court trap is good, but I’m afraid it causes more trouble than its worth since teams seem to score easily if they get past the press.

I guess this is a lot of rambling, but these are my thoughts. I hope we get past the first weekend in the Tourney this year and I know we’re capable of playing with any other team if we get things rolling. I can’t wait to see what we’re capable of over the next few weeks.