This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Ten things you need to know about Florida

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players, The Big Dance Updated: March 23, 2013 - 3:13 PM

 

 

So, the national pundits and Vegas were right: the 11th seeded Gophers pulled the first round upset-that-wasn’t-an-upset over 6-seed UCLA on Friday in a convincing way – beating out the Bruins in a plethora of ways.

And hey, after the first 10 minutes or so, the Gophers looked pretty good. They advance to the second round, I get to stay in beautiful Austin, Texas – everybody wins, right?

But before you get too giddy looking ahead to the Sweet Sixteen (I know you are. My Twitter feed tells me) -- or I start thinking about continuing my tour of sunny Texas while all of you at home get blasted by sub-zero wins and creamed by snowstorm after snowstorm – take a step back and a deep breath.

Florida, as it turns out, is a pretty good team. And more than that, the Gators might be a really problematic matchup for the Gophers.

Let’s take a glimpse:

  • 1. The eye test might not be pretty, but the computers love the Gators. Yes, they play what might be viewed as slow, plodding basketball, but it is also fundamentally sound. The Gators are the only team in the country in the top five of both Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive and adjusted defensive ratings.
  • 2. This is not the same Billy Donavon team of old. Maybe you remember the old Florida teams that loved to run, run, run squads out of the building? Maybe, in fact, that’s what Gophers coach Tubby Smith remembers from his days with Kentucky, as he hinted last night? Well, things have changed. Donovan has placed a MUCH bigger emphasis on defense, and it’s showing. The Gators are still capable of running, but they do so selectively. For the most part, they would be better categorized as incredibly patient.
  • 3. They shoot 3s. Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe insinuated that the Gophers might play a lot of zone – which they used heavily and effectively against UCLA on Friday – again against Florida. But the problem there is that when the Gators are forced to make shots from the outside, they’re usually just fine. Florida has four players shooting 32.9 percent or better from behind the arc, including forward Erik Murphy, who is hitting 46.1 percent of his attempts.
  • 4. Defensive threats: they pressure and a zone isn’t out of the question. UCLA didn’t pressure the Gophers and Minnesota had a pretty solid ball handling performance. Things will get trickier against the Gators, who like to harass. Also, just a warning: Florida is mainly a man-to-man team, but going into a 2-3 zone isn’t out of the question. Yes, the Gophers performed really well against the Bruins' zone on Friday, but they also tied for the third most 3-pointers they've had all season. That matters.
  • 5. They’re versatile. Can’t score inside? Fine, they’ll shoot treys. Those aren’t falling? The Gators have no trouble getting the ball into the post. Need a dribble drive? No issues there. To summerize, the Gators can score in a whole lotta ways.
  • 6. They cause a bunch of turnovers. What was this about ball pressure? It’s certainly worked against other teams. Florida has turned over opponents this season in 21.8 of their possessions. Not a good sign for the often butter-fingered Gophers.
  • 7. Their bench isn’t limited. Wasn’t that luxurious for the Gophers to have the advantage for once when it came to the bench? Hope you enjoyed that, because things are back to normal against Florida, who has more than the seven UCLA threw out on Friday. Florida has reserve Will Yuguete back after missing a month with knee surgery and the Gators bench (which has three guys averaging 5.3 or more) has combined for 49 points in the last three games, while the Gophers have managed just 23 in the same span.
  • 8. They don’t have a prolific scorer. The Gators, which have four players averaging double digits, have a lot of balance, but somewhat like the Gophers, don’t always have the one guy that can step up and take over when things start going awry.
  • 9. Anything you can do, I can do better. So you want to play fast? Northwestern State did. No problem. Grind it out in the halfcourt? Well that’s where the Gators specialize. Taking Florida out of its game is tough.
  • 10. Get them in a close game, and you’ve got a shot. This is one of the weirdest stats about this team. While Florida went 26-1 in games decided by double digits, the Gators were a stunning 0-6 in contests determined by six points or fewer. Hanging around in striking distance might be the Gophers’ best chance.
     

 

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Memphis 6:00 PM
Indiana
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Portland 9:00 PM
Sacramento
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Phoenix
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Columbus
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
Detroit
Anaheim 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 8:00 PM
Calgary
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How has Mike Zimmer done so far as Vikings coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT