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Florida Basketball

Instant Analysis: Gators win season-opener

November 5, 2019
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It’s that time of year again. It’s been quite some time since March, but college basketball is officially back. The No. 6 Florida Gators kicked off their anticipated season in front of their home crowd. In a victorious effort, the Gators beat the North Florida Ospreys 74-59, in what they hope is the first of many wins this year.

Here is our Instant Analysis:

What Went Right: After a slow start offensively, the Gators were finally able to get some jumpers to fall. They started shooting just 3-for-16 from the field and couldn’t get a shot to fall. After the slow start, something started to click. The Gators then finished the half making 10 of their last 19 attempts, going 37% for the first half.

The second half was more of the same, as the Gators picked up where they left off before the break. They cooled off down the stretch some, but their run at the end of the first created enough separation. They shot 47% from the field in the second, finishing the game at 42%

The Gators also did a good job of taking care of the basketball. They only had 6 turnovers in the first half and finished with 10 for the game. With a team as talented as this, playing clean and eliminating sloppy play will be imperative to their success throughout the year.

Who Stole the Show: Transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. showed exactly why he had plenty of suitors this offseason. The grad-transfer looked every bit of what he was advertised to be in his debut in the Orange and Blue. Blackshear finished with 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, which project to be the first of many double-doubles this season.

Freshman Tre Mann showed why he was a highly-touted recruit and McDonald’s All-American. The Gainesville native showed his overall game, scoring in a number of ways and continues to show progression defensively. In his collegiate debut, Mann scored 11 points and added four rebounds

Numbers Don’t Lie: The Gators crashed the glass from the opening tip and that should be a very welcoming sign. In years past, the Gators have struggled to grab offensive boards and create second chance opportunities. If tonight was any indication, Florida shouldn’t struggle in that regard this year.

The Gators pulled down 19 offensive rebounds which amounted to 19 second-chance points. Should the Gators continue to do such, it could be the determining factor in them winning big games that they’ve dropped in years past.

Bottom Line: The Gators were expected to get this result, but it looks like they cleaned up some of the deficiencies they showed in the exhibition last week. It was a much better showing defensively and after the slow start, the offense was clicking the rest of the night. In no means was it a perfect showing, but the Gators knew where they needed to improve and they have for the time being.

What’s Next: Up next for the Gators will be their first real test. Florida is set to host rival, Florida State, in Exactech Arena Sunday at 1 p.m. Since becoming head coach of the Gators, Mike White has yet to beat Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles.

Instant Analysis: Gators win season-opener

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