Christmas came early to the Florida Gators but it was in the form of a lump of coal in their stocking named Kansas State. Florida dropped from #3 in the polls to #8 after losing to then #8 Arizona. Then Florida lost to unranked 8-2 KSU. After their second loss they come into their game versus Air Force ranked #14 (and KSU moved into the AP rankings #25). An interesting perspective is that while KSU was 8-2, they had not played a schedule across the board as good as had Forida, with KSU having no marquee wins.
Florida has faced and beaten several good opponents. Among them include a then ranked Wisconsin team plus Marquette, UCF and Florida St. They play a smothering full court press defense that had been ranked #1 for several weeks. On offense they can score both inside and out while averaging 36% from the 3pt arc and gaining 37rpg to include 12 offensive each game. Keys to the loss to KSU included losing the rebounding edge, having key TO's early in the game, playing poorly defending against KSU's motion offense which has been getting better each contest and lastly a poor shooting night by their leading scorer Senior Mike Rosario (G/6'3"/185#/13ppg) who was held to 5pts on 1-9 shooting.
Florida is an experienced team even with losses to graduation and the NBA and they typically start three seniors and two juniors. Up top with Rosario is 6'2" Boynton who averages 12.5ppg along, with Wilbekin also listed as a guard at 8.5ppg. Three bigs share the time averaging 26, 25 and 25 mpg...and they are big and aggressive. Patric Young 6'9" (high scorer 19pts vs KSU) averages 11pts and 7 rpg. Murphy at 6'10"/240#/11ppg and Yegueter at 6'7"/240#/6ppg/6rpg.
The Falcons will be faced with a home crowd for the Gators even though at a neutral site within 45 minutes or less from their school. For Air Force to win they will have to play steady and accomplish several specific goals:
- Take care of the ball. They will be pressed then pressed some more. It will be incumbent on their ability to successfully get across the half court and if they do lose the ball they must transition quickly to defense and make that a great defensive series to deny a 4-5 point swing on one turnover.
- Figure out how to stop their bigs on offense: KEY: Do not lose your man on the defensive rotation and double down quickly at the correct times.
- Must find ways to score inside. Run the offense and make them work, make them fouls us through the lane, then make the FTs.
- Use the three wisely but not exclusively. It must be used as a key to get the win but not as the 'door' that will shut out Florida all by itself. In this game if we rely on the three as we did versus Colorado then it will be a similar result, but I do not think that is going to happen, I see us using the aggressive cuts to our advantage.
- This must be a team win. Mike Lyons cannot and will not win this game by himself. This might be the most important game our bench will play to date and we need them to shine.
- Lastly, stay out of foul trouble.
It’s time for an exciting game as our Falcons round out the bulk of out of conference play versus Florida then on to Richmond. I hope to ring in the New Year saying 'great win by Air Force over Florida'.
Notes: Check out the excellent play going on in the MWC at this time. #17 SDSU played down to the wire and lost by one 67-68 vs #3 Arizona. Wyoming still undefeated at 12-0 and all but one team have winning records with no more than 4 losses. Air Forces only two loses are to teams that were ranked at one time in the top 25.
|Air Force Game Statistics|
|Florida Game Statistics|
|Michael Frazier II||10||16.5||6.1||2.8||0.7||0.6||0.0||0.7||.432||.900||.400|
|2012-13 Florida Gators|
|0||Jacob Kurtz||G||6-5||208||SO||Oviedo, FL|
|1||Kenny Boynton||G||6-2||190||SR||Pompano Beach, FL|
|3||Mike Rosario||G||6-3||183||SR||Jersey City, NJ|
|4||Patric Young||C||6-9||249||JR||Jacksonville, FL|
|5||Scottie Wilbekin||G||6-2||176||JR||Gainesville, FL|
|11||Braxton Ogbueze||G||6-0||182||FR||Charlotte, NC|
|12||Dillon Graham||G||6-4||179||FR||Orlando, FL|
|15||Will Yeguete||F||6-7||240||JR||Bordeaux, France|
|20||Michael Frazier II||G||6-4||200||FR||Tampa, FL|
|24||Casey Prather||G-F||6-6||208||JR||Jackson, TN|
|25||DeVon Walker||G-F||6-6||191||FR||Winter Haven, FL|
|33||Erik Murphy||F-C||6-10||238||SR||South Kingstown, RI|
26 Dec 2012 New: AF Prepares for #14 Florida: Preview/Stats and around the MWC
Rick's Falcon Review: Preview Air Force vs Florida
Florida Stats/Roster/Last game Recap'
Florida Falls to Kansas State
Gator's Struggles similar to 2007
U of A stuns Florida with a comeback win
Mountain West Conference Standings as of 12/26/12
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