The Gators have shown they can blow out inferior competition. They have also shown they can rebound, literally and figuratively.
When you talk about bouncing back figuratively it's the process by which a team puts a setback behind them and moves forward. The Gators were clocked by FSU 65-51, but have come back with a pair of victories by 23 and 25 points over Stetson and Vermont, respectively.
In the literal sense, rebounding is going to be a key for this team all season long. Florida is undersized with just one who is 6-10 and one at 6-9. Not only does Florida lack height, they lack bulk; which is not all that surprising for a team with five freshmen and three sophomores. On the year Florida has lost the battle on the glass three times, most notably in that loss to the ‘Noles when Florida was overpowered by eleven rebounds and it was more dramatic until the late minutes.
Positive Signs Recently
For the past two years, the Gators didn't worry much about getting their share of rebounds. With a front court of Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, Florida could count on 20-25 rebounds a night from that trio plus another four or more from Chris Richard off the bench. This team does not have that luxury and must do a better job of rebounding by committee.
Friday against Vermont two guys who have been disappointing in their approach to hitting the glass were very effective in that area. Sophomore Jonathan Mitchell snared seven caroms down in Tampa, the most in his Gator career. Alex also had a personal best as the freshman pulled down six rebounds in the win over Vermont.
The contributions of those two are critically needed in support of what has been solid board work from starting big men Marreese Speights (7.9) and Dan Werner (6.8). Florida doesn't need Tyus and Mitchell to grab 13 every night. But the closer they get to that number, the better the Gators will be.
Florida returns to the O'Dome for a pair of easy ones with Jacksonville (Monday) and FAMU (Wednesday) and the progress on the glass needs to continue. Certainly that job will get tougher after the first of the year when play gets more physical and Florida will have to show a willingness to compete in the paint, but for now you have to feel this team is progressing well and rebounding nicely – literally and figuratively.
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel
Gators Rebounding Nicely
Fightin Gators Top Stories
Tebow Talks SEC Title Match UpATLANTA- Former Gator Tim Tebow discusses what the Gators need to do in order to defeat Alabama for the SEC Championship.
Fightin Gators7:38 AM
Game Day Headquarters: SEC Championship GameJim McElwain called the ‘creatures this week. The Florida Gators meet the top ranked Crimson Tide in Atlanta for the right to call themselves SEC Champions. It won’t be an easy…
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 11:49 PM
McElwain has more business to do at FloridaHaving to fight off rumors about wanting to leave for Oregon, Jim McElwain has done a lot to help build a new foundation at Florida since his arrival two years ago. He’s going up…
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 8:32 PM
Sights and Sounds from Florida's PracticeATLANTA- Sights and sounds from Florida's practice ahead of the SEC Championship game against Alabama.
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 2:45 PM