Gators Wrap Pre-SEC Slate

Armed with a 12-2 record and coming off arguably its best performance of the season, the Gator Basketball Team prepares to wrap up the non-conference portion of its schedule.

The Gators will host High Point Wednesday in a final tune-up before SEC play begins. While the Panthers shouldn't post too much of a threat, this game is certainly not an opportunity to go through the motions. There are several things the Gators need to accomplish in this one.

Keep raising the bar --- The Gators reached a higher level in their win over Temple with a strong second half to put away a pretty good team. That type of effort will be needed game in and game out in the SEC so there's no reason not to approach Wednesday's game with a similar sense of urgency.

Mitchell must follow up --- Jonathan Mitchell had a career game against Temple with 15 points and four rebounds. Mitchell can make a major difference for this team with performances like that. However, too often in his career the sophomore forward has not put good games back to back. This would be an ideal opportunity to change that.

Learn to handle a top scorer --- One negative about the loss at Temple was the Gators' inability to shut down Dionte Christmas who scored 32 points for the Owls. High Point has a big time scorer in Arizona Reid and it would be a sign of progress to see the Gators limit Reid's opportunities and force someone else to come through. There will be many times in the SEC season when the Gators will want/need to force another team's top scorer to let a teammate take a big shot, so this is an opportunity to work on that.

Relocate Adam Allen --- The freshman forward has given the Gators a couple of excellent games, most notably a 19 point effort against FAMU. However lately Allen has been a turnover waiting to happen and his confidence seems very shaky. In the last four games, Allen has scored just five points and grabbed two rebounds. With only nine guys on the roster, Florida needs just about everyone to be reasonably productive, so getting Allen straightened out would be a major plus.

Get more from Alex Tyus --- As with Allen, Tyus has also had a very freshman like first half of the season. Tyus has scored 13 points in a game once (vs. UNC-Central), nine points three times and eight on another occasion. However in the last four games Tyus has had two two-point efforts and a scoreless outing as well. Florida does not need a ton from the talented young big man, but something more consistent would be preferred.

There's little doubt that the Gators will pick up their 13th win of the season on Wednesday. However progress in all or at least a few of these areas would give the team some positive momentum as they get ready for Alabama Tuesday night and the 15 SEC games that follow.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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