Men's Hoops Exibition Wrap-Up

The Gators played the Midwest All-Stars in the first game of their exhibition season. They came away with an impressive 113-63 victory. Inside we analyze how the team performed in the backcourt, frontcourt, overall and offer up some bits and pieces about the team.

Florida opened it's 2002-2003 Basketball season with a 113-63 exhibition win over the Midwest All Stars. The Gators were without freshmen Mario Boggan, Matt Walsh and Rashid Al-Kaleem. James White also did not play due to suspension, yet he is still recovering from injury. With Walsh and White both out Justin Hamilton started at the number three spot and Anthony Roberson at the point. The quality of the opponent was less than expected and Donovan who was frustrated by the suspensions was unable to experiment with several rotations. The Gators were led in scoring by David Lee's 22 and Anthony Roberson's 22. From an effort standpoint you have to give the newest form of Billy Ball an A+.

Backcourt: Nelson was solid hitting his first three then getting other players involved. He finished with 12 points and 11 assists. Justin Hamilton the other backcourt veteran got the start at the three spot and put in a workman like 10 points and 8 assists. His knee seems to be 100% as is his confidence. Nelson who is expected to get more open looks in this year's offense will benefit from Roberson at the point. He can beat you off the dribble and drive dish or score at the end. He also was very active with "trash" rebounds.

Front Court: Once again the veterans who do not have much to gain by the exhibition in Hamilton, Nelson and Bonner all were looking to let the young guys score. Bonner who should benefit from a more high post offense is still struggling with his shot only going 3-9. Lee had 22 points and showed great hops while doing his damage on the inside. The five spot in this offense was the focal point last year with Haslem, will be called upon to set picks and distribute from the foul line this year. Christian Drejer is athletic and has that basketball "savvy" that you like in  a young player. He passes well and has a nice shot but will continue to work on his defense. He is smooth however and can change his shot in mid air. Moss looks more athletic than I would have thought and will be a non offensive substitution guy. Bonnell Colas showed good low post skills against inferior competition and did a nice job in the press.

Overall: The press was good and productive for exhibition standards causing 25 turnovers. Bonner is at the front with Lee in the Back to start the game. The effort was good but you still want to see the other guys in the mix. Walsh is a good spot up shooter at the three and White is obviously more experienced and athletic.

Snippets and Tidbits.....The Gators finished with 70 points in the paint. The game used the experimental lane and three point line. The lane is widened by two feet and the three point line is back to 20'6" back 9 inches from the standard 19'9"..By the numbers: 2 Gators have scored over 1,000 career points (Nelson and Bonner); 6 the number of freshmen on Donovan's roster; 11 the number of games in the exhibition season that Florida has scored more than 100 points under Donovan; and 16 the number of three pointers Brett Nelson needs to break the career mark of 243 by Craig Stolt...The number 7 ranking is the second highest preseason ranking in school history...The lane and three point changes will be in effect for the Preseason NIT...The Gators play next Monday at 7pm against the EA Sports All Stars.

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