Gator Win "Embarrassing"

I've heard Florida players in just about every sport talk about being embarrassed after a game/meet/match. Saturday is the first time I ever heard such talk after a win. Florida's 78-68 defeat of Ole Miss in their SEC opener would normally be cause for good feelings all around, but this was no normal game. Florida saw Ole Miss score the first basket of the afternoon, but never trailed after that.

They built a 21-point lead in the first 15 minutes and yet the game got to within six points in the final two minutes. Afterward there was no talk about a good start to the 16-game SEC grind. It was all about being embarrassed.

Florida was embarrassed because they were out rebounded 46-22 by Ole Miss. If there was a school record for the worst performance in an SEC victory this would almost certainly have shattered that mark. The margin was so pronounced in the second half (27-10) that it was stunning to see the Rebels miss a shot and have Florida get the rebound. The Gators ended the game with the same number of defensive rebounds (18) as Ole Miss had offensive boards.

Florida coach Billy Donovan said the lack of success on the glass isn't really from a lack of effort.

"Our guys practice way harder than they did last year, but I went after Vernon Macklin late in the game with about 30 seconds to go and I said part of the problem is you don't put those guys on their back enough in practice. You don't physically go after it in practice like you need to. I'd like to see more physical altercation and banging. The problem is when you have to guys in there and you're trying to create the physical altercation with and they don't want to physically altercate."

"We do some things in the frontcourt where you have to play post defense and then rebound the ball. The problem is trying to get those guys to do that physically in practice to create that environment. We don't go after that ourselves, so it's not like we can create that in practice. You try to find a way to expose that in practice every day and I do think there's a mentality a little bit.

Of course they did win the game despite the huge rebounding discrepancy. Donovan pointed that out, saying there is still a lot to like about this team.

"They are doing a really good job in a lot of areas. The press is much better (19 Ole Miss turnovers). They share the ball and for the most part of a have assist to turnover ratio (22/8 Vs Ole Miss). We have a pretty good base to start with. There are some really good things with our team. Ole Miss took 56 shots and they made 48 (percent) which is too high a percentage for us, but the other 52 percent, who's coming down with that now? That thing goes up on the glass and everything else is out the window. I refer to those balls as 50/50 balls. He's got as much of a right to it as you do, so who's going to come down with those 50/50 balls?"

Florida will attempt to physically altercate with the Auburn Tigers on the road Wednesday night. Auburn dropped its SEC opener to South Carolina 68-56.


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