Post-Christmas Basketball Love

The Gators were pretty much all the talk on the Weekly Watch, brought to us by the great experts at ESPN.com.  This feature is basically a run-down of the past week in college basketball, a week that saw the Gators handle Ohio State easily in an 86-60 win in Gainesville on Saturday.

First off, Andy Katz says that the "team of the week" was the Florida Gators for their performance on Saturday:

The Gators had all the pressure, all the hype and all excuses handy, if needed, against Ohio State. Instead, the Gators plowed through the Buckeyes by 26 and made sure that anyone who doubted them thought twice.
Corey Brewer, back from a bout with mononucleosis, had 18 points. Joakim Noah, healthy after recovering from an upper respiratory infection, had eight boards and three blocks. And that Al Horford guy? The one with the bum ankle who wasn't supposed to play? Well, all he did was score 11 points, grab 11 boards and block three shots. Greg Oden had to deal with Horford, Noah and Chris Richard. With all three fired up for him, he had no chance.

The Gators are done with big-time nonconference games, so we'll check back when the major SEC games start to come at them fast and furious.


Jay Bilas feels that the Gators experience and depth at big-man was a little too much for Oden and Co.:
The latest "game of the century" featuring Ohio State and Florida taught us another valuable lesson about the importance of experience at the college level. While the Buckeyes' freshmen are spectacular talents, they do not yet have it all figured out. Greg Oden is a special talent and a great weapon who is still emerging from spending so much time out of commission due to wrist surgery, and Mike Conley and Daequan Cook are good now and getting better and better. However, the talent and experience of Florida trumped the super talent of Oden, who had a tough time facing Florida's changing defenses. Oden allowed himself to be a stationary player for much of the game and did not change ends effectively unless he blocked a shot. He did not move as the ball was moving and became a much smaller player as a result. As he matures, Oden will learn to assert himself and find openings for himself and others, but right now, Florida, North Carolina and UCLA are all better than the Buckeyes.

Doug Gottlieb is back on the Corey Brewer bandwagon:
Apparently that mono thing is a basketball player's worst nightmare. After watching Corey Brewer help Florida thoroughly dismantle Ohio State on Saturday, I went back and watched Brewer play with mono (at the time, we all thought it was the flu) against Kansas. I have never seen one guy play like two more different people in those two games. Brewer not only had his court awareness back at the O-Dome but also looked far smoother handling the ball and shooting the perimeter 3 than even in last season's Final Four run. So to Gator Nation, mea culpa. Tales of Brewer's demise have been greatly exaggerated by this expert.

It was quite a week for the Gators basketball team, beating a very talented Ohio State team by quite a margin, and in turn showing the way they can play at full strength.  This was a very important win also in the way that it has really given this program a boost of momentum headed into the unforgiving conference schedule they face year in and year out.

Needless to say, if they can put up a performance like they did on Saturday game in and game out, we could easily be seeing some more banners hanging in the O-Dome next season.

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