It's hard to focus on the hardwood version of the Florida Gators, but they had a pretty big game last night. It was their second SEC game and their first big-conference game on national TV (SEC Tuesday on ESPN!) against an Arkansas team that just dominated the Crimson Tide by 27 points.
In front of a sold-out crowd in the O-Dome, most of them excited about the introduction of the National Championship football team at halftime, the Gators used a balanced scoring attack from their starting 5 in a 79-72 win over the Razorbacks; moving their SEC record to 2-0 and their overall record to 15-2.
Not to beat the word "balanced" to death, but that is just what the scoring breakdown was. Just look at the starting 5:
Green: 17 pts
Brewer: 13 pts
Humphrey: 11 pts
Horford: 10 pts
Noah: 11 pts
While that is pretty impressive, several other statistical categories did not look as pretty: Arkansas won the battle in points off turnovers (18-12), points in paint (46-32), 2nd chance points (13-11), fast break points (14-2) and bench points (29-17). The Gators also shot only 58% from the free-throw line, continuing a very unfavorable trend.
While it wasn't the best performance, it's a W and that's all that matters. However, they'll need to improve on some of these categories if they want to run through the conference schedule with quite a bit of success.
LSU opened up its SEC season with a 71-61 loss at Alabama in a battle of top-25 teams. Glen Davis, despite getting banged up in a car accident on Sunday morning, scored 24 points, pulled in 17 rebounds and had 3 blocks in the losing effort. As a team LSU only shot 35% from the field.
The Tide shot 9-16 on 3 pt baskets in the win and were pretty disciplined in this game, only committing 11 fouls - giving LSU only 10 shots from the FT line. Pretty solid performance out of Alabama, bouncing back from that embarassing loss to Arkansas.
Clemson won at NC State last night, 87-76, to remain unbeaten on the season at 17-0. They remain the only unbeaten team in Div 1-A. The Tigers will have a tough time in their upcoming games though, taking on Maryland, UNC and Duke in 3 of their next 4.
Ohio State lost another tough road game against a top-10 team last night, 72-69 against #4 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes now have 3 losses on the season, losing games at UNC, Florida and now Wisconsin. That, my friends, is a brutal road schedule to start out the season.
I would really watch out for the Buckeyes near the end of the season. These road tests are doing nothing but strengthening them as a team.
I'm still recovering from Monday night.