What is there to say about Florida's perfunctory wins over early-season non-conference cupcakes at this point? On Friday night, the Gators shot down Rider, 90-69, in Jacksonville, and confirmed a bunch of things we have come to know as truths about this Florida team:
- When Kenny Boynton gets hot, watch out. Florida's streakiest shooter is becoming its best, and Boynton's 26 points on nine-for-13 shooting with five threes came close to his career-high of 28. But the best thing about Boynton is a subtle difference: He's got the same confidence he carried through his freshman and sophomore years when rising up from beyond the arc, but the shots are going in now.
- Patric Young can be the team's workhorse. 12 points and nine rebounds from the Gators big man is about the sort of very good night he can have every time out. Florida's guards just need to remember to keep feeding him; he can disappear against zones unless there's a conscious effort to feed him the ball.
- If Florida is careful with the ball, great things happen. Florida committed six turnovers tonight and cruised.
- Bradley Beal is a volume shooter, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Only Boynton (112 shots) has taken more shots on the year than Beal's 103 (which, fairly, is about what you would expect from both players), but Beal has had problems from deep and is actually shooting the Gators' best percentage inside the arc. He's got the athleticism to drive more often, and should probably do that.
- Florida's best five probably includes Will Yeguete. While Erik Murphy recovers from his knee injury, it's likely that Yeguete will continue to get starts. But his presence on the floor is just more valuable than Murphy's right now, and he's finding new ways to contribute — tonight, that was making smart passes from the top of the key in the middle of Rider's 2-3 zone, which led to five assists.
- When Florida is on, the Gators are elite. There were lapses in this game, especially in the three-point defense in the second half, but Florida was on the verge of winning by 40 more than once, and the Gators were never in danger. That's what great teams do: Stamp out every glimmer of hope for the other team.
Anyone else brave the ESPN3 maze to watch the game and see something different?