The Gators were without forward Al Horford this evening due to a high sprain in his left ankle, but did not seem to miss him too much in their 72-57 win over the FAMU Rattlers in Tampa. While the margin of victory was in the double digits the game still did not show us a dominant Gators team.
The win led way to head coach Billy Donovan tying the all-time wins record in University history, matching Norm Sloan's mark of 235 victories. While it took Sloan 15 seasons as head coach to reach that number, Billy D is currently in his 11th. Congratulations goes out to our head coach, the finest head coach in UF basketball history.
Center Joakim Noah was forced to take on the load underneath in the absence of Horford, and proved to be worthy of controlling the Rattlers frontcourt on the defensive end and the glass. In the end Noah had 17 rebounds and 6 blocked shots, proving that it was a pretty monumental effort without his frontcourt partner Horford. Other than that the Gators strong outside presence was what really controlled this game as UF hit a combined 15 3-pointers on the evening.
Another positive from tonight's game was the play of freshmen Dan Werner and Maurice Speights, who both provided some solid depth off the bench. I think that one of the major problems in the two losses this season was the absence of any kind of reliable depth. Maybe these guys are coming around.
Here are some notable stats from this evening:
Team Rebs Bench Pts Pts in Paint Assts
Florida 44 30 31 21
FAMU 40 15 18 17
Not an overly impressive win today over an outmatched FAMU squad, but a win nonetheless. Needless to say that the Gators must play a much better game if they want to compete with Greg Oden and the Buckeyes next Saturday, though. It will help to get Horford back and hopefully Corey Brewer will be back in the swing of things by then as well.