Bush: After carefully examining the region me and my cabinet agree that that area is definitely ripe for regime change...but if I can be real about it?
Ashcroft: Be real, son.
Ashcroft: Yo be real real, son.
Bush: He tried to kill my father, man. I don't play that shit!
Ashcroft: Yo say word he tried to kill your father, son.
Bush: (grabbing boom mike from above): HE TRIED TO KILL MY FATHER!!
[Chappelle's Show, "Black Bush"]
And so it is that the Gators are about to be real, beginning a three-game stretch in five days with tonight's game against Southern Utah. While, to our knowledge, no players for any of the Gators upcoming opponents has threatened to kill anyone, this week stretch will be as difficult as the squad has dealt with. After Southern Utah, Florida plays Syracuse on Monday, Nov. 24 and Kansas or Washington the next night (the games are the finals of the CBE Classic in Kansas City). Three years ago, it was a win over Syracuse in the 2K Sports Classic in New York that pushed the Gators from "rebuilding" to "contender" and the 2006 NCAA Championship. (Remember, that team lost Lee, Roberson and Walsh. People thought they would suck.) The Gators can make a statement in the next week or they can decide to go the way of Kentucky, where the only link to greatness is the banners hanging from the rafters.
Dan Werner leads the team with 18 ppg (shooting 55%) with 4.5 rpg. He is even 5-10 from 3-point range. Nick Calathes is averaging 14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 6.5 assist per game; a solid stat sheet for a player who needs to carry the team. The other player averaging double figures is Walt Hodge, who was supposed to be the sixth man but found his way into the starting five after Jai Lucas skipped town. Hodge is averaging 13.5 ppg. In terms of the freshmen, Allan Chaney and Ray Shipman have played very well. Erving Walker has not found a scoring touch, but has contributed in other ways. He has 10 assists this season and only 2 turnovers. It is only two games, but a 5:1 assist to turnover ratio is damn good. As a whole, the team could protect the ball better (1.3 A/T).
Tonight's game is at 8pm on Sun Sports, and should be a victory at UF. But the challenges will come next week.