The Gators 77-71 victory over Ole Miss was not just significant for the fact that Florida blew a big lead, but rallied to win. Or that four of the five starters scored in double digits and UF shot almost 48 percent. The victory came on the day that the three biggest challengers for the SEC East all lost. The defeats of Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have created an open SEC race, and helped the chances of Florida's first division title since 2007.
Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton each continued their recent runs, scoring 20 and 17 points, respectively. Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin scored 17 and 16 points. The Gators (12-3, 1-0) shot 50 percent from 3-point range, and 80 percent from the line, but only took 15 free throws. Getting to the line is an issue that depends on the game, but UF was outrebounded and allowed the Rebels (12-4, 0-1) to shoot 47 percent. Sometimes when a team is shooting so well, there will be less rebounding chances and more defense lapses as guys look for opportunities to get back up the floor and score.
The season is very early and we know this team has the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But UF can start by rolling the self-destructing Tennessee Vols on Tuesday. The Vols have lost two of three games and are ripe for a defeat as attention seeking missile Bruce Pearl is in the process of completing his 8-game SEC suspension.