Florida continues to roll through the SEC as the No. 1 Gators earned their 21st consecutive victory with Saturday’s 79-61 home SEC win over LSU.
The Gators had tremendous balance on offense in the win as five Florida players had seven-to-10 field goal attempts to help Florida shoot 57 percent (31-for-54) from the field and 56 percent (13-for-23) from the three-point line. Florida also had 18 assists on 31 field goals and its defense held LSU to 38 percent shooting.
Florida was led by Dorian Finney-Smith with 16 points while Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II each contributed 14 points while senior guard Scottie Wilbekin had 11 points as well.
The Gators haven’t lost in nearly three months — since Shabazz Napier’s buzzer-beater on December 2nd — and Florida has only lost two true road games this season to UConn and Wisconsin.
So why aren’t more people talking about the Gators?
A weaker SEC than was initially perceived might have something to do with it. Kentucky isn’t the juggernaut that some believed in the preseason and the SEC doesn’t have a lot of NCAA Tournament locks. But Florida still owns wins over Kansas and Memphis — as well as a road win at Rupp — and the Gators are finally coming into their own as they get healthy and get Chris Walker into the rotation.
If Florida beats Kentucky at home next Saturday might they get more respect for a No. 1 team that has won 21 straight games? Time will tell, but the Gators are deep and dangerous as we finally begin the month of March.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.