The No. 10 Florida Gators struggled in their opener against the North Florida Ospreys despite an extraordinary 28-point performance from Casey Prather. A 77–69 performance against a team that Florida should have crushed by at least 20 is not the reflection of a top 10 college basketball team. Florida star Patric Young played limited minutes and Will Yeguete, who was coming off an injury, had an extremely small impact, but freshman Kasey Hill showed signs of potential explosiveness.
Head Coach Billy Donovan actually was quoted as saying, “we are light years away from even being a remotely good defensive team right now and light years away from being a ranked team.” I don’t think the Gators are actually more than ten trillion kilometers away from being a ranked team, but they need to get it together quickly because their schedule is one of the most difficult in the SEC.
Next up for the Gators are the extremely talented No. 20 Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin is coming off a decent win over the unpredictable St. John’s Red Storm and will have a ton of confidence facing Florida at home. The Big 10 is an extremely difficult conference this season, and a win against the Gators will alleviate some of the pressure to pull off major in-conference upsets. This is going to be a good game between two great basketball teams, but Wisconsin could easily pull off the upset.
Florida won so many games last season by playing extremely tough defense and not allowing a team’s best scorers to get started. If they can let a team like North Florida outplay their team on both sides of the court not only will they lose to Wisconsin, but they will also lose their upcoming game to the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. Florida has to get it together soon or they may have an even more disappointing year than the Kentucky Wildcats had last season.