SEC Basketball: Florida Gators Should Be in Panic Mode

By Taylor Sturm
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators were almost upset by the most surprising team so far of the college basketball season, the Florida State Seminoles. The Gators led for a majority of the game, but fell apart at the end, letting the Seminoles get off a last second shot that bounced off the back of the rim and allowing for Florida to hold on to win 67 – 66.

Although Florida State is a lot better than they were predicted to be at the beginning of the season, this win does not bode well for the future of the Gators. Florida has clearly become much better since head coach Billy Donovan stated that they were, “light years” away from being a ranked or even NCAA tournament-level team, but, simply put, the Gators aren’t cutting it offensively.

Patric Young might as well be on the bench for Florida. The preseason first team All-SEC pick hasn’t scored more than eight points against any good team that the Gators have played all season. He only scored four against Florida State. On top of that, the so-called “dominant” Center hasn’t had more than eight rebounds in any game, and even that was against Arkansas-Little Rock. The only really positive thing that can be said about Young’s play is that his constant threat is enough to pull other players into the paint and leave leading scorer Casey Prather open.

The Gators are scoring enough to win games, but it won’t be enough down the stretch. Once they get into SEC play, it’s going to be much more difficult to win without being able to score on opponents like the Missouri Tigers, who have two players averaging nearly 20 points a game, and the Ole Miss Rebels, who have three players averaging more than 14 points a game.

Florida’s next three games are the most difficult in the country. They have the No. 13 Connecticut Huskies, the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and then the No. 21 Memphis Tigers. If Young and the rest of the Gators’ don’t start scoring now, they could lose all three.

Taylor Sturm is a SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google

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