Can Florida Gators Be Stopped In SEC Play?

By Taylor Sturm
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 13 Florida Gators finally looked like the dominant team that they were expected to be against the lowly Savannah State Tigers from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Gators’ preseason SEC first-team center Patric Young was unstoppable as he recorded 15 points to lead all scorers, and their defense held Savannah State to just 11 points in the first half.

Billy Donovan’s team ended up winning the game 76 – 34. The 42 point victory comes with their highest winning margin of the season.

It doesn’t matter that the Tigers are 2-11 or that they are from the MEAC; Florida needed this huge win. I know the win over Savannah State doesn’t seem like it would mean much to a team that has wins over the Kansas Jayhawks and the Memphis Tigers, but when you take a look at their previous games against weaker opposition, it was a major improvement.

Florida struggled in their opener against the now 6-7 North Florida Ospreys, only winning 77 – 69. They then struggled against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and the Southern University Jaguars even though the final score reflected double-digit wins. On top of that, the Gators almost took a devastating loss to the Florida State Seminoles, but only one by one point.

At times, the Gators look a little bit shaky offensively, but they have improved greatly since the return of Scottie Wilbekin. Expect the win over Savannah State to give the team a lot of confidence and for Florida to go into SEC play with a winning mentality.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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