Posted March 03, 2013 on
The Gators have heard plenty about their struggles to close games this season. It was evident as they answered questions on Saturday about finally securing a win. The 12-point win might not have seemed like a close win that Florida needed, but there’s no doubt that it was. The Gators took Alabama’s best shot early in the second half but still managed to come back and close out the game.
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With Saturday’s 64-52 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Florida Gators finished their second consecutive 1-1 week. The Gators entered the previous 1-1 week at No. 5 in the AP Poll and No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. One win and one loss later and Florida fell to No. 8 and No. 6. This week was similar–unranked loss, followed by an unranked win. Will the Gators suffer...
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Early in the game as he sat on the bench waiting for his first chance to get on the floor, there was something evident to Casey Prather.
Prather said he turned to fellow reserve Will Yeguete and the two discussed how their teammates needed an energy boost.
And no, they were not talking about a Red Bull.
"We looked a little dead offensively and defensively...
You attempted to guess where the Florida Gators would end up in the latest AP and USA Today Coaches polls and you may have been half right. Or you may have been half wrong. Depending on your general outlook on life. That whole glass half empty, glass half full thing.
My guess was that the Gators would fall into the No. 9 slot in both polls if No. 4 Michigan had defeated No. 9/10...
Base runners weren’t the issue for Florida during its six-game losing streak. The Gators could get men on base, but once that happened, the offense started to slow. It was a major talking point for Kevin O’Sullivan after Florida lost the opener to Miami on Friday. The Gators put together a big inning for the second day in a row Sunday, using it to win 6-3 over the Hurricanes...
The Gators were searching for a big hit throughout their six-game losing streak. On Saturday night, they got it from the player that needed it the most. Sophomore catcher Taylor Gushue has been slumping early this season, but his two-run single in the eighth inning put Florida ahead for good. The Gators secured a 6-4 win on Saturday night to end the losing streak and even the series with Miami.
Given the landscape of SEC basketball in 2013, only the Florida Gators – with their normal eight-man rotation back in action – can be viewed as a particularly dependable team within the conference. If Vanderbilt can get a first-round bye in the 2013 SEC Tournament, it could definitely make some noise. That goal - an opening-round bye - is now more attainable than ever before.
At any other point in his career, Mike Rosario wouldn’t have handled Saturday with the maturity he showed. The redshirt senior was taking bad shots and being careless with the ball against Alabama, so Florida head coach Billy Donovan put him on the bench for the last 12 minutes of the game. Instead of pouting, Rosario spent the rest of the game cheering for his teammates and being positive.
The process of being completely healthy might’ve looked like it ended for No. 11 Florida on Saturday when the Gators had all their players available, but head coach Billy Donovan knows that isn’t the case. Michael Frazier (concussion) and Will Yeguete (knee) were both far from normal against Alabama. Donovan tried to get them time on the floor and will continue to do so in the future.
At least once a game, Casey Prather reminds the crowd of what he can be. The junior forward is starting to harness and show that athleticism more consistently. It used to flash every once in a while during practice or in the few minutes Prather was able to play, but now healthy and understanding his role off the bench, he is giving the Gators what they need — energy and athleticism.
The Gators had Will Yeguete and Michael Frazier II back Saturday when they welcomed Alabama, but the game revealed those guys are still on the journey to thriving on the court. Florida took the victory 64-52 over the Crimson Tide, but they struggled to make things happen for much of the game.