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Hard to believe that Billy Donovan has been at Florida for 14 years. Or that this is his 14th year.
Oh god. Jim Burr is on the game.
Love the fact that the Tampa crowd seems to be pro-Orange.
I haven't had a good feeling about this game for most of the evening. But somehow that first 2 and half minutes was calming. It seemed like we were getting slapped around, and we're ahead 7-6 - and I don't think Wes has touched the ball yet.
9-8 now at the first media timeout. Rick Jackson has a pair of buckets down low. Nice to see him off to a good start. The inside seems to be an area where the Orange can exploit the Gator defense. Let's see how that plays out.
Like the energy right now. Wondering if/when Florida figures out that Rick Jackson is lefthanded?
Scoop has made two decisions on fast breaks I didn't like -- but we got three points out of the two possessions.
First time we've seen things not look easy for Wes Johnson....love the tip drill on the fast break between Rautins and Jardine on the break.
Share the basketball - the Orange continues to do it.
This is pretty good basketball right now. 42 points from the two teams in less than 9 minutes.
Florida is doing the best job of anyone attacking the zone this year. Of course, they have made a few three-pointers which has opened things up as well.
Syracuse has gotten hot and is beating Florida to the basket. They've opened up a ten-point lead. Syracuse is clearly the better team here.
The pressure did seem to bother the Orange early. But they passed over top of it a few times and got a few stops - so that Florida couldn't set up. I didn't think the game got to chaos level, but certainly a very high tempo.
Florida got back into the game in that segment. Syracuse seems to want to take advantage of the size advantage inside, but most of the points seem to be coming on the O glass from those guys.
I just love the fact that Syracuse is playing Florida in Florida. And the crowd seems mixed. Maybe even pro-Orange. Great job by the Alums in Florida.
Got a little sloppy at the end of the first half - last six minutes or so. Reminiscent of the Carolina game at the Garden.
Listening to Donovan sounds like he thinks his team is going to play better in the second half. Almost like he thinks they will win the game.
Great half for Rick Jackson as the theme of this team continues. And that is that there is somebody different each night.
I thought Donovan sounded eerily confident headed to the locker room. I think he felt like he got away with something only being down six at the half. Syracuse might need Wes Johnson to get involved in the second half.
Jackson has been good in spurts the last few years. I thought when he became part of the starting lineup last year, it made that team a lot better. Plus Harris was occupying space in the lane and Devendorf wasn't passing. He has gotten a lot better since his freshman year.
We'll see if that jump shot from Johnson gets him on track. He's helping in other areas, but hasn't been the scorer yet tonight. Good minutes have come from Kris Joseph off the bench - but I am always amazed at how much he can miss long range jumpers from and not be a real bad shooter.
Parsons playing at the top of the zone - is a real good move by Donovan. To use someone with this size out front against the Syracuse guards who routinely outsize opponent guards is a great move.
Feel very good about the Orange stretching this lead back out. Getting it back to double figures required some work. But defensive stops have been the key. The Joseph miss on the good look from Johnson really hurt there. It allowed Florida a three at the other end - as they got it in transition. And instead of being a 12-point lead, it went to 7. Sloppy play offensively and another three has gotten it to four.
Kris Joseph has some ups.
A little bit of poise needed at the moment. Looks like we're swinging for the fence on every offensive possession.
Three straight made threes for the Gators. Rautins answers with a big one off a down screen. Good stuff. Plays being made.
Big time stuff from Wes Johnson. A three at the shot clock buzzer. And the bucket in transition. But the foul shot would have been nice. Great answer to what Florida has thrown at them here. Up six at the Under 8.
Just to answer the query...Andy Rautins is Canadian - not Latvian. Thanks for checking in.
Great play by Scoop defensively. Syracuse knew Florida was exploiting the foul line and they drop the guard back in there to take the pass away. Nice adjustment.
Jim Burr you have to be kidding me. I knew that would be a problem at some point. But Boynton missed both free throws.
Everytime Florida makes a push. Syracuse has an answer. I like that. That time it was Jardine on the fast break.
This team is just so much fun. They have so many options. Wes Johnson hasn't played as well tonight as he has most of the season. But he has been huge at key times. And he has had a pretty good second half.
The Under four is upon us and the lead is six. A couple of poor offensive trips for the Orange. Not only have they come up empty....but they failed to take any time off the clock. I would assume they will look to take some air out of the ball the rest of the way. But if Florida makes these free throws, upcoming after the timeout, it will be a four point game - as the Gators would have scored six in a row.
Interesting that Scoop Jardine has gotten the minutes down the stretch over Brandon Triche. Jardine made some turnovers in the first half, but has redeemed himself in the second.
Johnson was just huge in the second half. Rautins has made some key plays and the lefthanded take was big there. Now they are taking some air out. But why let Jackson have the foul, so they can send him to the free throw line. Rick Jackson gets the difference maker award. Great effort by him. Also some very key minutes from Kris Joseph down the stretch.
Another good win for this group. Wasn't the cleanest of efforts. But it was again a total team effort. A balanced offensive attack - inside, outside, jump shots, rebounds. Good defense. And the unbeaten total is down to 15 - and the Orange is still one of them.