Feb 18, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Florida Gators forward Will Yeguette (15) smiles while sitting on the bench during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena. Florida defeated Arkansas 98-68. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE

Florida Gators Basketball: Alabama State

The Florida Gators men’s basketball team tips off  the 2012-2013 season for the second time in two days against Alabama State in the O’Connell Center.  After attempting to open against Georgetown on Saturday in the Navy-Marine Classic aboard the USS Batann, the game was called at halftime with the Gators leading 27-23 due to condensation on the court.  Condensation should not be a problem today.

The Hornets, a SWAC team, is coming off a loss 97-53 to Middle Tennessee in their season opener.  In that loss, ASU shot barely above 50 percent from the free throw line and gave up 22 turnovers. They will certainly be over-matched in this one.

Joshua Freelove, 6’2″ junior guard, led the Hornets in the season opener with 12 points while Luther Page, a 6’6″ sophomore forward, chipped in with seven points and three blocked shots.

The Gators counter with size, quickness, and scoring ability.  Patric Young, a 6’9″ center provides a formidable post presence, rebounding and scoring in the paint. Erik Murphy a 6’10” power forward  is one of the best outside shooting forwards in the nation but has bulked up this season and will be counted on more to make plays in the post, rebounding, blocking shots, and scoring inside.

Kenny Boynton will once again move from shooting guard, his natural position, to the point in Scottie Wilbekin’s continued absence due to suspension.  Expect Donovan to once again slide Mike Rosario into the shooting guard slot and start athletic Will Yeguette at the small forward slot.

Yeguette was the most athletic player on the floor in the half against Georgetown leading the Gators with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block and should be expected to excel today. Talented freshmen Michael Frazier, Braxton Ogbueze, and three point specialist Dillon Graham are expected to see time off the bench.

The game tips off at 3:30 Eastern and will be televised on Sun/Foxsports South.
The main story line will be can the starters develop some on-court chemistry and consistency; will they play with effort and intensity against an over-matched foe, something they failed at in the exhibition against Nebraska-Kearney; and how well will the highly regarded freshman class perform.  After the starters were benched by Donovan in the second half against Nebraska-Kearney the freshman came in and lifted the team from a 6 point lead to a 25 point lead and they actually outperformed the starters in that one.
This one should be over with at half-time and they’ll be looking ahead to the next matchup against Big 10 power Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Tags: Florida Gator Basketball Florida Versus Alabama State

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