The Gators played perhaps their most complete game of the season Wednesday night in Columbia, SC, defeating the Gamecocks 79-60.
Florida has won 3 straight and six of their last seven, are a game within a game of the 20-win plateau, and continue to have the best record in the SEC.
The win was also a milestone for Billy Donovan, who notched his 350th career win at Florida.
They could move near the Top 10 in both polls come Monday, depending on how Saturday night's contest against Tennessee goes.
There's not a lot to dislike about where this team is now, and they could be in the 2-3 seed range for the NCAA Tournament if they continue on this pace. They have a very high RPI and SOS.
Donovan constantly undergrades his team when speaking to the press (like a lot of coaches), citing that they still need to improve. Earlier this week he said he felt they could beat anyone in the country, but they could also lose to anyone in the country. He even said they were not a Top 10 or a Top 20 team at this point. They clearly fit into the latter group, and probably would be in the Top 10 if not for early blunders against Jacksonville and UCF.
Donovan of course realizes this team is a contender to go deep into March and we're talking Sweet 16, Elite 8 range. And that's what many experts predicted at the beginning of the season, simply because of the level of experience the starting five possess. Just how far they advance realistically depends on matchups and how well they can play at key moments.
There was some talk after wins against Kentucky and Vanderbilt that Donovan's team may suffer a “letdown”. They obviously did not.
Vernon Macklin's interior domination was the most encouraging thing to take away from this game. He led the Gators with 16 points, while Chandler Parsons was two assists shy of a triple double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.
Up next for the Gators is Tennessee this Saturday at the O-Dome at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.
-Florida shot 55-percent from the field, their best effort statistically this season.
-Florida scored 36 points in the paint
-Florida continues to lead the nation in fewest personal fouls. They committed just 11 Wednesday night.
-Forward Erik Murphy's younger brother, Alex Murphy a 2012 recruit, picked Duke over Florida this week.
Will Muschamp is on now on Twitter www.twitter.com/CoachWMuschamp
He has Tweeted twice since creating the account earlier this week. His latest coming Wednesday where he wrote "A change of pace, we worked on the mental side of the game today with IMG leadership training. The guys were very receptive."
Muschamp understands the PR aspect of being a big time Division-1 coach as well as anyone (having learned from a wily spinster himself Mack Brown) but it looks like Muschamp is going to take a more 21st century approach than his old boss. A Tweet here or there goes a long way for some fans, media and recruits believe it or not.
Gators make offer to defensive back
High school junior Deon Bush received five scholarship offers on Wednesday, one of those coming from Florida.
Bush is a 6-foot-1 saftey out of Columbus High School in Miami. He has a 40-yard time of 4.58. Besides playing the secondary he can return kicks and punts.
His other offers came from Ohio State, Miami, Florida State and Boston College. He also has offers from Purdue, LSU and Ole Miss.
He is the younger brother of Purdue University wide receiver Gary Bush.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tiz_J-hDWPs]YouTube - #2 Deon Bush[/ame]
-The Gators also offered defensive tackle Earl Moore out of Hillsborough in Tampa Bay a scholarship this week. His other notable offers are from USC and Florida State.
-Sports Illustrated has put together a retrospective of the Top 10 recruiting classes of 2008. For Florida that included Jeff Demps, Omar Hunter, and Janoris Jenkins . At the time Rivals ranked the Gators class at No. 3. In the SI list they are left out all together from the Top 10.
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