With a very disappointing football season drawing to the close, Gator fans everywhere are excited as the UF basketball season kicks off. This weekend, I attended the Gators' game against the University of North Florida Ospreys. The Gators dominated from the get go and showed off their athleticism as they jumped to a big lead over the Ospreys in the first half. The big takeaway that I observed from the first half was the 17 consecutive free throws that the Gators made. They ended up sinking 27 on the day out of 32 attempts. The free throws made a big difference as the Gators would end up only beating the Ospreys by eight points.
The final score aside, I was very impressed with the play of the Gator basketball team. Sure they did not win by 20 like many were expecting, but it is just the first game of the season. They might need a few games to shake the rust off and reach that elite caliber of play that many expect them to be at when the likes of Kansas and Kentucky come to town. Here are some of the players who stood out to me. Senior forward Casey Prather was a scoring machine with a team high 28 points and eight rebounds as well. The other Kasey, true freshman Kasey Hill, played well in his debut as he scored 15 points and had four assists. Sophomore forward Michael Frazier II was the other player who impressed me as he had 19 points and nine rebounds. My moment of the game has to go to senior center Patric Young who came out of nowhere and swatted an Osprey shot into the stands. It was one of two Gator blocks on the day, the other one belonging to fellow senior Casey Prather.
The Gators' next opponent will be on the road against the Wisconsin Badgers on Tuesday, November 12, at 9 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN2. Meanwhile, the UNF Ospreys will hit the road to take on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders on Wednesday, November 13, at 7 p.m.
*Stats accredited to Gatorzone.com