Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016-17 Gator Basketball: December Recap

In the month of December, the No. 25 ranked Florida Gator men's basketball team (10-3, 1-0 SEC) posted a 4-2 record. Their victories came against UNF (4-12), Charlotte (7-5), Arkansas Little-Rock (10-4), and conference foe Arkansas (11-2) while their losses were against No. 5 Duke (12-2) and arch rival No. 20 Florida State (14-1). I expected the Duke loss, but did not anticipate a third consecutive defeat to the Seminoles.

Florida was finally able to play a home game as they christened the newly renovated Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center against Arkansas Little-Rock on December 21st. They won the game handedly 94-71.

The Gators only left the state of Florida for two matchups: Duke and Arkansas. On December 6th, they faced off against the Blue Devils in Madison Square Garden and lost 84-74. To conclude the month, they traveled to Fayetteville for their SEC opener against Arkansas. In that December 29th contest, the Gators defeated the Razorbacks 81-72 to hand them their first home loss.

Showing some progress as non-conference play came to a close, here are the stat leaders for Florida through December:


Points: KeVaughn Allen (184) (Sophomore)

Assists: Kasey Hill (63) (Senior)

Rebounds: John Egbunu (38) (Redshirt Junior)

Shooting Percentage (100 minutes min.)Devin Robinson (56%) (Junior)

Three-Pointers (10 attempts min.): KeVaughn Allen (27)

Three-Point Percentage (10 attempts min.): Justin Leon (45%)

Free Throws: Canyon Barry (42) (Graduate Transfer)

Free Throw Percentage (10 attempts min.): KeVaughn Allen (89%)


Rebounds: Devin Robinson (54)

Blocks: John Egbunu (25)

Steals: Chris Chiozza (20) (Junior)


Personal Fouls: Chris Chiozza (32)

Minutes: Kasey Hill (369)

Turnovers: Kasey Hill (38)

Final Takeaway
Entering 2017 on a three-game winning streak, the Gators will seek to maintain their winning ways as they enter the SEC portion of the schedule. They will play seven conference games before traveling to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on the Oklahoma Sooners at the end of the month.

The Oklahoma game is one of four road matchups in January that also include Alabama (7-5) on the 10th, South Carolina (10-3) on the 18th, and LSU (8-4) on the 25th.

For the home schedule, the Gators host Ole Miss (9-4) on the 3rd, Tennessee (8-5) on the 7th, Georgia (9-4) on the 14th, and Vanderbilt (7-6) on the 21st.

I think the Gators will at most lose two conference games this month while also dropping a close one to the Sooners. They will remain ranked all of January and will climb as high as 15th in the polls. 

Only time will tell how accurate my predictions are, but what is guaranteed is that the new O-Dome will be rocking as the Rowdies return for the spring semester. I unfortunately will not be at too many games as I am now an alumnus of the University of Florida, but every now and then I may try to snag some cheap tickets and make it to a game or two!



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