Rushed Reactions: #3 Florida 62, #15 Florida Gulf Coast 50Posted by nvr1983 on March 29th, 2013
Three Key Takeaways.
- It is about fundamentals. Dunk City was fun while it lasted, but in the end your idea of execution has to go beyond just throwing up lobs. America fell in love with Florida Gulf Coast’s style of play, which consisted of aggression consistently being taken out against the rim. When it is working it is a beautiful thing to watch, but when it doesn’t it can get ugly very quickly. After jumping out to a 24-14 lead with 5:23 left in the first half the wheels came off the Dunk City bandwagon very quickly as Florida went on a 16-0 run to go up 30-24 and they never looked back. Although the Gators never pulled away (their largest was 12 with 7:25 left) the game never seemed in doubt as the swagger that Florida Gulf Coast exhibited for nearly 2.5 games of the NCAA Tournament disappeared and appeared tentative despite the occasional flashy dunk.
- Florida will have to play better if they expect to beat Michigan on Sunday. Beating a team that has been as hot as Florida Gulf Coast has been is never an easy task, but Florida did not look like a national title contender against an overmatched team with the exception of their 16-0 run late in the first half. They had multiple chances to put the game away, but let Florida Gulf Coast hang around. Mike Rosario played well, but none of the Gators played that well. It was a sloppy effort overall and should raise concerns for a team without a true leader and one that has still not won a close game.
- What’s next for Andy Enfield? The Florida Gulf Coast coach has become something like an Internet sensation for a variety of reasons–his wife, career at Johns Hopkins, and business career–and this has led to some speculation that he might be moving onto another job. We won’t dismiss that possibility, but we would probably point to a mid-major opening created by someone leaving for Minnesota or UCLA. No reasonable athletic director (ok, maybe we are assuming too much) would consider someone who coached a good, but not exceptional team that just happened to get hot and matched up against vulnerable teams. Despite their run in the NCAA Tournament they are not even considered heavy favorites to win the Atlantic Sun again next year. If Enfield can build on this and make a successful, sustainable program, then perhaps he can dream about a big-time job.
Star of the Game. Mike Rosario, Florida. You could pick a couple of Gators here or you could pick nobody. Honestly, nobody really distinguished themselves tonight as having played exceptionally well. Rosario led the team with 15 points (6-14 FG) and added 5 rebounds. He had the highlight of the night with his pass off the back of a Florida Gulf Coast player on an inbounds play that he took from halfcourt in for a dunk.
- “A”t the end of the day we still made it to the Sweet 16 and made history. And I’m proud of our team. They helped me achieve a goal that I never thought that I would ever reach.” – Sherwood Brown
- “I just felt that I made a play for my team at a crucial point in the game and I wanted to be aggressive.” – Mike Rosario
Sights and Sounds. “Almost midnight!” – Florida fans chanting at Florida Gulf Coast as the game literally approached midnight. The game lacked the atmosphere of the opener not only due to the lower quality of play, but also the mass exodus of disappointed Kansas fans. It will be interesting to see what kind of crowd shows up on Sunday with so many Kansas fans most likely heading back north after tonight’s collapse.