No. 9 Gators exposed as No. 4 Buckeyes roll 93-75

By Adam Silverstein
November 16, 2010

Billed as one of the premiere games to start the 2010-11 college basketball season, the No. 9/10 Florida Gators and No. 4/5 Ohio State Buckeyes squared off Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. Unfortunately, after an intense first half, only one team showed up to close out the game with the Buckeyes (2-0) trouncing the Gators (1-1) 93-75.

Defense and ball control doomed Florida in the second half; UF allowed Ohio State to score 55 points and shoot 70.6 percent from the floor as they tore through the press and scored in bunches on the fast break.

Freshman forward Jared Sullinger and junior guard David Lighty led the way for OSU with 26 points apiece. Sullinger dominated down low making 13-of-17 shots and notching 10 rebounds (five offensive), while Lighty was the most efficient starter of the court draining 9-of-11 buckets.

Gators sophomore G Kenny Boynton had one of his best offensive performances in the orange and blue, going 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-8 from downtown for 21 points. Defensively he struggled in the press and had trouble in containment.

Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin rebounded from a rough opening game with an intense first half that included 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He was shut down after halftime with only one more bucket on two attempts. Also struggling late was junior point guard Erving Walker, who turned the ball over six times after the half and finished with seven giveaways. By contrast, the Buckeyes had eight turnovers as a team.

Florida took a seven-point lead in the first half but went into the locker room up only three even though they out-rebounded Ohio State 17-7. The two teams went back-and-forth to start the second half with the Buckeyes taking the lead over the Gators for good with 12:14 left on a three-pointer from G Jon Diebler to go up 59-57.

OSU outscored UF 37-18 down the stretch and took a game-high 20-point lead on a dunk by F Dallas Lauderdale with 1:15 to go. Ohio State finished the second half shooting a spectacular 70.6 percent from the field compared to 63.2 percent for Florida.

In all, the Buckeyes got off 13 more shots than the Gators, notched 11 more assists (22-11) and gave up significantly fewer turnovers (18-8). However, they were out-rebounded 26-17 with the majority of the difference coming in the first half.

Senior F Chandler Parsons, who was quiet at points during the game, finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting with a team-high seven boards, while sophomore F Erik Murphy – Florida’s lone veteran reserve – was the team’s primary threat off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Losing what was likely one of their toughest match-ups of the non-conference slate, UF will attempt to regroup as they take on North Carolina A&T at home on Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will air live on Sun Sports.

POST-GAME NOTES & QUOTES (After the break…)

On the team’s biggest issues: “It’s the double D for us – it’s discipline and decisions. Shot selection – the discipline to run offense. Both teams were not very good defensively. The difference was, we were pressing the entire time and we turned them over eight times. They were not pressing and we turned it over 18 times. Our discipline and our decision making has got to get way, way better in my opinion.”

On turning the ball over so much: “It’s a huge concern for me, it really is. A lot of that has to do with discipline. We gave them easier baskets; we had to work for a lot more. If you look at the stat sheet, the shooting percentage – they did not guard us very well and we did not guard them very well. When your point guard has seven turnovers in a game where it’s a non-pressing game and we’re trying to press… I thought we got stagnant. We have to become so much more disciplined in our decisions. The biggest key for our team is: Can we become more disciplined and can we make good decisions?”

On the press failing and if he would have used it differently: “Our press at times really, really got exploited. We gave up some easy baskets. The one thing about the press that really was effective in the first half is Sullinger, even though he scored some, he never really got into the flow. When we missed some shots to start the second half and we had to come back and fall back and play half-court defense, they really went to him on a regular basis and he started to make his presence felt.

“The thing we’ve got to get better at is the back of the press and, when we do rotate to trap, our rotations were not very good at all. That’s when you saw some dump down passes, some dunks. Anytime we’re giving up a dunk or a layup, we’re not rotating correctly or we’re gambling or the wrong guy is coming there. That’s what happens when you press this early in the season when you play against a top-five team. When you break down it can really, really get exploited. I take responsibility for that. The worst thing for us coming into the game would have been just to sit down and play half court defense.”

Opening statement: “Really for the first 30 minutes, both teams I thought were pretty evenly matched. It was a great game, and I thought the difference between them and us was really the last 10 minutes of the game – their discipline and how well they played. It’s a great game for our team because – I told our team a couple weeks ago – we got a lot of preseason hype but we have such a long, long way to go. […] This early in the season, for us to play a game like this, to lose the last 10 minutes hopefully helps our guys understand how far we have to go to be a complete team for 40 minutes.”

On the team’s miscues: “We broke down in terms of underneath out of bounds, our press sometimes that enabled them to get some easier baskets. […] because of some underneath out of bounds plays, some press and our turnovers really opened the game up. ”

On Ohio State’s touted size advantage: “We scored. Everybody talked about their frontcourt and their size and their strength and how big they were. We out-rebounded them. I think we’ve more of a presence; I think we’re more physical. We’re just really right now totally undisciplined and really make poor decisions. And that’s an area that I’ve got to take responsibility for as a coach and try to help those guys get better.”

On Ohio State being more physical than Florida: “Ohio State’s not a physical team. I don’t look at them as being a physical team. I look at them as being a quick, athletic team. Even though they have that size and strength and length, I thought we got the ball inside pretty easy and we were able to score in around the basket. This is a team that got 30 offensive rebounds against North Carolina A&T.”

Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press


  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Thank god this was only the 2nd game of the season.

  2. g8ter27 says:

    Did John Brantley start in this game?

  3. Lone Star Gator says:

    Surprise, our basketball team is just as mediocre as our football team.

  4. npgator says:

    Ohio State is good.

  5. JW says:

    Granted it’s really, really early, but I’ve been skeptical of our pre-season ranking. I understand we have virtually everyone returning from last season but we have everyone returning from a team that barely got into the tournament last year and did not win a game in the tournament. Not sure what that experience is worth, but top ten seems high.

  6. John S says:

    We do have the pieces this year to be competitive, but we need to be able to finish games. We were in every game but one last year and then let them all slip away at the end. I hope Billy is looking at what he can do at the end of games to help. We always seem out coached in the last 10 minutes.

  7. Marc says:

    For once, Ohio State deserves their ranking. They played a great game.

    1. I can’t understand why we pressed the whole game when it caused no trouble at all for OSU, who probably got 40 easy points from beating the press.

    2. Is it possible that Walker got worse from last year? WHY DOES HE PLAY SO MUCH???????? There is no way Scottie W or Prather could do any worse. Put them in and let them mature into productive players.

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