Florida coach Todd Golden All 12 months he mentioned his group was nonetheless determining how you can play his finest basketball, and on Wednesday night time all the pieces clicked throughout a 13-point upset win over No. 2 Tennessee.
The Gators confirmed flashes of brilliance in opposition to lesser opponents earlier within the season, however the group didn’t fare as properly in opposition to Quadrant 1 and a couple of opponents. Going into the Tennessee State sport, Florida had simply two wins over first-quarter and second-quarter opponents in 11 alternatives. closing losses for Auburnand Florida Atlantic Texas A&M (twice) a killer enchantment, however now the group has lastly made good on Golden’s phrase.
“Clearly this group has seen quite a lot of ups and downs when it comes to ends in matches,” Golden mentioned throughout his post-match press convention. “I felt so robust, and I have been speaking to you guys about the truth that I really feel like we’re higher than our report signifies, even by means of a few of these stretches. I am so pleased with our guys that they put in such an effort collectively for 40 minutes.”
The primary-year coach has by no means misplaced his group’s profitable streak. After profitable 5 out of six video games in January, Florida’s loss to No. 5 Kansas State diminished their fan base. The win over Tennessee reinvigorated the followers and erased any reminiscence Keyontae Johnson hanging on the sting.
The Volunteers had a powerful case for a prime seed within the NCAA Event, however now Florida has put it up Alabama Within the driver’s seat for the Southeastern Convention.
“They’re on the prime of the sport proper now and so they’re No. 2,” he mentioned. “Clearly, that half within the second half the place they lead us, I believe they took a six-point lead. It was simply the grit that our guys confirmed and the flexibility to bounce again from that was superb. Simply quite a lot of nice all-around efforts to beat a group like that by 13 factors.”
As Golden alluded to, the victory was certainly not an enormous win. Florida began with a 17-4 report, however Tennessee got here again like a top-five group within the nation in opposition to an unranked opponent. By no means deterred, Golden instructed his group to play with an “F-it” mentality and so they did. The Gators merely proved their protection was adequate to permit a run like that and nonetheless recovered in time for a double digit win.
“Keep on the observe,” he mentioned. “We went by means of somewhat stretch there. Some issues simply did not go our manner. That was an awesome second for us as a result of, simply looking back, we could not end this stage, and we did an awesome job having (Santiago) Viscovi take these three free throws to place them up at six.” of merely reclaiming that progress and by no means giving it up.”
Golden mentioned he did not really feel snug till 30 seconds into the sport. After failing to complete profitable so many occasions earlier than, it wasn’t practical that the group was lastly doing so in opposition to the quantity two group within the nation.
“I believe it is affirmation that we will beat anybody once we play to our means,” he mentioned. “Clearly we performed very properly tonight. It might be a excessive customary to have us follow it each night time, however we have now proven the flexibility to try this. And I believe that perception comes from this understanding that it is not attainable. Tonight, we proved we will beat a group giant within the nation.
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