I tossed over a few questions for the folks at Alligator Army to talk about Thursday's game between BYU and Florida. So make sure to check out their site for more Florida vs. BYU talk.
1. How is Florida different then last year's team that BYU defeated?
The simple answer is that they are a year older and a year smarter. That team was coming off consecutive NIT appearances and Florida's guards were more worried about getting theirs. Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton are still shoot first, ask questions later, but at least they are much more secure with the ball. Their field goal percentages are up and their turnovers are down.
Chandler Parsons was good last season, but he is great this season. His biggest feature is that he can contribute passing and rebounding, which has allowed him to play well, despite getting locked up by opponents' best defenders.
Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin also add a new dimension. Young was outstanding against UCLA and will get plenty of minutes in the front court. Wilbekin is only 17, but is an above average defender and is as fearless as Walker with the ball.
2. What will Florida do on defense to stop BYU, or more importantly stop Jimmer Fredette?
They won't stop Fredette. They will likely try to deny him the ball, but after that, they will let him score. UF did the exact same thing with Greg Oden in the 2007 championship game, and that was with two great defenders in Al Horford and Joakim Noah. If Boynton can't go because of his sprained ankle, we will see Wilbekin on Fredette. I'm also hoping UF attacks Fredette on offense to waste his energy.
3. With Kenny Boyton's injury how much will that hamper him in this game?
He probably won't be 100 percent, which hurts on both ends. UF also lacks backcourt depth too. You might see a lineup of Walker, Parsons, Alex Tyus, Young and Vernon Macklin if Boynton is hurt and Wilbekin gets into foul trouble covering Fredette.
4. Is Florida's offensive game plan to just get the ball inside and go until BYU can prove they can slow them down?
You are correct sir. However, UF has guards who love to shoot, no matter the availability of UF's bigs. Last year, UF outrebounded BYU by 12 and scored 16 more paint points. Had UF's guards not turned the ball over 11 times (21 for the whole team), maybe the Gators win in regulation, instead of BYU in double OT.