January 9, 2008

BOL report card: Florida 90, Alabama 83

Perimeter Offense
For everyone but Alonzo Gee, it was an off-night in the shooting department. While Florida went on its key 11-0 run late in the second half, UA appeared anxious on offense and missed five 3-pointers in a row without an offensive rebound. Rico Pickett notched nine assists in his SEC debut, but shot 0 for 5 in the second half. UA's guards get primary credit for holding down the turnovers (11), but didn't look for Hendrix enough. He needs more touches off feeds instead of rebounds, especially given his struggles at the line.

Interior Offense
With 24 points and 16 rebounds, Richard Hendrix was the strongest inside presence in the game. Just as impressively, he had four assists and only one turnover. He didn't get much help inside, but a lack of minutes doesn't penalize the grade. Demetrius Jemison gave Alabama its opening basket but was rarely heard from after and finished with only 14 minutes. Yamene Coleman played just eight minutes and Justin Knox was a DNP.

Perimeter Defense
Yuck. Florida got 51 points from its top guards (Jai Lucas, Nick Calathes, Walter Hodge), and that trio connected on 9 of 13 from beyond the arc. Notwithstanding an NBA-range 3-pointer by Calathes, too many of those toed the line uncontested (and a running leap from six feet away doesn't count as contested). UF didn't do too much damage with penetration, but didn't need to.

Interior Defense
UF center Marreese Speights managed just two field goals and never got to the free-throw line. Although Hendrix was often the only true post player on the floor for Alabama, the Gators did little damage here. UA struggled to rebound in the first half (UF 23, UA 16), but had a better showing in the second half (UA 22, UF 17). Minutes were in short supply for UA bigs not named Hendrix.

Bench Play
This is one area where Alabama got hurt. Five UA subs combined for 51 minutes, half of which went to Brandon Hollinger, and the production totaled just six points (3 of 9 shooting), four rebounds, one assist and three turnovers. Meanwhile, Florida got 15 points and 10 rebounds from its reserves.

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