The Florida Gators need to figure out who they are.
The Gators look to be in the middle of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type identity crisis as of late. The Gators rebounded from an ugly slugfest of a win against Auburn on Thursday to humiliate Arkansas 75-43 on Saturday.
Within two days Florida went from looking like a Joke to playing like a legitimate contender come March. For a team that has shown lack of consistency and rhythm in spots this season the Gators looked like a well oiled machine in every aspect of play.
The Razorbacks took a 4-2 lead to start the game before the Gators went on an eight point run fueled by Vernon Macklin who scored eight of Florida’s first 10 points. That momentum would carry Florida to their best half of the season, which gave them a 39-17 lead at the intermission.
The impressive start was fueled by strong performances from Macklin, Alex Tyus and Kenny Boynton. Macklin and Boynton both scored 11 points in the first half, while Macklin connected on his first five shots inside, and Tyus made his first four.
Boynton led the Gators in scoring with 20 points, while Tyus added 15 and Macklin scored 13. Delvon Johnson was the top scorer for the Razorbacks with 12 points.
The Gators did an amazing job of spreading the ball around and balancing the offense. However, one player stole the show from early on. Macklin, who has been outshined by freshman Patric Young as of late, was a beast from the beginning. His play carried an enforcing tone that displayed why he is the anchor of this Florida team down low.
The offensive barrage was a polar opposite from the team’s output against Auburn. The Gators came close to surpassing their total scoring performance against Auburn in one half against the Razorbacks. Their shooting percentage improved to 49.2% from a measly 28.3% against the Tigers.
However, shots from behind the arc seem to remain a challenge. Florida was 5-17 for a 29.4% from three to improve from a ghastly 5-26 outing against Auburn. The only Gator that found a rhythm from three was Boynton; as he went 4-7 from three.
Defense proved to be a big plus for Florida in the game as well. Chandler Parsons grabbed a career high 15 rebounds, and the defense implemented a well conceived gameplan that was successful throughout the contest. This allowed the Gators to hold the Razorback’s lead scorer, Rotnei Clarke, scoreless on the night. Instead the pressure forced Clarke into several forced shots that landed closer to the exits than to the hoop.
The win was the biggest margin of victory ever against Arkansas topping a 77-56 win March 11, 2007. It was also the lowest point total ever earned by Arkansas against the Florida.
The Gators (15-4, 4-1 SEC) are now in first place in the SEC East going into a big game Tuesday against rival Georgia.
About the Author
Written by John Weidner
My name is John Weidner, and I am a Communications major at the University of North Florida. I have always had a talent for writing and communicating ideas in unique ways to others. Right now, I am learning more about how to cover and discuss different topics and ideas in the world of journalism. I consider myself a sports journalist but also am interested in covering anything that is newsworthy. I have been gaining experience as a journalist since I first joined the staff of my high school newspaper in tenth grade. I have written for numerous publications including: The Florida Times-Union, The Falcon Flyer, The UNF Spinnaker, La Plaza Magazine ,Jacksonville.com and The Ponte Vedra Recorder. I am also working on gaining other non-traditional forms of experience through different ways and am open to any opportunity that can be used as a learning experience.