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The Gators have had their share of trouble against the SEC Player of the Year Anthony Davis.
In the Sweet 16, they’ll face off against the Big East’s best in forward Jae Crowder.
Crowder has been the engine that keeps the Golden Eagles rolling. He is one of the most complete players in basketball, posting one of the best overall stat lines in the country (17 PTS, 8 REB, 2.5 STL). In addition, he’s been a walking double-double in the NCAA tournament, averaging 17 points and 14.5 rebounds.
The Gators don’t match up well for the 6’6”, 235 pound forward. They will certainly miss Will Yeguete and his ability to contain athletic forwards in this contest.
Billy Donovan’s options are limited but not hopeless. He could throw out Bradley Beal to body up Crowder. The 6’3" guard may be able to keep up with him, but he may be overpowered by Crowder’s 235 pound build.
I imagine Florida PF Erik Murphy will see a chunk of minutes guarding Crowder. At 6’10” and weighing 230 pounds, he has the length to shield Crowder’s view and keep him from the paint. This season Murphy had issues guarding Kentucky’s Terrence Jones, a similar player, so Patric Young will need to provide help defense and protect the rim.
Jae Crowder will certainly be a handful for the Gators. Strong defensive awareness and alternating different looks will help contain the Marquette forward.