Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators Finalize SEC Basketball Exhibition Slate
SEC Basketball exhibition play has ended with Florida and Alabama winning their outings on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
While the Gators continue to impress and have begun making a name for themselves, the Tide have some questions to answer.
Regular-season action begins on Friday for SEC teams, when nine of the conference's 12 teams will compete.
Florida 104, Webber International 53
Florida has opened some eyes in its preseason action, winning its two games by a total of 90 points. Perhaps this team won't miss Nick Calathes quite as much as they should.
The new star in town is named Kenny Boynton, and he's dominated both exhibition games. Boynton scored 25 in this one on 6-of-11 shooting, also grabbing three rebounds.
With Walker doing a fine job thus far of replacing Calathes' ball-handling and Boynton stepping into the scorer's outfit, this team might step into the three-ring circus known as the SEC Eastern Division and compete for the title.
As a team, the results were no less impressive. The Gators notched a 53.7 percent mark from the floor, outrebounded their opponents by 18, and shot 41.7 percent from behind the arc.
Turnovers were the only noticeable flaw for Florida, giving the ball up 21 times. They did, however, force 26 turnovers.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kenny Boynton (25 pts, 3 rbs, 62.5 percent 3PT, 54.5 percent FG)
STAT OF THE GAME: Three Gators with at least seven rebounds
FLORIDA GRADE: A+
Alabama 61, Augusta State 55
When the threes aren't falling for the Crimson Tide - which will be often this year due to a thin backcourt - the defense isn't there for the team to be able to win competitive ballgames.
This was the closest any SEC team came to losing an exhibition game, and for that very reason. 'Bama managed just 29.4 percent from three and allowed Augusta State to shoot 38.9 percent from the field. Alabama lost the turnover battle 23-18 as well.
Two facts were encouraging for the Tide, though.
First, free-throw shooting was solid. The squad hit 90.9 percent of its shots from the charity stripe. With that kind of mark, close late-game situations will always be winnable.
Secondly, scoring was balanced. Seven players scored at least six points, but only one in double-digits. That honor went to JaMychal Green, who shot 5-of-7 to score 12 points and grab a team-high five rebounds. His defense is still lacking, though, as he didn't register a single block or steal.
This serves as a pretty big wake-up call for Alabama. If the defense doesn't improve, this team is going to have a long season.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: JaMychal Green (12 pts, 5 rbs, 71.4 percent FG, 100.0 percent FT)
STAT OF THE GAME: Alabama with more turnovers, less blocks/steals than opponent
ALABAMA GRADE: D+