Florida Gators Have Another Stellar Week. Time To Start Talking SEC Championship

Jim FolsomContributorFebruary 10, 2011

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Forward Chandler Parsons #25  of the Florida Gators plays against the Ohio State Buckeyes November 16, 2010 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Florida Gators had another fantastic week. They are now 8-2 in the SEC and 19-5 overall. They are ranked 17th and are currently 15th in the RPI with a strength of schedule ranking of 7th in the nation.

With six games to play in the regular season, it is now time to think about the SEC Championship and NCAA seeding. Four wins in those last six games would put Florida at 12-4 in the SEC and 23-7 overall. A good showing in the SEC Tournament would probably make the Gators a three seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida went into the week facing always tough Kentucky at home and the only SEC East team to defeat them, South Carolina, on the road. A split would have been considered a successful week. But with the sweep, the Gators now have to think about not being satisfied with a good season. They need to think about cutting nets down.

Chandler Parsons, Alex Tyus, and Vernon Macklin are coming down the home stretch in their college careers. They are all playing with a sense of urgency. Parsons has been especially tough the last few weeks. Against UK he came up huge in the second half of a tight ball game. Just when it looked like UK was ready to take over, twice he came flying down the baseline for a put back basket to keep Florida in it.

Then in the South Carolina game he was two assists away from a triple double. How rare is a Gator triple double? There have been three in Florida history, two of them by Nick Calathes, the other by Corey Brewer.

Alex Tyus, after doing nothing in the first half, came up huge against Kentucky. He scored the Gators first points of the second half, and his hook shot with about two minute left gave Florida a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game. He also had some key blocks and rebounds down the stretch.

Macklin was a beast in the South Carolina game. The Gamecocks had no answer for him as the Gators dominated in the paint en route to a rather easy win.

Parsons led the Gators in scoring against UK with 17 points. Kenny Boynton had 12 and Macklin chipped in 11. Tyus scored all eight of his points in the second half, and Erving Walker was 6-6 from the foul line for six of his nine points. Freshman Scottie Wilbekin also had nine points in the first half which Florida sorely needed because Erving Walker was struggling from the field.

Against Carolina, Walker was hot. He scored a season high 25 points. He was seven of nine from the field including four three pointers in five attempts.  Macklin scored 16 on seven of nine shooting from the field. Parsons had 14 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Kenny Boynton also had 12 points.

Florida has Tennessee coming to Gainesville on Saturday. A win in that one would be huge. Kentucky and Vanderbilt play each other so a Gator win would virtually knock both Tennessee and the loser of the UK-Vandy game out of contention in the East. The Gators always struggle with UT so this will be a huge test.

A win in that one and Florida can start looking forward to the Alabama game in early March. The winner of that game could very well be cutting nets down afterwards.