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From November to late January, the Florida Gators were an enigma. They found ways to win as much as they found ways to lose. They could play Ohio State as well as anyone has all year for one half, only to be destroyed in the second half. They could beat Kansas State by 13 and then lose to Jacksonville two days later.
But a double-overtime win at Georgia seems to have been the catalyst for the Gators' rise to the top of the SEC. Since then, led by junior guard Erving Walker (pictured), Florida has played like a team with something to prove. They defeated Tennessee twice and Vanderbilt once, won an emotional home game against Kentucky, and aside from a hiccup at Mississippi State, played excellent basketball.
They are as strong in the paint as they are weak from the perimeter. Though guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker and forward Chandler Parsons have not been very good from the three-point line, they have been much better driving to the hoop and making fairly good decisions with the basketball.
No team in the SEC keeps opponents off the glass as well as Florida, which will be a huge asset to this team moving forward. And despite their 12.9 turnovers per game, they still are able to limit their opponents to the fewest possessions per game of any conference team. This is a slow-paced, but efficient offense coupled with a tenacious defense that guards the perimeter extremely well.
But much could go wrong for the Gators. Their free-throw woes, much better of late, could come back to haunt them. And they could enter the tournament season with lots of negative momentum considering their upcoming games against Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
That being said, the Gators have proven themselves to be the class of the SEC this season.