SEC Tournament: Florida Gators Getting Hot at the Perfect Time

Drew LaingAnalyst IMarch 7, 2011

Kenny Boynton and Chandler Parsons have led the team to an SEC regular season title.
Kenny Boynton and Chandler Parsons have led the team to an SEC regular season title.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Florida Gators are arguably the hottest team in the country as they prepare for the SEC Tournament this weekend.

The Gators have won eight of their last nine games, including convincing wins against Vanderbilt (twice), Kentucky and Alabama.

With these last eight wins, Florida has set a school record for conference wins in a season with 13 and clinched the regular season SEC title. 

Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus have stepped up and contributed greatly to the recent regular season success by increasing their point production and rebounding numbers.

Anyone who has watched the Gators recently can attest to the chemistry that they are finally showing.

It seems as if after four years of growth and many highs and lows, the Gator players are clicking on all cylinders.

Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton has fought off inconsistency of late and developed some hot shooting streaks. He has reached double-digit point totals in the last nine games.

Boynton was crucial in the SEC regular-season title clenching game against Vanderbilt on Saturday. He went 4-of-9 from three-point range, bolstering his rate to 48 percent from three-point range.

Vernon Macklin, Parsons and Alex Tyus have showed maturity through their all-around performances.

Parsons currently leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists per game and is a viable candidate for SEC Player of the Year

Perhaps the most important stat for the Gators is their eight wins on the road.

Quality wins at Xavier, Florida State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt give the Gators confidence heading into the tournament.

They have proven to be able to compete and win big games away from Gainesville, something that is crucial for any team aspiring to make a deep run in the tournament.

The Gators have also shown they can overcome injuries to key players as both Parsons and Macklin missed time throughout the season.

It has not always been a positive outlook for this group of Gators. Early on in the season, Florida suffered terrible losses to UCF and Jacksonville University and a nearly devastating loss to Morehead State.

And with disappointing showings in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments over the past few years, Florida was being pinned as an overrated team who is struggling to find consistency in the weak SEC. 

However, these Gators are showing maturity and resilience. They have hit their stride and are not letting up. 

If they continue their hot shooting and tough defensive mentality, Florida will be a tough out for any opponent during the NCAA tournament.