College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, November 14, 2012
While the pundits, broadcasters and analysts ooh and aah over John Calipari's success at Kentucky and his youthful 2012-13 squad, there's another SEC team that almost surely will challenge the Wildcats for the conference championship this season: the Florida Gators.
Coached by Billy Donovan - who, by the way, has two national championships on his resume - the Gators have depth, balance and experience, which was on display Wednesday night in a nationally-televised (ESPN), 74-56 rout of a very solid Wisconsin team that was ranked #22 in the latest poll.
The 10th-ranked Gators pt up an early lead and were never challenged by the Badgers, who were held to 36% shooting by the active Florida defenders.
Senior Erik Murphy, who averaged 10.5 points per game last season, matched his career high (notably achieved in a 74-71 loss to Kentucky in last season's SEC tournament) with 24 points on perfect 10-for-10 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers, 2-for-2 from the foul line, with four offensive and four defensive boards.
Murphy led all scorers in his 33 minutes of floor time. The Gators sizzled at 62% shooting and hit 16 of 20 shots from the foul line (80%).
The 2-0 Gators should move up in next week's poll, probably past #3 Kentucky, after the Wildcats dropped a 75-68 decision at home to Duke on Tuesday.