Calipari warns that Florida is playing as well as it has all year

By LARRY VAUGHT

Florida has a new coach in Mike White but a look much like what the Gators had under former coach Billy Donovan, who won two national titles at Florida and is now coaching in the NBA.

“He probably went in and said, ‘You know what? A lot of this stuff is really good and worked. If it’s good for those players.’ And he knows Billy was a really good coach,” Calipari said Friday. “A lot of the stuff is some of the same thing and actions.

“Defensively and rebounding, the stuff he’s doing is old school. They’re doing a little phantom press, but the rest of the stuff is in the half-court. (Florida) is giving you one tough shot. If you think you’re driving it, then you’re driving it on five. It you think you’re posting it, swinging the ball and driving, then you’re doing it on five. They all rebound.

“He’s doing a good job. I think now they’re buying in. They’re building their confidence. We’re playing a team that’s playing as well as they’ve played all year.”

Florida has won five of its last six games going into Saturday’s game at 4 p.m.

So how does Kentucky win?

“You have to make extra passes, screen them more, and I hate to say this, but you have to make some shots. Not some 3’s, but some 15-footers,” Calipari said. “You have to get your drives off of handoffs and pin-downs and different things while they’re still playing.

“Every bounce of the ball they get closer to the lane. Now you try to go and they have five guys in there, each with a foot in the lane.”

1 comment

  1. Some direct comparisons to the UK team

    1. Each team has played 22 games, UK winning 16 and Florida 15
    2. Each team is 6-3 in the SEC at the midway point
    3. Florida has played a schedule with a strength of 0.6869 and UK 0.6411
    4. Florida is 1-6 against top 50 teams, UK is 3-1
    5. Florida is 14-1 against teams outside the top 50, UK is 13-5
    6. Both teams average 71 possessions per game
    7. Florida’s average margin is 9.2 ppg, UK’s average margin is 9.8 ppg
    8. UK has grabbed 54.1% of all rebounds, Florida has grabbed 52.3%
    9. UK has a turnover margin of +1.2%, Florida has a turnover margin of +2.6%
    10 UK shoots the ball better overall, 47.2% vs 43.0%
    11. Florida shoots the 3 pointer more often and more effectively, 34.9% vs 32.0%
    12. Kentucky shoots free throws better (on the season but be sure they make 90% today) 67.3% vs 64.6%
    13. Florida defends the shot better than UK overall (39.2% vs 40.4%) and from the arc (31.2% vs 33.1%)
    14. Florida’s ANE is 0.184 ppp and UK’s ANE is 0.182 ppp

    Statistically, these teams are very close, and their head to head matchups will go in favor of the team can play above its average level. UK cannot simply show up and win today because it is at Rupp. UK must show up ready to engage the Gators and do so for 40 minutes.

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