Florida Gators Basketball: For Real Or Pretenders?

Sean MurphyContributor IJanuary 28, 2009

The Florida Gators' record looks good. However, with wins over teams like Warner, Toledo, UMKC, and Rollins, their record doesn't look near as good as some of the top 10 teams with the same record.  They are 17-3 overall, with a 4-1 record within the SEC.

The Gators are good, but they lack an inside presence they had with the back-to-back championship years.  They have a great core of players with Calathes, Tyus, Parsons, and Vargas.  They just need more time.  Unlike Horford, Noah, Green, Brewer, and Humphrey, inconsistency is plaguing the Gators.  It's the live-and-die by the three point shot that is ultimately going to keep the Gators from winning it all this year.

The rebounding has to improve—they are averaging 38 rebounds a game.  In comparison, North Carolina is averaging almost 10 more rebounds per game.  They are only out-rebounding teams by two rebounds a game.  Florida is ranked 176th in the nation in rebounding.

Free throw shooting by the Gators must improve as well.  Calathes had a chance to seal the deal against South Carolina, but missed a crucial one-and-one. Remember what happened to Memphis last year against Kansas? The Gators are shooting only 68% from the charity stripe.  They are missing 32% of their free points.

Competition is also a factor, and the SEC is surprisingly soft this year.  With the Gators as the only ranked team, they must depend on other teams to make their record look better.  Right now, CBSsports.com's RPI rankings has them at No. 25.

The Gators are good, but just how good?  Only time will tell.