Florida Basketball: Scoring Balance Will Lead Gators to Domination of Georgia

Nick JuskewyczContributor IIIJanuary 23, 2013

Erik Murphy passes the ball inside against the Georgia defense.  He scored 11 points against the Bulldogs in their first meeting.
Erik Murphy passes the ball inside against the Georgia defense. He scored 11 points against the Bulldogs in their first meeting.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Florida Gators are on a roll having won their last six games by an average of 24.2 points a game, and that trend should continue on the road tonight against the Georgia Bulldogs.

One of the greatest assets a college basketball team can have, particularly in conference play, is multiple scoring options. In Florida's starting five, every player averages at least 8.3 points a game, which will drive a 7-10 Georgia team crazy.

The Gators defeated the Bulldogs in Gainesville 77-44 in their first contest two weeks ago. Florida opened up with an 11-0 run and forced Georgia to call two full timeouts before the first media break. The Gators led 28-15 at halftime and never looked back.

Mike Rosario led Florida with 19 points, but the Gators received contributions from multiple players. Patric Young, Casey Prather and Erik Murphy all scored in double figures to go with Scottie Wilbekin's eight points and six assists.

Wilbekin, who has doubled his minutes a game from his sophomore to junior season, has been the key to driving this well-rounded and efficient Gator offense. The point guard's 4.9 assists has helped Florida shoot an impressive 49.1 percent from the floor (10th in NCAA).

Furthermore, as basketball coaches will tell you, good offense leads to good defense. While the Gator offense has been productive, they are also holding opponents to 51.7 points a game (3rd in NCAA) according to teamrankings.com.

Easy baskets have been a struggle for Georgia as Charles Mann leads the team in assists at a mere 2.6 a game.

The Bulldogs average 60.1 points a game (316th in NCAA) and have been looking for someone to help Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He is the only Bulldog that averages scoring in double figures at 17.1 points per game.

Also not helping Georgia's cause is its lack of experience. The Bulldogs' starting five include only one senior and two freshmen. This youth will have to try and ride the home crowd against the three seniors and two juniors in Florida's starting lineup.

To ensure the Gators aren't poised for an upset on the road, head coach Billy Donovan doesn't have to dig deep to motivate his veteran squad. The last time Florida made a trip to Athens, the Gators were shocked by the Bulldogs 76-62. 

One hurdle the Gators will have to continue to get over tonight is the absence of Casey Prather. He is still continuing to rest his high ankle sprain and will miss tonight's contest, according to Mike DeCourcy at Sporting News.

Nonetheless, with all the firepower this Gators team has, Florida should run away with this one 74-51.