When Florida lost
its second straight game after a 17-0 start--to South Carolina 68-62, on Jan.
25--the stat sheet illustrated a disquieting trait of the Gators: They settle
too easily for the three-point shot. Florida attempted only 10 foul shots, and
its best post threat, 6'8" sophomore Al Horford (right), had just six
points and no free throw attempts. The Gamecocks (11-9, 2-5) are not a bad
team, but Florida should have shown more grit following its first loss of the
season, to Tennessee four days earlier. The Gators returned home and defeated
Vanderbilt 81-58 last Saturday, but their back-to-back losses are a reminder
that even though Florida was ranked as high as No. 2, it's a team that starts
four sophomores and still has some growing up to do.
Last week, when
Wisconsin (15-5, 5-2) announced that two of its players were academically
ineligible, one of those players, 6'10" sophomore center Greg Stiemsma,
issued a statement explaining that he was taking a leave of absence from the
team to begin treatment for depression. Stiemsma's revelation was courageous,
and hopefully it will help lift the stigma that is all too often associated
with mental illness. "I've had so many people tell me that they have known
someone who has dealt with unfortunate conditions like this," Wisconsin
coach Bo Ryan says. "I think Greg realizes that people care about him. If
this all works out and he takes care of business, he has an opportunity to make
an important statement."
1 Russell Robinson
(left) is rejuvenating Kansas. Poor perimeter play has plagued the callow
Jayhawks this season, but Robinson, a 6'1" sophomore point guard, had a
total of 42 points on 11-of-15 shooting last week as Kansas (13-6) beat Texas
A&M and Iowa State.
2 Beware the
nonconference trap game. You can expect coaches to think twice about scheduling
teams outside their league late in the season after Top 25 teams Duke,
Wisconsin, N.C. State, West Virginia and Maryland all lost to unranked foes in
a span of eight days.
3 The luck of the
Irish is all bad. Notre Dame's 72-70 loss to No. 6 Villanova last Saturday
dropped it to 1-6 in the Big East, but those losses came by a combined 16
points, and two were in double overtime.
For more analysis
from Seth Davis, go to SI.com/collegebasketball.