Sunday, January 24, 2010

Payback For Gators & Parsons In Win Against Gamecocks

Game Stats              Highlight Video

Almost one year to the day, Florida found themselves in Columbia, SC with a one point lead and Chandler Parsons at the free throw line with a one and one opportunity be missed the free throw and with 3.3 seconds to go Mike Holmes throws a touch down pass to Zam Fredrick, who scores as time runs out USC wins 70-69.  Now fast forward to one year later, the scene, Gainesville, FL, 5.1 seconds Devan Downey had just scored on a leaner to give the Gamecocks the lead 56-55.  Erving Walker receives the inbounds pass and races up the floor with no timeouts, with Parsons asking for the ball on the left wing, Walker delivers and Parsons hits the three pointer to give the Gators a Buzzer-Beater Payback win 58-56 against the Gamecocks.  Parsons finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. He missed his first three 3's, but hit the only one they needed.  "Honestly, I was just in the right place at the right time," Parsons said. "I struggled shooting all game long, but it felt good and it definitely felt good to do it at home and get a win like this."

The game was highlighted by the Devan Downey Show.  Downey's accomplishments were overshadowed by the Parsons' game winner, but it was not a distraction for fans, scouts, analysts and commentators.  The 5'9" Downey played 38 minutes, scored 36 points on 12 of 25 shooting, scoring from NBA range on 3's, dropping buckets on Florida post players in the paint with relative ease and never allowing his harassing defense to be affected by his offensive showing.  Billy Donovan, Florida's Head Coach said that Downey's performance reminded him of LSU's All American Chris Jackson who scored 44 against a Rick Pitino coached Kentucky team at Rupp Arena.  Basically both players in different eras scored big in small bodies against double teams and special defensive schemes.

The teams were very evenly matched and it was apparent early that this game could come down to the team with the best late run or the team with the ball last as the game offered 17 lead changes and 11 ties with Florida holding the largest lead at one point of only 6 points in the second half.  Florida was able to place 4 players in double figures on 22-53 shooting.  South Carolina on the other hand saw no player with more than 6 points on 21-55 shooting, other than Downey's 36 points by shooting 25 of the team 55 attempts.  It was nearly a one man victory for Downey and the Gamecocks.  It appears that even the best of efforts of what is currently the leading scoring in the SEC and possibly the Conference MVP, can generate a win without assistance of the remaining 8 players in game rotation.  Downey is forced to work hard for his points, making the game often a play ground highlight showing and the result no assists for the USC and SEC star, who has the ball in his possession more than any other combination of guards on the team.  The team produced only 4 assists on the evening and is last in the league in team assists.

To show how evenly the game was played; shooting USC 21-55, UF 22-53; free throws USC 8-13, UF 10-13; rebounds USC 34, UF 36(offensive USC 11, UF 10); team fouls USC 15, UF 11; three point shooting USC 6-22, UF 4-15; steals; USC 6, UF 4; turnovers USC 7, UF 10.   Florida was able to win the assist battle outright 14-4 with Walker distributing 7 assists to add to his 13 points and 5 rebounds at 5'10", another finalist for the Bob Cousey Award.

USC (11-8, 2-3) will have to quickly regroup and find a way to get ready to play the No. 1 team in the country, Kentucky (19-0), led by the best freshman in college basketball, point guard John Wall, who like Downey can take over a game, but does not have to because he has five other very solid offensive teammates.  Wall can score 30 points while dishing out 8-10 assists, and he plays defense and rebounds as well.  Head Coach Darrin Horn will have 48 hours to get his team ready to score from other jersey numbers.  The good news is the first showing between the two squads is in South Carolina where Horn teams have been difficult to beat.

Key Game Notes:

Devan Downey has now scored more than 2000 points in his 4 year college career.

Points in the paint-SC 18,UF 30.

Fast break points-SC 0,UF 4.

Bench points-SC 9,UF 2.

2nd chance points-SC 10,UF 8.

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