UCLA Basketball: Early Florida Thoughts

Bumped. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.

Can we actually beat Florida?

The short answer is yes because they are not an elite offense. They may brutalize us with the best press in the country and their "fly on shit-like" half court defense, but we mainly have to worry about one guy on offense.

I don't think betting line is out, but I suspect we'll be five point underdogs. No doubt this is a tough road. Florida is thought to be the best team in the tournament, and the Bruins will have to fly across the country and across time zones for the biggest game in six years. There will be jitters.

OK, Florida-one-man show is an overstatent, but check out their season stats. Scottie Wilbekin, former two-start point guard from Gainsville, Florida is the leading scorer at 15.5 ppg. Albany and Pittsburg tried to shut down Frazier, a great spot-up three-shooter, but Wilbekin made them pay. The center, Patric Young, is 6'9", averaging 10.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg. The front line is strong and athletic as hell, but not super-skilled. They are good offensive rebounders, but mediiocre defensive rebounders.

Here are my keys to the game:

1) Norman Powell on Wilbekin for however many minutes its takes. I'd sag everyone else unless Frazier gets hot. Powell does foul alot, and will need help containing Wilbekin. The Wears have actually been good at giving help. The problem has been that the next rotation-covering the middle left open by the Wears-never happens.

2) Kyle getting back to PAC-12 tourney-level, seeing over the press, not getting turned over.

3) Parker holding his own inside. Mainly rebounding. I suspect that he won't have to play much defense.

4) If the subs are hot, ride them, but I expect to see the starters for the last 8-10 minutes of the game. I don't like Alford dribbling vs. a tough press. Zach? I like him best when he's going to the hole, like when Kyle and Jordan were suspended. I have no doubt he can do that to anyone, but he will be very hesitant against Florida. He's a future pro, but a liability right now.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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