As freshman point guard Devon McLeod lobbed the ball to a jumping Donte Briscoe, ’12, the Gator crowd collectively held their breath before Briscoe slammed it home over the helpless Denison defender.
The 674 in attendance stood and cheered as the home team went on their way to a 75–68 win over a mediocre conference opponent.
For those of you who missed the Gators’ victory over Denison, the team put on a high flying show.
While the NCAC may not produce as competitive a product as the Big East match up on CBS that Saturday afternoon, Coach Klune and the Gators have put together a run–and–gun offense that gives the casual basketball fan what they are usually satisfied by: three-pointers, high energy fast-breaks and a few alley-oops and dunks sprinkled in between.
If the Gators have a chance to compete for a conference championship in the near future, the presence of four starting seniors would signify that this is the year.
Add to those four seniors a pass-first freshman point guard who studied basketball under the famed Bobby Hurley of St. Anthony’s in Jersey City, and this team just might have a chance at conference glory.
While undersized down low with only one true big man in George Raftis, the team is able to spread the ball, creating a dangerous offense that can be lethal from beyond the arc.
Leading the NCAC in scoring with an average of 77 points per game, the Gator offense is comparable to Mike D’Antoni’s “shoot first, ask questions later” New York Knicks. They may not win all the games, but the right combination of role players are able to come together to compete on a nightly basis.
The high flying offense is able to compensate for the lack of a great defense (The Gators are currently ranked seventh out of 10 defensively in conference).
The Gators will need to keep putting the pieces together for their upcoming challenging road trips to conference powerhouse Wooster on Saturday and second place Wittenberg Wednesday. The Gators return home for a Saturday matinee on Feb. 6 against conference opponent Kenyon College.
There is no cost to attend games for students, and you’ll probably come across someone you know; perhaps that anonymous dance partner from the night before at Sports Garden.
I understand that your time is valuable, but if you’re looking to see an exciting team take the court, why not sit with the rowdy and passionate Gator fans who occupy the section across from the Allegheny bench and cheer on a great basketball team with some viable potential?
As long as the team continues to shoot the ball successfully, the sky is the limit for this Gator squad.