12:00 before tip: The crowd is going to be max capacity, which is weird. I haven't seen BEMC full like this in years. Surely this will help Auburn. It's a neat atmosphere.
Just before tip: Why can't teams agree on footwear? I understand that players demand different things from their shoes, leading some kids to prefer Nike or adidas or And 1. That's fine. But shouldn't all the shoes at least be the same color? Both teams are trotting out a hodgepodge of styles and colors today.
15:44, 1st: (UF, 11-4) ... Auburn isn't being patient on the offensive end. F Josh Dollard has no idea how to distinguish between a good and bad shot. He heaved a three-pointer on Auburn's second possession for no reason. Goofy.
11:17, 1st (UF, 23-13) ... Auburn is relaxing a little more on offense. That's why they're scoring more efficiently. F Quan Prowell looks ready to play. He's a calm guy by nature, which is helpful today. He's the only Auburn player who seems calm out there right now. Florida is basing its attack right now on Fs Joakim Noah and Al Horford. Auburn has been defending them adequately. The problem has been on the perimeter. Auburn isn't staying with the shooters.
7:45, 1st (UF, 33-20) ... Auburn struggling to defend in the post now. Noah drew fouls on three consecutive touches, then the Tigers were called for two more holding fouls near the basket. The fans are complaining, but the calls are legit. Seeing 5-11 Dewayne Reed guarding 6-10 Noah was funny. Of course Reed will have to foul Noah in that situation. Duh.
3:10, 1st (UF, 44-31) ... Auburn shooting 56.5%; Florida 60.9%. I can't discredit anything Auburn is doing on offense. The Tigers just can't seem to keep UF from scoring, though AU is working very hard to make that happen. Free-throw shooting has been a problem for Auburn so far: 7 of 14.
Halftime (UF, 51-36) ... I question Auburn's decision to use the full-court press against Florida, which is faster at all five positions. It's no wonder UF breaks the press every time. Why bother.
OVERALL SHOOTING: Auburn 48%; Florida 59%.
3pt SHOOTING: Auburn 0-6; Florida 5-8
FT SHOOTING: Auburn 8-15; Florida 14-21
REBOUNDING: Auburn 3+13=16; Florida 4+16=20
*Florida passes so well. It's amazing. Everybody passes.
*Auburn is playing with the same determination it did against Tennessee and Alabama; it's just that Florida is so much better. There is a huge difference between No. 12 (Alabama) and top-ranked Florida.
*I've criticized Quan Prowell in the past for disappearing during games. He'll be great for three minutes, then you won't see him for six minutes. He's doing that today.
*Auburn needs to change its defensive plan. The man-to-man stuff is not working. I know zoning a team with this many shooters seems counterproductive, but man-to-man isn't working.
13:53, 2nd (UF, 67-44) ... Well, that just about does it. Auburn isn't staying with the perimeter guys, and they're hitting the shots. Florida has scored on 7 of its first 10 second-half possessions. The Tigers' defense just doesn't have anything.
11:57, 2nd (UF, 70-50) ... Prowell hit a three-point shot, which was the Tigers' first in nine attempts. Where is Frank Tolbert? He's not a factor today. After a brief lag, Auburn is playing aggressively on defense again. That's not slowing Florida at all.
7:30, 2nd (UF, 77-54) ... More of the same. Auburn is getting more turnover-prone. That's a bad sign for the home team. Tolbert has four fouls. I didn't even know he was playing long enough to gather four fouls.
3:46 (UF, 86-63) ... Auburn is playing better now, but it's way too late. Quantez Robertson came to play today. Rasheem Barrett was good in the first half. No other Auburn player has made a consistent contribution. Florida plays well as a team, and the passing is more than the Tigers can handle.
Final (UF, 91-66) ... Auburn was listless during the final stage of the game, which isn't suprising. Florida was playing its reserves. There was no energy. The crowd, officially listed at 11,600, was diluted long before then.
So Auburn isn't ready for prime time. Not yet, anyway. I thought Auburn had a good chance to keep this game close. I was wrong. The defense was not good. Consistency is an issue.