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December 10, 2013

Gators' huge first-half run clips Jayhawks



Kansas has a bright future in the 2013-2014 season, maybe the brightest future in college basketball if you ask Billy Donovan.

"I get excited when you're coaching a team with a huge ceiling," Donovan said. "There may not be another team in the country that has as good of a ceiling as they do."

For eight minutes and 43 seconds of Tuesday night's clash between the No. 13 Jayhawks and No. 19 Gators, the future didn't matter. During a scoring drought that lasted nearly nine minutes, Kansas was reminded of its youth - with four freshmen starters - against a Florida squad that regularly starts four seniors.

The Gators flipped to a 1-3-1 zone defense that gave the wide-eyed Jayhawks fits. They further forced the issue with a full-court press that suffocated a team that lacks a true point guard into throwaway possessions. Kansas turned the ball over eight times and attempted 13 shots more than 12 minutes into the game.

"Young guys have never faced a situation like that, drawing somebody who has been in a situation like that," senior center Patric Young said. "We've been blown out before. We've blown people out before. So we know both sides of the spectrum and we know what it takes to win or lose. Those guys are going to learn from it."

Take away the run and the entire complexion of the game is drastically different. Florida outscored Kansas 21-0 during the Jayhawks' drought. Like the final box score, scoring was evenly distributed. Six Gators scored during the run, led by Dorian Finney-Smith and Scottie Wilbekin with seven each.

Meanwhile, Kansas was a comedy of errors played out in front of 12,423 and a rabid student section that leveled the Jayhawks with noise after camping out Monday night and waiting in line through a Tuesday afternoon rainstorm to earn admission and prime seats.

Donovan joked the UF student body is unlikely to pass its upcoming exams. Young called it the loudest he has heard the "Rowdy Reptiles" in his four-year career.

Kansas opened the game up 10-3 before getting buried beneath a lost offense.

"(Florida) played great, but we were awful," KU coach Bill Self said. "That was not a good team playing there at all, and when things started to go bad, we didn't do anything to stop it. That was frustrating. Anything that could go wrong went wrong."

A tide turn in the second half appeared for a while as if it could offset the damage. After taking a 15-point lead into halftime, Florida allowed Kansas to get within six a handful of times late. Donovan didn't know whether to blame complacency or fatigue. Not counting Jacob Kurtz's one minute, the Gators used seven players; all for 20 or more minutes.

The Jayhawks had 11 players see between two and 37 minutes of action.

A tardy onslaught by freshman superstar Andrew Wiggins made things interesting, and he finished the night with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Come March, that might be enough to help his team take scissors to some nylon. Tuesday, it couldn't overcome 24 turnovers, eight more than Kansas has given away in any game this season. Wiggins was the only Jayhawk in double-figures, a feat four Gators accomplished.

Florida just happened to be the veteran professor there to teach a lesson, a 67-61 victory its first-quarter exam.

"We did a good job of sticking to the process and staying tough and staying together when they started inching back into the game," Wilbekin said. "Last year, we lost a lot of these games. Our focus this year is staying together and focusing on the next play."


Official Basketball Box Score
Kansas vs Florida
12/10/13 7 p.m. at Stephen C. O'Connell Center


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Kansas 6-3
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
34 Ellis, Perry........ f  2-3    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   2   4  1  3  1  2  24
21 Embiid, Joel........ c  3-6    0-0    0-1    0  6  6   4   6  2  1  3  1  30
00 Mason, Frank........ g  3-6    2-3    1-2    0  0  0   2   9  0  5  0  1  25
01 Selden Jr., Wayne... g  1-4    1-3    1-2    0  1  1   0   4  1  4  0  0  14
22 Wiggins, Andrew..... g  7-15   4-9    8-8    4  7 11   4  26  0  4  2  0  37
03 White III, Andrew...    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  1  0  0   2
10 Tharpe, Naadir......    1-4    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   3   2  5  3  0  0  29
14 Greene, Brannen.....    1-3    1-2    2-2    0  1  1   4   5  0  2  0  1  14
23 Frankamp, Conner....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
25 Black, Tarik........    0-2    0-0    0-0    0  2  2   3   0  1  0  0  0   6
31 Traylor, Jamari.....    1-1    0-0    3-4    4  5  9   2   5  1  1  0  0  17
33 Lucas, Landen.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   2
   TEAM................                         3  1  4
   Totals..............   19-44   8-19  15-19  11 29 40  25  61 11 24  6  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-19 42.1%   2nd Half: 11-25 44.0%   Game: 43.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  6-12 50.0%   Game: 42.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-4  75.0%   2nd Half: 12-15 80.0%   Game: 78.9%    1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Florida 7-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Yeguete, Will....... f  0-4    0-1    1-4    3  3  6   2   1  0  1  0  1  30
24 Prather, Casey...... f  1-5    0-0   10-12   3  5  8   3  12  1  2  0  0  30
04 Young, Patric....... c  5-13   0-0    2-7    5  1  6   4  12  0  2  1  1  28
05 Wilbekin, Scottie... g  7-12   2-5    2-3    0  0  0   4  18  6  2  0  4  36
20 Frazier, Michael.... g  1-4    1-2    0-0    1  2  3   3   3  1  0  0  2  25
00 Hill, Kasey.........    1-3    0-0    4-6    0  2  2   2   6  3  0  0  0  20
10 Finney-Smith, Dorian    5-13   4-6    1-2    1  4  5   1  15  1  1  0  2  30
30 Kurtz, Jacob........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   20-54   7-14  20-34  13 17 30  19  67 12  8  1 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-35 37.1%   2nd Half:  7-19 36.8%   Game: 37.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-10 50.0%   2nd Half:  2-4  50.0%   Game: 50.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-11 45.5%   2nd Half: 15-23 65.2%   Game: 58.8%    6


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Tony Greene, Pat Adams, James Breeding
Technical fouls: Kansas-None. Florida-None.
Attendance: 12423
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Kansas........................   21   40  -   61
Florida.......................   36   31  -   67

Points in the paint-KU 18,UF 20. Points off turnovers-KU 4,UF 28.
2nd chance points-KU 4,UF 6. Fast break points-KU 4,UF 2.
Bench points-KU 12,UF 21. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-KU 2nd-00:21, UF 2nd-03:08.
Largest lead-KU by 7 1st-15:55, UF by 18 1st-04:14.


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