Wisconsin Badgers vs. Florida Gators Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/12/13
Florida Gators (1-0) at Wisconsin Badgers (1-0)
College Basketball: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm (Kohl Center)
The Line: Wisconsin Badgers -6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Florida Gators travel to Wisconsin to play the Badgers on Tuesday night.
Florida won their season opener over North Florida 77-69 on Friday. Coach Billy Donovan warned everyone that it would take time for this team to come together this year and it showed on Friday night. Florida shot 44% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc, while UNF shot over 37% from three-point range. Florida struggled defensively and will need to play better if the want to compete with Wisconsin on Tuesday. This season. Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario are all gone. Billy Donovan signed two freshmen, Kasey Hill and Chris Walker, and he also has two transfers, Virginia Tech’s Dorian Finney-Smith and South Carolina’s Damontre Harris, who have joined the team. This is Patric Young’s team and we should see a big season from him and with that will come more minutes. Young has only averaged around 27 minutes per game the past two seasons, so that number should go up this year. Young is a great rebounder, defender, and has become a career 60% shooter from 2-point range. Michael Frazier, who scored 19 points in the season opener, and Casey Prather, who scored a career-high 28 points in the opener, will be key contributors this season. Scottie Wilbekin is back after the point guard was suspended and he will be the best on-ball defender for the Gators this year. Florida will have the talent to compete with Kentucky this year, but a few young players will have to emerge to make this a dominate team.
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The Wisconsin Badgers won their season opener over St John’s 86-75. Josh Gasser, who missed last season with a knee injury, scored 19 points to lead the Badgers to victory. The Badgers, who had five players score in double figures, never trailed and took control with an early 11-2 run and went 11 of 23 from three-point range. Sam Dekker added 16 points for Wisconsin. Coming into this season, the Badgers lost Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans and so the defense may take a step back. However, the return of Gasser should help the Badgers on the offensive end of the floor. Ben Burst, who shot 54% from the field last year, will pair up with Gasser to lead the Wisconsin offense. Sam Dekker will also be a key contributor to this Wisconsin squad. Dekker at 6-foot-7, can rise over smaller defenders and score with an elite level of efficiency, and has the athleticism to create his offense. Dekker converted 57% of his 2-point looks as a freshman. Freshman Nigel Hayes, a legit power forward at 6-7, 230 pounds, should step in and make an immediate impact for the Badgers. Wisconsin has all the pieces to be an explosive offensive team, and with Bo Ryan coaching them up on defense, this team should compete with the elite teams in the Big Ten this year.
Both teams lost key players this off-season, but it seems like every year these teams find a way to reload and get right back in the mix. I think Florida needs some more time to come together as a team, especially on defense. Wisconsin has the upper hand when it comes to size and strength and the ability to play great defense. I don’t think Florida is ready for a road game yet, and definitely not at Wisconsin. I’ll take the Badgers to cover the 6 points in this one.