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Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Archive

Cavaliers Drop to Second Place in the Eastern Conference in blowout loss to Spurs

Cavaliers Drop to Second Place in the Eastern Conference in blowout loss to Spurs

The defensive woes for the Cleveland Cavaliers continue in their 103-74 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. And to be honest, it was a clear struggle on both side of the ball for the Cavs. 74 points marks Cleveland’s worse scoring quarter this season, shooting 37% from the field and only 15% from three.

Box Score

http://www.nba.com/gametracker/#/20170327/CLESAS/cavaliers/analysis

The loss drops Cleveland to second place in the Eastern Conference, with Boston taking a half game lead and the first seed. The last time Cleveland wasn’t the top seed in the East was November 5 2015. Cleveland has lost four of their last six contests, but with nine games left on the regular season schedule the battle for the first seed is just getting started.

Recap

Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports.

The Spurs lead the Cavaliers by ten points after the first quarter and never looked back. With the game very much up for grabs the Spurs started heating up in the second quarter which turned into a 24-8 Spurs run. Just before the run started, Spurs Head Coach Greg Popovic was given a technical foul, which put a fire under his players. During this run, the Spurs shot 64% from the field.

Cleveland couldn’t get anything to fall against one of the best defensive teams in the league, shooting under 40 and 20 percent from the field and behind the arc. LeBron James finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Tristan Thompson was the only other Cavalier in double-figures with 11.

Kyrie Irving finished the game with just 8 points on 4-13 shooting from the field. This performance ended his 21 game streak of 20 or more points scored in a game. Irving’s performance prompted him to get shots up after his worst game since the All-Star break.

Kevin Love, who is still getting used to in-game action after missing 13 games with a knee injury finished the game with 9 points to go along with 7 boards.

What’s Next for the Cavaliers?

Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland currently sits half a game out of first place in the Eastern Conference with nine games left to play this season. In this month alone, the Cavaliers have played 16 games, with two more coming  on Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia.

According to LeBron, who was forced to leave last nights game after getting elbowed in the back, the schedule isn’t an excuse to their poor play this month.

Three of Cleveland’s next four games are coming against teams with a record under .500, but after that stretch they only play teams that are in the Easter Conference playoff race. One of those matchups include a meeting with Boston, who as I mentioned before, is ahead of the Cavs for that top spot in the East. After Boston, Cleveland close off the regular season with two games against the Atlanta Hawks, on the road in Miami, and a home matchup with the Toronto Raptors.

 

 

 

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Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Articles

What’s Next for the Gator Seniors?

What’s Next for the Gator Seniors?

March 24, 2017

The University of Florida is preparing for a Sweet 16 matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers later tonight. Regardless if the Gators win or lose, the season is ultimately coming to an end within the next few weeks. For Florida, that means the collegiate careers of seniors Kasey Hill, Canyon Barry, Justin Leon, and Schuyler Rimmer are coming to an end.

Of these four seniors, only Kasey Hill has been with the program since the start of his collegiate career. Leon is a junior-college transfer, Barry a graduate-transfer, and Schuyler Rimmer being a walk-on after originally playing at Stanford.

Any regular person who sees this list of seniors might think that their careers will end as members of the orange and blue. But the real question is, what do the seniors think about their future careers in basketball?

The Senior Leader – Kasey Hill

Kasey Hill came to Florida as one of the top high school recruits in the country back in 2013. To be more specific, he was given a scouting grade of 93 out of 100, and was rated as the 10th best player in his class according to ESPN Top 100.

Most people who have followed the Gators during Hill’s time there will tell you he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Now while

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

some of that may be true, you have to consider he came to Florida to be a backup to Scottie Wilbekin in his freshman season.

Not only that, Billy Donovan, Florida’s previous head coach who recruited Hill, took a job coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder. So Hill, the point guard, had to learn an entirely new offensive system under new head coach, Mike White.

It took Hill, and the rest of the Gator team an entire season to buy into Coach White’s system, but they clearly have with a berth to the Elite 8 on the line tonight. A pass first defensive minded point guard is exactly what every NBA team wants on their roster. Sure, Hill didn’t have the success that most top-ten recruits have at the college level, but he’s certainly turned heads this year.

After receiving Second Team All SEC and All Defensive Team, Hill has shown his game has progressed majorly over the last two seasons, and that maybe the NBA is more realistic than people think. Hill has mentioned that he wants to continue basketball after his time with the Gators, but it will be up to him to prove he is worthy of an NBA Roster.

The Graduate Transfer – Canyon Barry

For Canyon Barry, he’s shown the ability to be a knockdown shooter from both the three-point, and free-throw lines. Everyone is familiar with Barry’s unorthodox free-throw shot. If you are one of the very few who are unaware of how Barry shoots his free-throws, here’s a look.

 

And yes, Canyon Barry is the son of NBA Legend, Rick Barry. Much like his father, Barry shoots the ball at a very efficient clip. It took him a few weeks to get used to the Gators system, but he is still averaging close to 35% from downtown, and 88% from the free throw lines. Not only that, but Barry was also named the SEC’s Sixth Man of the year while earning and Academic All America of the Year. These types of numbers and awards can attract any NBA scout, but for Barry, he is only focused on the task at hand.

However, Barry is very confident that he continue to play ball at the next level, regardless of where it might be. It’s that kind of mindset that gets college athletes to the next level, no matter the sport. Now if Barry doesn’t make it at the next level, his Nuclear Engineering Degree is sure to land him work somewhere.

Justin Leon and Schuyler Rimmer

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Leon and Rimmer are the two that seem to fall out of the spotlight when it comes to the Gator Seniors, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t played well. In fact, Leon is often known as the X-factor for this Gator team. Leon has started every game for the Gators this season, shooting about 40% from three and 78% from the free-throw line. He’s clearly had his moments this season as well, matching his career high of 19 points, and scored double digit points in nine games. One of those games coming against Virginia in the round of 32, which sparked a huge run for the Gators in their blowout victory over the Cavaliers.

And while Rimmer hasn’t had many opportunities as a Gator, he has came in and played well in spurts to give the other big men on the roster some time to cool off. Especially since the loss of John Egbunu, who tore his ACL back in February. Rimmer hasn’t seen more than two minutes of playing time in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but most of that can be credited to the improved play of freshman big man, Gorjok Gak.

It’s hard to say where any of these seniors will end up after their collegiate careers. Whether you see some of these guys in the NBA, D-League, overseas, or wherever their careers take them after basketball, it will definitely be worth keeping track of.

Source: WRUF

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2017 in Articles

No.12 Florida Falls to Vanderbilt for Second Time this Season

No.12 Florida Falls to Vanderbilt for Second Time this Season

March 4, 2017

The No.12 Florida Gators came into Saturday’s game locked in as the two seed in the SEC Tournament and a double-bye to go along with it. However, that was the last thing on their mind. The Gators traveled to face a Vanderbilt Commodore team that previously upset the Gators at home earlier in the season. Today’s game was about revenge for the Gators, and it appeared as if they would get just that.

First Half

Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

After a Kasey Hill basket to start the game for Florida, the Commodores answered with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes of play which would eventually lead to a Mike White timeout. Florida would come out surging right after.

KeVaughn Allen and Hill scored on back to back possessions to reduce the lead to three. The two teams would continue to trade baskets for a few minutes, but then the Gators caught fire. But more specifically, KeVaughn Allen. Allen gave the Gators their first lead after hitting a pair of free throws with 8:45 remaining in the first half. Allen would then come down to hit three’s on back to back possessions to give put Florida up seven.

Vanderbilt went scoreless from the 9:30 mark, and only made four shots in the final ten minutes of the first half. A Devin Robinson layup at the buzzer would give the Gators a 40-31 lead heading into the half.

Halftime

KeVaughn Allen lead all scorers at halftime with 13 points on 50 percent shooting from both the field and three point range. The Gators continue to get a spark from Canyon Barry, who came off the bench to score 11 first half points. Jeff Roberson lead the way for the Commodores with 11 first half points, converting on all of his shot attempts while Commodore senior leader Luke Kornet had eight points on 37.5 percent shooting.

As a team, the Gators shot 52 percent from the field, 38 from three and 83 percent at the line. For Vandy, the shot only 41 percent from the field and 21 percent from three.The Commodores get 42% of their points from three, so it’s clear they needed to shoot it better from deep to climb back into it. 

Second Half

Vanderbilt would open the half on another run, this one a seven to two advantage that would lead to another Florida timeout. After a 2:33 scoring drought, Barry scores on back to back possessions to put the Gators back up four.

Then it was Justin Leon hitting on back to back possessions for his only six points of the afternoon. This extended the Florida lead back up to ten, as the Commodores go nearly four minutes without a made basket. However the Commodores would chip away at the lead yet again.

Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Riley LaChance then caught fire. LaChance connected on a three for his first basket of the game with just under five minutes remaining in the half. Following the made three, LaChance would convert on a pair of free throws and a layup during the next two possessions to give the Commodores a two point lead.

The Gators went cold just like the Commodores did in the first half, failing to convert a basket for nearly four minutes. Vanderbilt would hold on to a two point lead with 30 seconds remaining and wouldn’t relinquish it. The Gators had multiple chances to take the lead or tie the game in the final seconds, but the team elected to attack the basket rather than shooting the three. Chris Chiozza converted on two free throws and a layup during these possessions, but a missed Kasey Hill layup would seal it for the Commodores.

The Commodores would get the win on senior day 73-71. Kornet finished the game with 24 points, scoring 18 of them in the second half. KeVaughn Allen failed to score in the second half, so it was Barry leading the way with 15 points.

 

What’s Next?

With the regular season officially over for both teams, it’s time to look ahead at the SEC Tournament. The Gators clinched the #2 seed in the tournament with their win earlier this week versus Arkansas. With that, the Gators will have a double-bye and won’t play until Friday, March 10 at 7p.m. For Vanderbilt, they will be the #6 seed and will play their first tournament game on Thursday, March 9 at 6:25.p.m.

Source: WRUF

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