I watched a little of their first round game and they reminded me a little bit of the Gators with the guards leading from the back court. I like the match up and believe we have a bit more depth and talent.
Guard play is the key to a good Tourney team and run. It was a bit shaky for our guards in their first game. The second part of the first period we really struggled to get a ball into the cylinder. Have to credit ETSU for played good defense and clogging the lanes all game. Perhaps it was a case of opening round nerves, but Barry and Allen really struggled on their ball handling and shooting. Even the usually reliable Leon had some accuracy issues. Thankfully Devin Robinson stepped up and filled the scoring void.
I thought Hayes played very well, especially on defense and rebounding. It was great to get Tourney minutes for our other bigs. I liked the big lineup that kept us in the game with Stone, Rimmer and even Gak getting minutes (and points).
We survived a good ETSU team and will advance to the next round. Hopefully we will settle down and have better three point shooting against Virginia. Even still, I think this is a game where our bigs are going to be critical. ETSU was a great warmup for most of our bigs who will need to score and defend inside to take some pressure off our guards. Robinson, Leon and Stone in relief will also be critical for point production.
Our guards are going to have their hands full with perimeter defense. That's the key to the Gators winning this game against the Cavaliers and advancing to the Sweet 16.