Gonzaga and Florida Pick and Prediction
Gonzaga and Florida come into this second round game of the Advocare Invitational at Walt Disney World eyeing a major resume boosting victory. Florida has treated neutral site environments as their home environment until the O’Connell Center is finished with renovations and will be playing all over the State of Florida. For Florida, this is the closest thing to a home game in Gainesville considering that Walt Disney World is only an 1 hour 43 minutes away from campus. The Orlando area is full of Florida alumni and fans, which means that this game even though deemed neutral is a road game for Gonzaga.
Gonzaga’s contingent will be excited to come down considering their school is playing at the Happiest Place on Earth (except when waiting in line for Space Mountain for 120 minutes, dodging strollers that are used as weapons and rude people), but they are a smaller school located in the Pacific Northwest and they will have a lesser presence to pull on their Zags.
For these reasons, this game is far from a neutral site game. No matter what Mickey and Minnie say.
Florida is a program that is known quite well to the readership. Florida likes the 2-2-1 Zone Press, fast paced offense, pressure man-to-man defense and occasional exotic zone defenses. Florida as covered in their preview is experienced and balanced between the frontcourt and backcourt. Florida’s major weakness is three point shooting, which is wildly inconsistent.
Florida’s very capable of forcing turnovers, but have a serious lack of offensive flow on their own end. This is a team that scores off the dribble quite a bit.
Despite their shooting woes, they are able to get to the Free Throw Line effectively and execute there. They do not foul much themselves, which means that they are a very good defensive team considering their ability to force turnovers. Opponents have a tough time shooting against this Florida Defense.
Florida’s main weakness defensively is ending opponents possessions on the glass. Florida can get plenty of second chance opportunities, but they are susceptible to it themselves. Florida does not turn the ball over very often, but they just do not score off assists much.
Florida has defeated and held down two very capable and dynamic offensive teams in St. Bonaventure and Belmont.
Mark Few has a few new contributors, but the good news for him is that they are experienced. Nigel Williams-Goss and Johnathan Williams III are now on this team and they are expected to be dynamic scorers.
This is quite an offensive juggernaut of a team. There’s no real standout on the offensive end, everyone contributes and that is a bit scary for opponents accustomed to keying in on a particular member of an opposing team.
Gonzaga appears to be a juggernaut on offense and defense. Their ability to get rebounds and force opponents to score without help from teammates is impressive thus far.
Gonzaga is a strong offensive and defensive team. Their only weakness defensively is that they allow opponents to get out into transition A LOT. 28.5% of shots taken against Gonzaga are in transition, but the Zags hold opponents to a 35.5% effective Field Goal rate though.
Gonzaga is basically on the same level as Florida! They do all the same things well and have some common flaws.
This explains things a bit better. Gonzaga has faced three “tomato cans” and an offensively flawed San Diego State team.
Gonzaga-Florida Prediction and Pick
Gonzaga does not play an imposing style of basketball, but Florida does. Florida will harass Nigel Williams-Goss and provide him with the biggest challenge he will face thus far. This is a road game for Gonzaga and it is a measuring stick for them going forward. Gonzaga has yet to face a defensive and offensive team as good as Florida, which is going to make things extremely challenging.
The Ken Pomeroy score…
Odds Shark agrees as well…
It’s a game that many do not want to touch, but it is a home game for the Gators. Florida is a more seasoned team that is capable of containing offensive juggernauts. Strangely, Gonzaga is the favored team tonight. Gonzaga is a 3 point favorite, the wrong team is favored in this one. Take Florida on the Moneyline (Florida +140).
Prediction: Florida 74 Gonzaga 69
Pick of the Day is 9-5 this season after yesterday’s pick of VCU -7 against St. John’s. VCU won by 6. Life can be tough.