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Hoop Thoughts

Feb. 06, 2006
Feb. 06, 2006

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Feb. 6, 2006

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FLORIDA'S FOULPLAY

This is an article from the Feb. 6, 2006 issue Original Layout

When Florida lostits second straight game after a 17-0 start--to South Carolina 68-62, on Jan.25--the stat sheet illustrated a disquieting trait of the Gators: They settletoo easily for the three-point shot. Florida attempted only 10 foul shots, andits best post threat, 6'8" sophomore Al Horford (right), had just sixpoints and no free throw attempts. The Gamecocks (11-9, 2-5) are not a badteam, but Florida should have shown more grit following its first loss of theseason, to Tennessee four days earlier. The Gators returned home and defeatedVanderbilt 81-58 last Saturday, but their back-to-back losses are a reminderthat even though Florida was ranked as high as No. 2, it's a team that startsfour sophomores and still has some growing up to do.

A BADGER'SBATTLE

Last week, whenWisconsin (15-5, 5-2) announced that two of its players were academicallyineligible, one of those players, 6'10" sophomore center Greg Stiemsma,issued a statement explaining that he was taking a leave of absence from theteam to begin treatment for depression. Stiemsma's revelation was courageous,and hopefully it will help lift the stigma that is all too often associatedwith mental illness. "I've had so many people tell me that they have knownsomeone who has dealt with unfortunate conditions like this," Wisconsincoach Bo Ryan says. "I think Greg realizes that people care about him. Ifthis all works out and he takes care of business, he has an opportunity to makean important statement."

THREE-POINTER

1 Russell Robinson(left) is rejuvenating Kansas. Poor perimeter play has plagued the callowJayhawks this season, but Robinson, a 6'1" sophomore point guard, had atotal of 42 points on 11-of-15 shooting last week as Kansas (13-6) beat TexasA&M and Iowa State.

2 Beware thenonconference trap game. You can expect coaches to think twice about schedulingteams outside their league late in the season after Top 25 teams Duke,Wisconsin, N.C. State, West Virginia and Maryland all lost to unranked foes ina span of eight days.

3 The luck of theIrish is all bad. Notre Dame's 72-70 loss to No. 6 Villanova last Saturdaydropped it to 1-6 in the Big East, but those losses came by a combined 16points, and two were in double overtime.

For more analysisfrom Seth Davis, go to SI.com/collegebasketball.

PHOTOBILL FRAKES (HORFORD)PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (ROBINSON)