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Florida basketball: Alabama blowout shows how far this team has come



Florida basketball
via @grahamhall on Twitter (X)

Florida basketball blew Alabama out on Tuesday night and it shows just how far the Gators have come this season.

After losing in overtime to Alabama a couple of weeks ago, this game was circled on the calendar for Florida basketball.

The Gators came into Tuesday night’s game against No. 16 Alabama with a 20-9 overall record and 10-6 mark in conference play which already showed that they’ve come a long way this year. Todd Golden led Florida to a 16-17 record and NIT berth in his first season but year two has exceeded all expectations.

Golden hit the portal, landing some high-impact guys who have taken this program from irrelevant to contender in the span of just one year. And after a 105-87 win over Alabama, Florida is now firmly in the NCAA Tournament, if it wasn’t already.

The Gators improved to 21-9 overall and they picked up yet another solid win, scoring over 100 in the process.

Guys like Zyon Pullin, Walter Clayton Jr., Will Richard, and Tyrese Samuel all had monster games. Each of those guys scored at least 19 points and Alabama just simply couldn’t stop them. I’m not sure what was more impressive, the fact that they each scored 19-plus or that they were a combined 36-of-37 from the free throw line. Just an insane stat.

A year ago, Florida would’ve crumbled in a big game like this. Sure, year one under Golden saw progress from the previous regime, but there was just hope still instead of results. They made the NIT, but that’s not good enough for Florida basketball.

Golden has these guys believing again and after spending an earlier part of the season on the NCAA Tournament bubble, the Gators have essentially punched their ticket and will be serious threats this March. No one will want to see this transfer-laden team in the tournament, especially with how they played on Tuesday night. This team is scary.

While Florida is still a long ways from the dominant days of Billy Donovan, Golden has this program trending in the right direction and the growth from year one to year two has been drastic.

Big things are coming to the hardwood in Gainesville.

Connor has worked in sports journalism for over a decade, writing for multiple newspapers and college sports websites such as Fansided before starting Gator Digest. Work has been featured in Yardbarker, Bleacher Report, Yahoo!, 247 Sports, Rivals, and more.