Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Experience At The Stetson-UF Game

Last night Univeristy of Florida and Stetson University faced off at the Amway center. I was lucky enough to attend. Living in DeLand currently (going to Stetson), I'm not far from Orlando, and my friend Eric offered me a courtside seat!

Photo by: John Raoux, AP
The game itself wasn't too competitive. Stetson trailed the majority of the game, their biggest lead was only two. UF has the more dynamic team. They shoot better, jump higher, defend ferociously and did that for 40 minutes. Stetson tried to change their defense at times, switching to zones, going back to man-to-man, but nothing really slowed down UF.

A big statistical difference was three point field goals. UF shot 14-35 from downtown, while Stetson went 1-17. Tough to make up for that gap, not to mention Stetson doesn't have the best inside presence. Stetson would go on little runs, at one point they had it within nine, but then UF would force turnovers, hit a couple three's, and that was that.

Patric Young is a nice player for UF. He's big, strong and a force to be reckoned with. My friends jokingly called him, "Dwight Stoudemire," and "Amar'e Howard." He may not be up to their level, but he's got a pro body. He needs to continue developing his offense and work on his attitude. A prospect he is for sure.

Despite Stetson's lackluster performance, Willie Green and Dennis Diaz played well. They came off the bench, played confidently and made things happen. Green had two dunks, and hit the boards well. Diaz was active on both ends, hitting jumpers and making an interception. This is the type of play Stetson needs all the time.

A lack of confidence from Stetson was evident throughout the game. The UF press stifled Stetson, causing 18 turnovers. Liam McInerney would catch the ball at the top of the key and not know what to do with it. Mental breakdowns are going to happen every game, but with Stetson's talent deficit, there were too many errors. Great news for the Stetson coaching staff and players is now they have some film to dissect!

The Amway Center is amazing. Having riden past it a few times, it was truly a dream come true to finally see the inside (and sit in the second row). While tax payer money shouldn't fund arena construction, this is certainly a great venue for any event. If you're in Orlando, check this place out, if you haven't yet.

Jason Williams, former NBA player, was at the game. While my friends and I sat in the second row, behind the basket, Jason was in the first row, courtside. Williams, not known to be "soft" in any sense was there with his two kids (boy and girl) and it was funny to see. His daughter slept on him and the player I knew showed his human side. These are things you only get to see AT the game!

Many thanks goes out to my friend Eric (check out his YouTube channel) for driving me and giving me a ticket! Here's a photo to show you how close I was to the action:


Octavine said...

Cool. Sounds like a great experience!