Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Gator Bait, What's Next for Joakim

Congratulations to the Florida Gators for winning their first national championship.  They came out and played almost flawless basketball for 40 minutes having only 6 turnovers.   Florida shot over 55% in the first half against one of the best defenses in the country.   Kudos to the play on the defensive side of the ball for Florida especially for a dominating performance as well.  The UCLA defense was getting the press coming into the game, but Florida showed they can play some defense too.


Florida had all the pieces to the puzzle come together at the right time.  They had steady PG play (Green), a sharpshooter who could knock down 3's (Humphrey), a mismatch on offense and defense (Brewer), a low post threat (Horford), and an all-around playmaker (Noah).   I thought in this game that they got great help off the bench as well from Moss and Richard.  Moss, the lone Senior on the team, provided energy and toughness off the bench and allowed the Gators to keep on rolling when Noah went off the court.


I have been harping on Noah's play for a while now.  If they did the most valuable player award, I think he would be tough to beat.   You could argue Adam Morrison, but Florida would not have won the National Title without Noah.  His energy, defense, and ability to run the floor were the catalysts in the Gators Tournament run.  


Now, Noah will have a major decision to make in the coming days.  His draft will never be higher than what it is right now.   His performance has more than likely landed him in the Top 5 of the Draft.  Joakim (I finally learned how to spell his last name) has won a title in his Sophomore season and was the Final Four MOP; anything else might be considered a disappointment.   However, Noah has the look of a kid who really enjoys playing college basketball and I expect him to return unless there is a mass exodus from Gainesville (ala North Carolina last year).  


Congratulations to the Gators on their first title. 

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