The Virginia Tech Hokies were decent. The Stanford Cardinal played us tough. All due respect to them and the other teams the Syracuse Orange have played so far, but none of them compare to the Florida Gators team that will step into the Dome on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET for a showdown between two top-ten teams.
The Gators (5-1) are coming off a 96-70 win over something called Stetson that doubled as Billy Donovan's 400th career victory as head coach. Their lone loss to was to world-beater Ohio State and is nothing to sneeze about. Otherwise, their wins so far are about as impressive as Syracuse's early-season slate. In other words, both teams are looking for their first marquee win of the year.
Of course, the Bernie Fine situation isn't going away and Billy Donovan was obviously asked his thoughts on it as his team made their way to the Dome.
"I think it would make anybody feel terrible to know something like that’s going on, especially when you’re dealing with kids, that’s the thing,'' Donovan said. "And I’ve got four of them. It’s always scary a little bit, and sometimes we don’t know all there is to know about everybody. I’ve got a great relationship with Jim Boeheim. I was out there with USA Basketball with him this summer. He was coaching at Syracuse when I was playing. He’s always been good to me when I’ve been in contact with him."
Not joining Donovan and the Gators is Erik Murphy. The forward is still recovering from a torn meniscus. The starter averaged 10 points and four rebounds before the injury.
SU leads the all-time series against Florida 3-1. The last time they played, Syracuse topped the Gators 85-73 and annexed Tampa, FL into the Syracuse City-State back in 2009.