Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Get Up(court) and 'Go'; Donovan Comfortable with Florida Big Men Leading the Fast Break

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Get Up(court) and 'Go'; Donovan Comfortable with Florida Big Men Leading the Fast Break

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL DIROCCO

GAINESVILLE -- When Florida forward Corey Brewer grabs a defensive rebound, the first thing that runs through his mind is an order from coach Billy Donovan: "Go!"

When 6-foot-11 forward Joakim Noah or 6-9 center Al Horford snare a defensive rebound, they hear the same thing.

And they all listen, taking off up the court to start the fast break.

They don't bother with an outlet pass to point guard Taurean Green to start the break, and Donovan doesn't want them to do so. He's comfortable with Noah, Horford or the 6-8 Brewer handling the basketball.

"I love it [when those players start the break] because it makes it that much more difficult to guard us coming out of transition," Donovan said as the second-ranked Gators prepared for today's home game against Auburn. "We don't have a primary ball-handler on a missed shot. If every single time we had to get the ball to Taurean [Green], your break isn't as quick.

"As long as Al [Horford] and Joakim [Noah] and our big guys continue to make good decisions with the ball in their hands, then I'm going to continue to let them start the break."

Horford has proven effective at leading the break, and it creates a matchup problem. Very few teams in the country have big men who can run as well as Horford and Noah, and that means the Gators have a numbers advantage.

It also means there is an additional shooter at the 3-point line because a guard isn't running the break.

And running definitely is Florida's strength. The Gators have outscored opponents 124-74 on the fast break (excluding games against Wake Forest and Syracuse, when those stats weren't kept).

"That's our deal. We like to get out and run," said Green, who's Florida's assist leader with 75. "We know good things will happen on the break as long as we make the smart play and make the right decision and don't try to be too fancy on the break. …

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