Gators will exceed expectations
Florida loses Erving Walker and Brad Beal, but it still has Sweet 16 ability
Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the Florida Gators, No. 3 in the East (Washington, D.C.).
The keys: Defense, depth and versatility
Stat to know: 95.9
Florida has a chance to be a fantastic defensive team in 2012-13, provided the Gators are willing to accept coach Billy Donovan's challenge. It's a simple one, too: Can you quit making offense your No. 1 priority?
"We've got a really good defensive team," Donovan said. "We've got to try to become great on that end of the floor. Last year, because of our shooting and our ability to shoot 3s and to run off points quickly, sometimes our defense and the emphasis we tried to place there got overshadowed by our offense.
"Our shooting was our identity last year. I think the identity of our team needs to be in the defensive end of the floor."
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Source: Mudiay signs deal to play in China
- Creighton's Chatman set for thumb surgery
- Big 12 chief rips NCAA, says 'cheating pays'
- Wake Forest adds Greece's Mitoglou to roster
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game