Gator Basketball Men's Basketball Final Four pioneers remembering 1993-94

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by Jax Gator, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Jax Gator

    Jax Gator Swamp Thing
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  2. 78

    78 Dazed and Confused
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    Most amazing tournament run ever. We've obviously gone further, but that one came out of nowhere. NO ONE expected it.
     
    • Jbossgator8

      Jbossgator8 Senior Member
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      What a team and what a run they had!
       
      • HauntedGator

        HauntedGator Well-Known Member

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        Dan Cross still one of my favorite players ever! Still have my mid 90's jersey with his number!
         
        • macNCheeseB

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          I was in high school at the time, but I remember the radio call for DaMeat Hook every time it happened. I'm no basketball player, but that made me practice a hook shot in my backyard over and over.
           
          • jaywalker72

            jaywalker72 Current Status: Dumper
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            All those guys are legends in my mind -- ran into Jason Anderson in Atlanta in 99-00 and he was down on his luck and I tried to hook him up with some Gators boosters who were better shape than I was to help him.

            That staff was definitely legend. Sat with Big Mac in the Swamp for the only Cocktail Party there -- great, great guy to me. RC Buford was a restricted earnings coach who only went on to partner with a guy named Pop to win NBA Titles with RC the GM.

            Of course, I interacted with Kruger when I was covering the Hawks and he was coach. Really great guy, but definitely not short on ego. Once he asked me what happened to Andy Lopez, why wasn't he ultimately successful at Florida. I said that baseball boosters had told me (at the time) that he just couldn't get top guys to come play ball for him at Florida - I equated it to Kruger trying to get Florida HS guys to want to play at Florida, where Kruger's style didn't mesh well with the style at the time in Florida. Not his fault, just not a good match. He was shocked I would say his run was not ultimately successful. I countered, respectfully, with the fact that his class after the Final Four run, where he signed six guys, was under expectations for the run he had proven he could make at Florida. I told him he is held with the highest respect for the "Find a Way" Gators -- a never-before seen feat. But, to be fair, it was Brown (Pittsburgh) and Cross (Carbondale) that made that team tick, and they weren't locals. They were the type of guys he would be able to recruit easier at Illinois, which is why he left, after all. He was hurt, visibly. I thought I was being honest and complimentary. To his credit, he didn't hold it against me, but we didn't talk about the Gators after that.

            I was probably extremely naive and should have told him Lopez sucked compared to Kruger's massive success at Florida. Alas.
             
            • GatorBart

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              DeClerq of the DeCourt!
              [​IMG]
               
              • InstiGATOR1

                InstiGATOR1 Well-Known Member
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                I basically agree but of course famously the AP preseason basketball ranking of UF's five final four teams indicates otherwise:

                1993-94: Not rated

                1993-94 Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

                1999-00: 8

                1999-00 Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

                2005-06: Not rated

                2005-06 Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

                2006-07: 1st

                2006-07 Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

                2013-14: 10th

                2013-14 Season Summary | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com

                So clearly in some sense UF's 04-05 team that was unranked in the preseason was as big a surprise to win it all. Still UF had been there twice before in 05, but in 94 had never been farther than the round of 16.
                 
                #8 InstiGATOR1, Feb 22, 2019
                Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
              • ShelbyGator

                ShelbyGator Well-Known Member
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                You've got your years mixed up. It should be 05-06 then 06-07. I think you will see a difference in those rankings.

                04-05 did win our first SEC Tourney but flamed out in 2nd round partially due to tough draw with Villanova in Nashville (beat #1 seed KY twice in 8 days, get 4 seed in Nashville with Big East champ as 5?). Anyway, we got revenge in 2006 against Nova enroute to NC.
                 
              • ShelbyGator

                ShelbyGator Well-Known Member
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                And just throwing it out there, prior to 94 had only been to the tourney twice ever!!! It was definitely more "out of nowhere" than any of Billy D's runs. Alas, short-lived as 95 saw somewhat disappointing season but return to tourney then 96 back to the lower tier of SEC basketball. Thank God for Billy D changing our destiny!!
                 
                • jaywalker72

                  jaywalker72 Current Status: Dumper
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                  Definitely come a long way -- It was huge when Norm got us to the Sweet 16 and got beat by Syracuse and Rony Seikaly, then Kruger to the Final Four and then Billy launching us as a national name.
                   
                • InstiGATOR1

                  InstiGATOR1 Well-Known Member
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                  Thanks, somehow in looking up preseason rankings I got the end of the season, ie pre-tourney, rankings. I corrected my post and took the links from sports reference that has the preseason rankings I was looking for.

                  BTW, Villanova was not so much a tough draw as Matt Walsh needed the bottom of both his feet to play up to decently.
                   
                • Jbossgator8

                  Jbossgator8 Senior Member
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                  I still have the preseason college basketball magazine prior to the 05-06 season that had us ranked #70 and in "rebuild mode" as they called it. Thanks to the 04s and Lee from 3, we were NATIONAL CHAMPS! Go Gators!!
                   
                • Musclepug

                  Musclepug never go full retard
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                  Dametri hill was my favorite, still have this vintage Jersey 20190224_101205.jpg
                   
                  • Thick&ThinG8r

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                    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned how we lost to Duke in the semifinals. I consider it a bull$**t call that ended our season. Going on memory here, but we were down 3 with less than a half minute left with Cross bringing it up the court, then at mid-court the ref called a carry or a walk on Cross that gave Duke the ball. Of course we had to foul and they made two free throws for the final margin.There's no f,ing way that gets called today, they do worse on every play and there's no doubt Cross or Brown would have tied it with a three.
                     
                    #15 Thick&ThinG8r, Feb 24, 2019
                    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
                    • Double Gator Dad

                      Double Gator Dad Senior Member
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                      I agree with everything you said except the part about that not being called today.......

                      I believe that to this day, a young upstart program has Duke in a tight game in the final minute of a final four game, the refs absolutely make that call or some other manufactured call to protect Duke.
                      Unfortunately that’s the way things are done
                       
                      • YLGator

                        YLGator Rams Schmuck
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                        Yep, I don't remember the details of the call, but I still remember completely losing my cool at the end of that game. Duke got every call down the stretch. Was watching at a Sports bar with a buddy. My buddy wasn't a gator, so he was working the bar while I watched the game. He lined up a couple of gals and we took them to dinner after the game. I was in a foul mood the whole time and those girls couldn't get away from us fast enough. My buddy was pretty pissed off at me.
                         
                      • stephenPE

                        stephenPE Senior Member
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                        I just remember Grant Hill killing us in the 2nd half. But that was such a great team and the guards were so good together. Team chemistry was high. Kruger was smart enough (like WHite) to get the boys to play tough def. I think he would have a 9 man rotation sometimes so they could keep it in high gear much of the game. I hated to see Lon go. Such a good man. And his little boy under the bench made for good theater.
                         

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