Trial by fire

Spinnaker

Men’s basketball will continue tough non-conference schedule against three heavy hitters
By Tyler Holder

The UNF men’s basketball team is about to begin a tough stretch of five games. The Ospreys will travel to Gainesville, Florida Nov.17 to face the eighth ranked Florida Gators. A game against Miami Nov. 19 takes them down south. The team will then go on the road to Ohio and take on the third ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Ospreys have already taken on a ranked SEC opponent this season. The team started its regular season Nov. 11 at Alabama. The Ospreys were out-sized and handled easily as they lost 64-44.

The team returned for their first home game of the season just three days later, Nov. 14, to play against Savannah State. UNF won a dramatic, tight game against Savannah State 61-57.

The Ospreys look to repeat the Nov. 14 outcome and ride their momentum into the next three games. Junior foward Andy Diaz scored 15 of his 16 points Monday night in the second half, a performance that will need to be repeated against the University of Florida. Coach Driscoll is confident in his team’s abilities, knowing they have gained much experience in past seasons.

“They’ve played on every court you could think of, the good thing is that they’ve been in this
environment before,” Driscoll said about the squad’s maturity and confidence. “They are used to playing these kinds of games and playing ranked opponents.”

When questioned about his homecoming to Miami, Diaz showed no sign of stronger emotion.

“I’ll be approaching it like any other game. It will be nice to have family in the stands and stuff, but it’s still just another game,” he said.

The majority of the Ospreys’ next five games will be against ranked opponents. The stretch will showcase the Ospreys’ strengths as well as highlight their weaknesses. The team will be at a disadvantage, as junior foward Jerron Granberry left the Nov. 14 game with an ankle injury. The severity of the injury has not yet been made public.