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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Florida was in a hole even before Saturday’s game began

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Casey Prather (US Presswire)

When Georgia upset 12th-ranked Florida 76-62 on Saturday, the Bulldogs pulled off a very unusual feat in the process.

Not only did they never trail the Gators from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer, they also were never even tied.

The reason Georgia was able to hold a lead for all 40 minutes was because referees issued Florida an administrative technical foul after catching Casey Prather dunking during layup lines before tipoff. Senior guard Gerald Robinson sank both free throws with nobody else at the foul line, giving Georgia a 2-0 lead it would never relinquish.

The rule in question is Rule 10, Section 6, Article 1, which says that a technical foul shall be assessed to a "team member dunking or attempting to dunk a dead ball before or
during the game, or during any intermission." Florida coach Billy Donovan admitted to the Gainesville Sun his players are aware of the rule, but said he has "a little bit of an issue" with the call.

"I don't know if that situation was handled the right way," Donovan said. "I wasn't out there. It was hard for me to comment on that. But certainly our players know that. I think the biggest thing with our players is generally there's an unwritten rule when the officials come on the floor (you stop dunking)."

Freshman guard Bradley Beal echoed his coach, telling the Sun Prather's mistake was allowing the referees to catch him.

"Everybody does that but it just so happened the ref walked out as soon as one of our players did it," Beal said. "You can't really get mad at it."

It's unusual to see a referee actually call a technical in that situation rather than issuing a warning or simply ignoring it altogether, but Beal's right that Florida shouldn't be too upset about it. Prather has to be smarter, especially since the sophomore was auditioning for a bigger role on Saturday in place of injured forward Will Yeguete.

Unfortunately for Florida, the 6-foot-6 Prather looked far from ready for more minutes at power forward. He committed four fouls and a pair of turnovers in just seven minutes in addition to his mental error before tipoff.

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