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Wednesday, December 7, 2011
3-point shot: Gators seeking offense

By Andy Katz

1. Florida coach Billy Donovan said junior forward Erik Murphy will play Wednesday against Arizona after missing the Syracuse game with a bone bruise that was originally thought to be a meniscus tear. The Gators desperately need another forward to produce, especially one that can stretch the floor with his shooting. Forward Patric Young is simply not an offensive-minded player. Florida desperately missed another offensive threat against Syracuse last Friday night. Murphy is shooting 57.1 percent on 3s and averaging 10 points a game. He hasn’t played in the previous three games. While Florida gets healthy, Arizona loses a player to a suspension as coach Sean Miller will enter the game without Josiah Turner.

2. Former Donovan assistant Larry Shyatt is back for his second stint at Wyoming as head coach. And he’s once again made sure the Cowboys are defensive pests. Wyoming, which is off to a surprising 8-1 start even though the schedule is soft, is quick to promote some impressive stats: third in the nation in scoring defense (49.4 points per game), fourth in 3-point percentage defense (22.2 percent) and 12th in field-goal percentage defense (35.4 percent). Wyoming is 16th in scoring margin (18.9 ppg) and senior point guard JayDee Luster is No. 1 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (7.4).

3. The Hall of Fame made the smart move of going from Springfield, Mass., to Connecticut's Mohegan Sun for its non-conference tournament. The casino can be more of a destination for fans and the arena is a significant upgrade from when the tip-off event was held at the MassMutual Center. The event had a huge lift with Kentucky as its marquee school last month. But the Hall of Fame is now getting a field worth circling going forward. The four main teams in 2012 will be Ohio State, Washington, Seton Hall and Rhode Island. The 2013 field is even better, with North Carolina, Louisville, Richmond and Fairfield as the four marquee schools.